How to Set Up Business in Sharjah Mainland, UAE: Step by Step Guide

Sharjah's mainland has emerged as a prominent business hub due to its investor-friendly environment. With readily available and affordable infrastructure, coupled with a highly skilled workforce, make Sharjah an attractive location for Smart Zones®Business Establishment.

  • 100% Foreign Ownership
  • Sponsorship and Visa Privileges
  • No Minimum Capital Requirement
  • Easy Business Setup
Start your Business in Sharjah Mainland, UAE - Smart Zones UAE

Sharjah, the UAE's third-largest city, has emerged as a dynamic and rapidly growing business hub within the Emirates. Its pro-business environment, strategic location, and world-class infrastructure make it a compelling proposition for entrepreneurs and investors. While Dubai often enjoys the spotlight as the UAE's leading business hub, Sharjah presents a compelling alternative for entrepreneurs seeking to establish a presence in the region. Its strategic location offers several distinct advantages.

Why You Should Set Up Your Business in Sharjah Mainland ?

Sharjah's mainland has emerged as a prominent business hub within the United Arab Emirates, owing to its investor-friendly environment. Renowned for its safety and abundant economic resources, Sharjah boasts a strategic location connecting key commercial zones.

Furthermore, the availability of cost-effective infrastructure, including offices, warehouses, and shops, coupled with Sharjah's highly skilled workforce, presents compelling incentives for establishing a business presence on the mainland. Notably, Sharjah mainland companies enjoy the unrestricted ability to conduct business activities throughout the UAE and internationally.

The primary business structures permissible within the Sharjah mainland include Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), Joint Stock Companies (JSCs), branch offices of Free Zone Companies (FZCs), branch offices of Foreign Companies, and representative offices.

Types of Business Licenses in Sharjah Mainland

Trade licenses, issued by the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD), are mandatory for conducting business within Sharjah and categorize the permitted activities. Here's an overview of the primary license types:

Commercial License

This license empowers businesses to conduct various activities, including distribution, consolidation, storage, warehousing, and import/export of authorized goods. A standard commercial license restricts trade to a specific number of similar product lines. However, a general trading license allows more expansive trade in a diverse range of goods. Notably, licenses in specific sectors can be obtained with 100% foreign ownership. Business setup consultants in UAE can provide detailed information on these sectors.

Service License (Professional License)

As the name suggests, a service license authorizes the holder to provide specific services outlined in the license. This type of license, also known as a professional license, permits individuals with demonstrated expertise (often verified through qualifications and examinations) to practice their skills. Activities falling under this license category in Sharjah mainland include consultancy services, management consultancy services, accounting services, and other professional services.

Industrial License

This license is mandatory for businesses engaging in capital-intensive activities, such as manufacturing, mining, quarrying, and those related to electricity, oil & gas. Obtaining an industrial license requires special approvals from various authorities, including the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, and potentially other relevant government departments. Business setup consultants can assist investors in navigating this process, ensuring they submit all necessary external approvals alongside their license application.

Advantages of Establishing a Company in Sharjah Mainland - Smart Zones UAE

Benefits of Establishing a Company in Sharjah Mainland, UAE

A Sharjah mainland license, issued by the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD), empowers businesses to operate within the dynamic Sharjah region. Unlike Free Zone licenses, it offers greater:

  • Diverse Business Opportunities: Sharjah's robust economy offers a wide range of sectors for business activities, encompassing manufacturing, services, retail, and more. This diversity provides flexibility and growth potential for businesses.
  • Unrestricted Currency Transactions: Businesses operating under a Sharjah mainland license enjoy the freedom to conduct transactions in any currency, facilitating seamless international trade and fostering global market engagement.
  • Complete Repatriation of Capital and Profits: Sharjah offers a business-friendly environment that allows full repatriation of invested capital and generated profits back to the owner's home country, fostering financial stability and transparency.
  • Streamlined Business Environment: The Sharjah government prioritizes ease of doing business by implementing efficient processes for company setup and operation, minimizing bureaucratic complexities and expediting business growth.
  • Access to the Entire UAE Market: Unlike companies within Free Zones, mainland businesses have the advantage of accessing the entire UAE market, including its lucrative local markets, offering broader market reach and increased revenue potential.
  • Participation in Government Contracts: Sharjah mainland companies are eligible to bid on and participate in various government and semi-government projects, often consisting of large contracts with significant value, creating additional revenue streams and contributing to economic growth.
  • No Minimum Capital Requirement: Starting a business in Sharjah mainland does not require a minimum capital investment, making it an attractive option for startups and SMEs, encouraging entrepreneurship and fostering a dynamic business environment.
  • Sponsorship and Visa Privileges: Business owners who hold a Sharjah mainland license enjoy the privilege of sponsoring their family members and employees for residency visas, facilitating their relocation and contributing to a diverse and skilled workforce.
  • Strategic Office Location Selection: Companies have the freedom to choose their office location within Sharjah, enabling them to strategically position their business based on their target clientele and operational needs, enhancing accessibility and client reach.
  • Networking and Collaboration Opportunities: Being a part of the vibrant Sharjah mainland business community presents numerous opportunities for networking and collaboration with local and international businesses, fostering innovation, knowledge sharing, and mutually beneficial partnerships.

Legal Structures for Establishing a Business in Sharjah Mainland

Selecting an appropriate legal structure is crucial for successfully setting up a business in Sharjah mainland. This choice primarily depends on the number of intended shareholders in the proposed company. Here's an overview of the available options:

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Ideal for 2 to 50 shareholders, offering limited liability protection for each member based on their capital contribution. Notably, since June 2021, 100% foreign ownership of LLCs is permitted, eliminating the previous requirement for a local sponsor with a majority stake.

Partnership Company

Restricted to UAE nationals, this structure involves two or more shareholders jointly liable for company obligations based on their shareholding percentages.

Local Service Agent License Company (LSA) / Sole Proprietorship

This single-owner business option requires foreign entrepreneurs to appoint a UAE national as an LSA. Professional services are typically conducted under this structure, where the LSA holds no ownership rights. Business setup consultants can assist with navigating the necessary legal formalities for sole proprietorships.

Public/Private Shareholding Company

Capital is divided into equal-value shares, limiting liability for each member to their shareholding amount. Rules governing private shareholding companies in Sharjah are derived from those of Public Joint Stock Companies. Founding members are individuals who sign the company's memorandum and articles of association.

Branch Companies

Existing companies from the UAE, foreign entities, and GCC-based companies can establish branches in Sharjah mainland. Consulting business setup advisors in Sharjah can expedite the branch office setup process.

By understanding the distinct features and suitability of each legal structure, investors can make an informed decision and efficiently embark on their business journey in Sharjah.

Steps to Launch a Company in Sharjah Mainland, UAE

Establishing a Business in Sharjah Mainland involves several steps:

Embark on the journey of opening a business in Dubai by partnering with Smart Zones® UAE. Our adept company formation specialists will guide you through the business license application and setup process, liaising with relevant government and municipal authorities on your behalf.

In Sharjah, securing a company name requires a meticulous approach. The chosen name must avoid offensive connotations, blasphemy, and references to Islam or Allah. Abbreviated personal names are not permitted. The Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) oversees this process.

Sharjah offers various legal structures, including Sole Proprietorships, Limited Liability Companies, and partnerships. Each structure defines your company's jurisdiction, permissible activities, and required trade licenses. Before applying for a license, carefully select your business activities and legal structure from the SEDD's portal. These activities will be listed on your trade license, and any unlisted activity may result in hefty fines.

Securing initial approval from the SEDD is essential. Required documents include your passport, visa, a detailed business plan, rental agreements, trade name registration certificates, and other relevant paperwork. This ensures your business aligns with Sharjah's economic objectives and regulations, paving the way for a successful launch.

Upon acquiring the initial approval certificate, you can apply for a Sharjah mainland license. This involves submitting your trade name certificate, rental agreements, initial approval certificate, additional documents, and a completed license application form. After SEDD's approval and license fee payment, you can open a corporate bank account and initiate your tile manufacturing operations in Sharjah.

Complete the process by opening your corporate bank account for your Dubai Business with Smart Zones® UAE. This final step paves the way for the successful opening of your Business.

Remember that the process may vary depending on your chosen jurisdiction and business activities. Consulting legal and business experts familiar with Dubai's business setup landscape is highly recommended.

Operating since 2013, Smart Zones® UAE provides on-going support to obtain Business Services License in Sharjah Mainland, UAE.

Looking for a seamless business setup experience? Trust Smart Zones® Dubai to pave the way.

Documents Required to Start a Business in Sharjah Mainland, UAE

The following documentation is required to initiate the incorporation of a company in the Sharjah Mainland:

  • Comprehensive business plan
  • Copies of passports and visas for all directors and partners
  • Executed lease agreement for the company's office space
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA)
  • Articles of Association (AOA)
  • Proof of residency for all directors and partners (if applicable)
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) (if applicable)
  • Trade name reservation certificate
  • Initial approval certificates issued by the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD)

Submitting incorrect documents can lead to immediate rejection. Our consultants at Smart Zones® UAE ensure you have the right documents, avoiding any complications in the process.

Cost of Establishing a Company in Sharjah Mainland, UAE

Establishing a Sharjah Mainland license involves an initial investment ranging from AED 15,000 to AED 30,000. This cost is contingent upon several factors, including the nature of the business activity, office rental fees, visa applications, and other relevant government charges.

For a precise quotation, reach out to Smart Zones® UAE to obtain an updated estimate tailored to your specific requirements. This ensures that you are securing the most competitive rate for the services essential to your business.

Ensuring Regulatory Compliance in Sharjah Mainland: UBO, ESR, and AML-CFT

Businesses operating in Sharjah's mainland are subject to adherence with mandatory regulations like Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO), Economic Substance Regulations (ESR), and Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT). This applies equally to companies undergoing liquidation within the emirate. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in significant financial penalties, reputational harm, and even license revocation. To ensure seamless compliance with ESR, UBO, and AML-CFT requirements, business owners in Sharjah are advised to seek assistance from qualified business setup consultants.

Asked Questions (FAQs)

Setting up a business in Sharjah Mainland offers numerous advantages. The investor-friendly environment, strategic location, cost-effective infrastructure, and skilled workforce make it an attractive proposition. Businesses on the mainland enjoy the flexibility to conduct activities across the UAE and internationally.

Sharjah Mainland offers various licenses, including Commercial License for trading, Service License for professional services, and Industrial License for manufacturing and related activities. Each license is issued by the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) and comes with specific permissions and requirements.

Establishing a company in Sharjah Mainland provides diverse business opportunities, unrestricted currency transactions, complete repatriation of capital and profits, a streamlined business environment, access to the entire UAE market, participation in government contracts, no minimum capital requirement, sponsorship and visa privileges, strategic office location selection, and networking opportunities.

Legal structures include Limited Liability Company (LLC), Partnership Company, Local Service Agent License Company (LSA)/Sole Proprietorship, Public/Private Shareholding Company, and Branch Companies. The choice depends on factors such as the number of shareholders and the nature of the business.

The steps involve partnering with Smart Zones® UAE, registering a trade name, determining the legal structure and business activities, obtaining initial approval, applying for a Sharjah Mainland license, and opening a corporate bank account. Each step requires specific documentation and compliance with SEDD regulations.

The required documents include a comprehensive business plan, copies of passports and visas for directors and partners, executed lease agreement, Memorandum of Association (MOA), Articles of Association (AOA), proof of residency, No Objection Certificate (NOC), trade name reservation certificate, and initial approval certificates issued by SEDD.

The initial investment for a Sharjah Mainland license ranges from AED 15,000 to AED 30,000, depending on factors such as business activity, office rental fees, and visa applications. For a precise quotation, businesses can contact Smart Zones® UAE for an updated estimate tailored to specific requirements.

Businesses in Sharjah Mainland need to adhere to regulations like Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO), Economic Substance Regulations (ESR), and Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT). Seeking assistance from qualified business setup consultants is recommended to ensure seamless compliance and avoid penalties or license revocation.

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