How to Start a Business in Sharjah Free Zone: Step by Step Guide

Sharjah Free Zone's unparalleled offering attracts a diverse array of commercial entities and industries. Sharjah emerged as a leading choice for entrepreneurs and established businesses seeking to expand their operations in the region.

  • 100% Foreign Ownership
  • Easy Business Setup
  • Global Trade Without Constraints
  • Competitive Leasing Costs
Start your Business in Sharjah Free Zone - Smart Zones UAE

Sharjah, UAE's 3rd largest emirate, boasts a strategic location between continents and a safe, secure environment. Renowned for its shipping and industrial sectors, Sharjah has embraced diversification, offering attractive investment opportunities for businesses seeking to establish themselves in the Sharjah Free Zone. This forward-looking emirate thrives as a hub for business and investment.


Why You Should Start Your Business in Sharjah Free Zone. ?

Sharjah Free Zone has established itself as a premier destination for businesses seeking to expand their operations in the region. Its appeal lies in its comprehensive and compelling offerings. Compared to other UAE free zones, Sharjah boasts remarkably moderate company setup costs, making it a highly cost-effective choice. Furthermore, the free zones provide access to affordable land and labor, alongside dedicated incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises. This, coupled with a highly developed infrastructure featuring 24/7 licensing services, ensures a streamlined and efficient business setup process. Additionally, establishing a business in Sharjah Free Zone entails fewer accounting and auditing requirements, offering a significant administrative advantage.

Beyond its cost-effectiveness and streamlined processes, Sharjah Free Zone attracts a diverse array of commercial entities and industries due to its favorable regulatory environment. Liberal economic policies, a robust legal framework, and a cosmopolitan culture foster a business-friendly environment, coupled with supportive company laws. Moreover, the UAE government provides exceptional investor benefits and extensive facilities, further solidifying Sharjah's position as a prime location for international investment.


Free Zones in Sharjah for Business Setup

When establishing your business in the Sharjah free zone ecosystem, you have access to a diverse selection of specialized zones, each catering to specific industry needs:

  • Hamriyah Free Zone: Ideal for companies involved in industrial and maritime activities, offering world-class infrastructure and logistics facilities.
  • Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone): Strategically located near Sharjah International Airport, this zone caters to diverse industries, from trading and logistics to manufacturing and light assembly.
  • The U.S.A. Regional Trade Center (USARTC) Free Zone: Fostering collaboration between American and international businesses, the USARTC Free Zone offers specific benefits and support for companies seeking to enter the U.S. market.
  • Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone: Dedicated to the printing, publishing, and media industries, this zone provides a nurturing environment for businesses in these sectors.
  • Sharjah Media City Free Zone: Ideal for media, entertainment, and technology companies, this zone offers tailored support and services to facilitate growth and innovation within these industries.
  • Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI) Free Zone: Designed to foster research and development, this zone attracts companies at the forefront of technological advancement and innovation.
Advantages of Establishing a Company in Sharjah Free Zone - Smart Zones UAE

Benefits of Establishing a Company in Sharjah Free Zone

The Sharjah Free Zone offers a comprehensive and compelling package of advantages designed to empower your business and propel it towards success.

  • Unrestricted Capital and Profit Repatriation: Enjoy complete freedom to repatriate 100% of your invested capital and generated profits, fostering financial flexibility and stability.
  • Streamlined Company Formation: Benefit from a seamless and efficient company registration process tailored to your specific business needs, ensuring a swift and hassle-free setup.
  • Unimpeded Movement of Funds: The Free Zone facilitates smooth and unrestricted transfer of funds, empowering businesses to conduct international transactions with ease.
  • Global Trade Without Constraints: No currency restrictions allow for convenient conversion and transactions in any currency, simplifying global trade operations.
  • 24/7 Licensing Services: Leverage the streamlined and efficient licensing services available 24/7, enabling you to commence operations at the earliest possible time.
  • Cost-Effective Workforce and Warehousing: Access a readily available pool of skilled and competitive labor, complemented by affordable warehouse facilities within the Free Zone.
  • Full Foreign Ownership: Enjoy the unique advantage of owning your business entirely, allowing for complete control and independent decision-making.
  • Reliable and Affordable Energy: Benefit from a readily available and cost-effective energy supply, contributing to reduced operational expenses.
  • Duty-Free Trade Environment: Leverage the 100% exemption on import and export duties, creating a conducive and cost-competitive trade environment.
  • Competitive Leasing Costs: Enjoy the advantage of lower lease rates for commercial spaces within the Free Zone, making it an attractive location for cost-conscious businesses.
  • Strategic Location: Gain proximity to major ports and the Sharjah International Airport, facilitating efficient import, export, and logistics operations.

Types of Business Licenses offered by Sharjah Free Zones

The Sharjah Free Zone caters to a wide range of business activities through its diverse licensing framework. Here's an overview of the three primary license categories:

Trading License

This license is ideal for companies engaged in import, export, and distribution activities within the Free Zone. It encompasses a broad spectrum of industries, including manufacturing of furniture, packaging, metal castings, and food products, provided the company maintains a local office in the Free Zone.

Professional License

This license caters to service providers, professionals, artisans, and craftspeople operating within the Free Zone. It encompasses a broad range of services, such as legal consultancy, management consulting, auditing, accounting, educational institutions, and healthcare providers.

Commercial License

This license is suitable for businesses involved in trading and selling goods within the Free Zone. It covers diverse activities such as logistics, car rentals, and real estate services.


Choosing the Right Legal Structure for Business Setup in Sharjah Free Zones

Establishing a business in the Sharjah Free Zones requires selecting a suitable legal structure, which determines your company's legal status and operations. Here's an overview of the available options:

Free Zone Establishment (FZE)

  • An FZE can be established by a single shareholder, who can be either an individual or a corporate entity.
  • It operates as a distinct legal entity with independent financial liability, meaning the shareholder's personal assets are generally protected from business debts.
  • Seeking guidance from business setup advisors in Sharjah is recommended to ensure you choose the most appropriate legal form for your company's objectives.

Free Zone Company (FZC)

  • An FZC is essentially a Limited Liability Company (LLC) owned by multiple shareholders.
  • Similar to FZEs, it functions as a separate legal entity with independent financial liability, safeguarding shareholders' personal assets.
  • FZCs are a popular choice due to this limited liability protection, making them attractive for many businesses.
  • Foreign investors seeking to establish an FZC can consult with company formation consultants in Sharjah to understand the associated costs and capital requirements.

Branch Company

  • Existing companies, both foreign and domestic (UAE-incorporated), have the option to establish branch offices within any Sharjah Free Zone.
  • A branch office lacks an independent legal identity, relying on its parent company's legal status.
  • Its function is typically to conduct all or specific activities already undertaken by the parent company.

Steps to Launch a Company in Sharjah Free Zone, UAE

Establishing a in Sharjah Free Zone 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.

Prior to initiating the application process, it's crucial to define both your desired business activity and the most suitable legal structure. Common business activities within the Sharjah Free Zone encompass trading, manufacturing, services, and consultancy. You will also need to choose between establishing a Free Zone Establishment (FZE), a Free Zone Company (FZC), or a branch of an existing company.

The next step involves choosing a unique and distinct company name that accurately reflects your business activity. It's recommended to avoid names resembling existing companies or trademarks, while adhering to naming regulations established by the Free Zone Authority.

Once you've determined your business activity, legal structure, and chosen a suitable company name, proceed with submitting the trade license application. Download the application form from the Free Zone Authority's website or obtain it directly from their office. Ensure the form is duly completed and signed by the applicant or authorized company representative.

To ensure a smooth application process, the Free Zone Authority requires several key documents. These include identification and sponsorship verification through passport copies for all shareholders and directors, along with valid UAE entry stamps or resident visas if applicable. Additionally, a no-objection letter may be necessary from your current sponsor in the UAE. For financial verification, proof of the initial capital investment is essential. Moreover, a well-defined business plan outlining your company's goals, strategies, and projected financials must be included. Furthermore, depending on your chosen legal structure, either the Memorandum and Articles of Association (for a Free Zone Company) or the existing company's incorporation certificate and memorandum of association (for a branch) will be required. Finally, confirmation of your office space within the Free Zone must be provided through a copy of the lease agreement or tenancy contract. Please note: specific documents may require attestation or notarization before submission.

Upon collecting all necessary documents, submit the application along with the associated fees. You can typically submit both online or in person at the Free Zone Authority's office. Fees typically encompass the application processing fee, trade license fee, and office space rent.

Following submission, the Free Zone Authority will review your application, meticulously assessing your documents, business plan, and other pertinent details. This process can take several weeks, depending on the complexity of your application. The authority may contact you if additional information or documents are needed.

Upon application approval, you will receive notification from the Free Zone Authority. This signifies the final stage, where you will need to sign the lease agreement for your designated office space within the Free Zone. The lease agreement will outline the rental terms and conditions.

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 Free Zone, UAE

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

Documents Required to Start a Business in Sharjah Free Zone, UAE

The following documentation is required for business setup within the Sharjah Free Zone:

  • Photocopies of passports for all shareholders and directors.
  • Copies of UAE entry stamps or resident visas, where applicable.
  • A no-objection letter from the current sponsor, if the individual resides within the UAE.
  • Proof of the initial capital investment.
  • A comprehensive business plan.
  • For Free Zone Companies (FZCs), copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association.
  • For branch offices, a copy of the existing company's incorporation certificate and memorandum of association.
  • A copy of the lease agreement or tenancy contract for the office space within the Free Zone.

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 Free Zone

Establishing a business in the Sharjah Free Zone incurs an approximate cost of AED 25,000, while the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone carries an approximate cost of AED 35,000. It's important to remember that companies operating within a free zone are restricted to conducting business activities either solely within the zone or internationally.

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.

Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQs)

Sharjah Free Zone is a premier destination for businesses due to its moderate setup costs, affordable land and labor, streamlined processes, and a business-friendly regulatory environment. It offers a diverse range of specialized zones catering to various industries, making it an attractive location for international investment.

Establishing a company in Sharjah Free Zone comes with advantages such as unrestricted capital and profit repatriation, streamlined company formation, unimpeded movement of funds, global trade without constraints, 24/7 licensing services, cost-effective workforce and warehousing, full foreign ownership, reliable and affordable energy, duty-free trade environment, competitive leasing costs, and a strategic location.

Sharjah Free Zone offers three primary license categories: Trading License for import, export, and distribution activities, Professional License for service providers, professionals, artisans, and craftspeople, and Commercial License for businesses involved in trading and selling goods within the Free Zone.

When choosing a legal structure, businesses can opt for a Free Zone Establishment (FZE) for single shareholders, a Free Zone Company (FZC) for multiple shareholders, or a Branch Company for existing companies. Seeking guidance from business setup advisors in Sharjah is recommended to make an informed decision.

The process involves partnering with Smart Zones® UAE, defining business scope and structure, selecting a unique company name, submitting the application with necessary documentation, paying fees, undergoing a review and approval process, obtaining a trade license and lease agreement, and finally, opening a corporate bank account with Smart Zones® UAE.

The required documents include photocopies of passports for shareholders and directors, copies of UAE entry stamps or resident visas, a no-objection letter (if applicable), proof of initial capital investment, a comprehensive business plan, and, depending on the legal structure, copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association or the existing company's incorporation certificate and memorandum of association.

The approximate cost of establishing a business in Sharjah Free Zone is AED 25,000, while Sharjah Airport International Free Zone carries an approximate cost of AED 35,000. For a precise quotation tailored to specific requirements, businesses can reach out to Smart Zones® UAE.

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