Sharjah is a flourishing economy, one that attracts bountiful foreign investment. The Government of Sharjah acknowledges the importance of trade, service, and manufacturing sectors in sustaining the nation’s economy, and has thus charted policies that promote foreign investment. The government policies in Sharjah are favourable towards budding businesses, and have hence gained the faith of global investors, contributing to the rapid growth of the business milieu in Sharjah.
Setting up a company in Sharjah is fruitful from the following standpoints:
Sharjah is a tax haven, i.e., companies are levied no corporate or income tax
It has 100% tax exemption for import, export and all commercial levies
It allows 100% repatriation of profits and capital for foreign companies setting up business
100% foreign company ownership is allowed in Sharjah
There are no foreign exchange controls, quotas or trade barriers in Sharjah
It presents lucrative governmental incentives for investors
There are many local and foreign banks in Sharjah, along with a robust communication infrastructure
Sharjah provides warehousing facility where investors can hoard goods freely for upto 2 months
Process of Company Formation in Sharjah
Setting up a business in Sharjah requires the following procedures to be undertaken:
Sign a lease agreement and MoA (Memorandum of Association) in a public notary
Process all requisite documents to get a payment voucher issued
Complete the licensing requirements and pay the licence fees to get a trade licence issued
Get an approval from the Name Board
Apply for an establishment card
Obtain an approval for employees from the Ministry of Labour
Get a stamp on visa from the Immigration Department
Decide the type of economic activity your business would be involved in
Determine the legal incorporation type of the business
Find a local sponsor
Submit the company registration application with a proposed company name to the Department of Economic Development (DED), and notarize the MoA (Memorandum of Association)
File the company documents with DED to get a trade licence from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Register the trade name of the company
Procure initial approval
Obtain an approval for location and inspection from the Municipality
The following documents are required for registering a company in Sharjah:
Approval from the Ministry of Economy
Approvals from other government entities, if called for
Certified copy of the tenancy contract
Certified No Objection letter, passport, visa and residency Xerox copies of the shareholders
Land map or ownership certificate Xerox copy
Lease agreement [Having a physical address for one’s business/office is mandatory in the UAE. The rent on an average within a free zone area is US$ 25 up to US$ 45 per square feet (US$ 225 up to US$ 400 per square metre)]
Legal Affairs approval
Partnership contract certified by the Public Notary
National ID and family book Xerox copies
Technical evaluation report
Trade name certificate, as a proof of trade name reservation
What are the communication and conveyance services available in SAIF zone?
SAIF zone has international and local telephone lines services, fax, email, and internet services available at competitive charges. Also, it has a shuttle bus service provided at nominal charges from the zone to the city centre 5 times a day.
What is the taxation applicable in SAIF zone?
SAIF exempts the companies established in the free zone from all commercial taxes. However, as certain activities are allowed only in the free zone, customs duty applies when a free zone entity wishes to sell their product onshore UAE.
What type of industrial activities are allowed in SAIF zone?
All types of industrial activities are allowed with the exception of leather and tanning industries, manufacturing & packing of all types of pesticides and battery factories, and all types of materials that lead to ozone layer depletion.
What is the minimum capital required to establish a company in SAIF zone?
If you are establishing a FZE or an FZC, the minimum capital requirement is AED 150,000 or US $41,000, but there is no minimum capital required if you are setting up a branch of a foreign/local company.
Can I utilize my SAIF Zone License to operate from Sharjah or any other emirate?
The License issued from SAIF Zone is valid for operating your business only inside the free zone territory. You cannot use this license to set up a business in any of the other emirates. Goods however may be sold to the other emirates.
What special benefits are offered to companies wanting to set up their business in SAIF zone?
The benefits of operating from SAIF Zone are tremendous. It allows 100% foreign ownership, exemption for personal and corporate income tax, with 25 year contract remedies for final rent.