With its reputation as the cultural capital of the UAE, the Emirate of Sharjah is a very attractive investment destination for businesses across industry verticals. The Emirate boasts of an impressive growth rate with thousands of investors coming in annually, strong trade relationships spanning more than 125 countries, and three globally renowned Free Zones that offer a welcome environment for businesses to grow and flourish.
The traditional business setup, which consists of a foreign national partnering with a UAE citizen to establish a business, still thrives in Sharjah. But Sharjah’s Free Zones are attractive and viable options for entrepreneurs who want to build something new and yet retain complete ownership of their company.
Below, we take a look at how you can set up a business in Sharjah’s Free Zones.
Choose the type of legal entity
There are 2 types of legal entities allowed in a Free Zone:
- Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ LLC) or Free Zone Company (FZ Co.)
- Free Zone Establishment (FZE)
The key differences between these two are the number of shareholders and the legal identities of these shareholders. Each Free Zone has its own set of regulations and might not permit both types of companies. Before you register, consult with the authorities of your chosen Free Zone about the types of legal entities that are allowed.
Choose and reserve a trade name
While deciding on a company name, you will need to check with the Free Zone authorities and the Department of Economic Development about permitted company names and whether the intended name has already been registered. The key requirements for a suitable trade name are as follows:
- It must not be previously registered
- It must be followed by the legal form of the company like LLC or FZE
- It must be compatible with the legal status and type of business activity of the company
- It must not contain the names of any external bodies, governmental authorities or religion
- It must not offend public morals or sensibilities
Apply for a business licence
To complete the Sharjah Free Zone incorporation process for your company, you need to get a business license. The type of licence depends on the type of business activity you are planning to conduct. The types of activities permitted within each Free Zone are different. For eg, the Hamriyah Free Zone’s list of permitted business activities include industrial manufacturing, logistics and robotic technology. Sharjah Media City, on the other hand, offers 100+ media related business activities including sound recording, advertising, motion pictures, and radio broadcasting.
Choose suitable office infrastructure
Depending on the number of employees, type of business activity and capital requirements, you can choose to buy or lease office space in the Free Zones. The Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah Media City, and Sharjah International Airport Free Zone offer a range of flexible office spaces to cater to every budget. You can also find your choice of staff accommodations to house employees in comfort.
Get the necessary approvals
To get the required approvals, you need to provide authorities with the necessary documentation, including application forms, business plans, letter of Intent, unit title deed, articles of association etc. A trusted consultant can guide you through the paperwork and ensure that the registration process is easy, painless and glitch-free.
With its low cost freight charges, easy access to air, land and sea, simplified immigration process and guaranteed 50-year exemption from personal and corporate taxes, Sharjah is truly a hidden gem for investors and entrepreneurs alike.
Maximize your potential for profit by taking the help of a trusted consultant. Get in touch with the experts at WorldWide Formations to make your Sharjah Freezone business setup process smooth, hassle-free and pain-free.