Sharjah is the third largest of the 7 emirates in the UAE. The UAE is recognized as a trading hub in the whole world, where the non-oil sector contributes to 70% of the GDP – 45% of which is contributed by Sharjah’s trading activities. Setting up a business in Sharjah is a simple process due to the emirate’s business-friendly laws and modern infrastructure. Sharjah Media City, or Shams, was launched in January 2017 with a vision to be a world-class hub for media and creativity in the region. Similar to other free zones, Sharjah free zone also issues licenses to companies, freelancers and entrepreneurs wanting to set up a business.
Types of Licenses in Sharjah Media City Free Zone
1. Service License
A service license is meant for business rendering services as a primary objective and utilizing goods to provide them.
2. Trading License
A trading license is required for the movement of goods, wholesale and retail sale of goods and rendering of services related to the sale of these goods.
3. Industrial License
An industrial license is for the production, reproduction, transformation, and manufacturing of goods.
4. Holding License
A holding license grants one the right to hold assets and/or stakes of a company.
Key Benefits of Setting up a Company in Sharjah Media City Free Zone
- 100% foreign ownership
- 100% repatriation of capital and profits
- 100% free transfer of funds
- 0% import and export duties
- 0% corporate tax for 50 years
- Company setup option starts from AED 11,500
- One is not required to be present physically in the UAE to start a business
- Inexpensive workforce and easy recruitment procedure
- All documentation issued in 2 days
- Cost-effective licensing
- No-Objection Certificate (NOC) not required to start a business
- Companies will be limited in liability
Company Formation Types in SHAMS Free Zone
1. Shams LLC
A Shams Limited Liability Company (LLC) is an independent entity whereby the company structure separates the owners and the shareholders from the company.
2. Shams Branch
A Shams branch is an entity belonging to an existing parent company. All the profits and losses belonging to the branch will be the respective profits and losses of the parent company.
Facilities Provided by Sharjah Media City Free Zone
1. Dedicated Desk
These are basically fixed spaces, which means the enterprise has to work only in the space provided to them. It is ideal for today’s entrepreneurs seeking flexible space and networking opportunities.
2. Shared Desk
It is a common space shared by like-minded individuals, i.e., individuals who have started a business and cannot afford separate offices. Its modern aesthetic and practical setup makes it a pleasant environment.
3. Dedicated Office
A dedicated office is an assigned lockable office space that can be used on an individual basis. Ranging from a single desk space or possibly a group of desks, it offers a private working environment while encouraging collaboration among individuals.
4. Shared Office
A shared office gives more private space and allows for networking opportunities.
5. Creative Units
These units have facilities like stand-alone offices, office studios, showrooms, and community areas. But this space is currently under construction.
Steps to Start a Business in Media City Free Zone
The steps are as follows –
- Decide on the legal structure of the business
- Choose the business activity
- Registration of a trade name
- Apply for a license
- Open a business bank account
- Arrange lease for office premises
Why Sharjah Media City Free Zone?
Free zones are the most viable option when an entrepreneur wants to set up a business in the UAE. Since there are many free zones in all the 7 emirates, it becomes difficult to choose one particular free zone to set up the company. Here’s a list of why one should choose Shams for business setup in free zones.
1. Flexible Office Options
As mentioned in the list, Shams provide flexible office options. Currently, it offers flex-desk packages which allow entrepreneurs to use the free zone’s state-of-the-art business facilities on an ad-hoc basis. The free zone city is currently under construction but it is said to have facilities like a residential boulevard, a community plaza and a series of restaurants, shops, and hotels.
2. Straightforward Setup
The two-step process of Sharjah Media City makes this free zone popular among investors. It includes meeting the Shams officials with the required documents, and signing the official memorandum and submitting passport copies after the approval.
3. Perform a Broad Range of Business Activities
Shams is open to a broad range of business activities – over 200 in fact, including bookkeeping, HR, plumbing, publishing, hospitality, and wholesale. It is home to retailers, events, e-commerce companies, and management consultancies.
4. Flexible Visa Packages
For the shared desk facility, entrepreneurs can apply for up to 6 visas for their employees. In addition to that, Shams’ visas will allow their holders to sponsor family members and dependents.
Commitbiz – One-Stop-Shop for SHAMS Company Formation
Now that you have gone through the types of business setup, benefits and facilities provided by Sharjah Free zone, the next ideal thing to do is company formation in Sharjah free zone. There are a number of steps to be undertaken, some complex, some less so, to register your business in the free zone. Firstly, you have to choose the type of business activity, and then decide upon a company name, register the same with the Shams authorities, complete your registration, open a bank account, and apply for any visas that may be required. However, for an expat, these simple steps can be time-consuming and confusing, therefore the first port of call will always be to hire a consultant who will look through all the process of your company setup. If you want to set up a company in Sharjah free zone company formation, we at Commitbiz have our team of experts to help you with company formation, registration, and counselling. For business-related queries or help, do contact us, even if it’s just for friendly advice.