Sharjah is the third-most populous city in the UAE and one of the fastest-growing economies in the Middle East and North Africa, so it’s simple to understand why so many entrepreneurs choose to establish their enterprises here. The free zone is a hub of innovation, investment, and entrepreneurship, combining an appealing investment climate, a strategic location, and a large talent pool.
First, you’ll need to select your business activity and choose your company name. The UAE has strict naming conventions, so make sure it isn’t already registered and avoid using blasphemous or obscene language. If your initial application is approved, the Sharjah authorities will issue your licence in less than two hours.
To help speed up business setup in Sharjah, the local authorities have introduced e-channel services. This online portal removes unnecessary paperwork and makes it easier for you to obtain your entry permit. Once your entry permit has been issued, you can stay in the region for up to 60 days.
The final stage involves activating your status change. You can do this in-country or by exiting and re-entering Sharjah, depending on your country of origin. Then, you’ll need to undergo medical tests to apply for your Emirates ID card. This ID card will allow you to open a bank account, take out contracts and rent a property
The next step is to obtain a trade license to manufacture, import, export, distribute & store all the items maintaining the laws of Sharjah
This includes any type of business where manufacturing, processing, packing, assembling, and fabrication is involved. With an industrial trade license, you will have to have a physical warehouse inside the country. This license will be issued by the Department of Economic Development.
If you plan on doing any type of trading, then you will need a commercial license. This license covers all forms of trading, even retail shops, car rental businesses, and tourism businesses are all companies that need to apply for a commercial license.
This type of license is given to people that provide a service. There is a long list of businesses that are considered professional, some of them include: carpenters, medical professionals, beauty salons, accounting, consulting, event management, and more.
If you are a foreigner starting a business in the Mainland, you will need a local partner that will own 51% of the company.
It usually takes about 12 weeks.
No taxes, provision for warehouse facilities, and government incentives.
Limited Liability is the most popular form of business in Sharjah.
Apply for a Free Zone license, deposit the share capital into the bank, submit all the required documents, and get a lease agreement.
An applicant going for company registration in Sharjah can incorporate the following types of companies.
Everything depends on your business model and requirements, but a free zone setup is the most suitable for the majority of the business needs. Free Zone company has 100% foreign ownership unlike mainland where you need a local partner or agent, it can be eligible for resident visas, allows doing business both in and out of UAE, more favorable by the banks in comparison to offshore companies, can have a flexi desk space instead of an executive office like in mainland companies. Free Zone is a good way to start a business for reasonable fees and without unwanted obligations.
It is not mandatory for the director to be a resident of Sharjah.