How to Start Your Business in Sharjah: A Guide for Business Owners

Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, is a great place to start a business. Its strategic location and friendly business environment make it an ideal location for investors and entrepreneurs. In this guide, we will explore the two main options for setting up a business in Sharjah: Sharjah Mainland and Sharjah Free Zones. Whether you prefer a streamlined process or prefer to operate in a free zone with no taxes or duties, Sharjah has options that can suit your business needs.

Sharjah Mainland

Sharjah Mainland refers to the part of Sharjah city that falls under the jurisdiction of the Sharjah Department of Economic Development (SEDD) for licensing and registration of businesses. It is the commercial hub of Sharjah and offers various business opportunities to investors.

SEDD is responsible for issuing trade licenses to all types of businesses operating in Sharjah Mainland. The department has streamlined the licensing process to make it easier for entrepreneurs to register their businesses. The licensing process depends on the type of business activity and the legal structure of the company.

The UAE Commercial Companies Law (CCL) is the federal law that governs all types of entities registered in Sharjah Mainland. The law has recently been amended to allow 100% foreign ownership, which has opened up new investment opportunities for foreign investors. This means that a foreign investor can now own a company in Sharjah Mainland without the need for a local sponsor.

A company registered in Sharjah Mainland can conduct business across the UAE, including with federal and local government bodies. This gives companies the advantage of being able to tap into a larger market and expand their business operations.

Benefits of setting up business on the Sharjah mainland include:

  • The ability to conduct business across the UAE, including with federal and local government bodies.
  • The ability to have 100% foreign ownership of your business.
  • Access to the UAE market, which is one of the most dynamic and rapidly growing markets in the world.
  • No currency restrictions.
  • Easy access to finance and funding.
  • Low start-up costs.

Sharjah Free Zones

Sharjah boasts six Free Zones that are strategically located in or near major transport centers to cater to the logistics needs of investors. The emirate takes pride in minimizing bureaucracy, and its Free Zones offer a business-friendly environment with several benefits. These include 0% corporate tax and 0% personal income tax, making it an ideal location for businesses involved in international trade.

Moreover, businesses operating in Sharjah's Free Zones are exempt from import, export, re-export fees, and customs duties, making it easier for them to operate and thrive. With world-class facilities and infrastructure, Sharjah's Free Zones are an attractive option for investors looking to set up or expand their businesses.

The Six Free Zones in Sharjah are:

  1. Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA)
  2. The Sharjah Airport Free Zone (SAIF)
  3. Sharjah Media City (Shams)
  4. Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP)
  5. Sharjah Healthcare City (SHCC)
  6. Sharjah Publishing City

Benefits of setting up your business in a Sharjah Free Zones include:

  • 100% foreign ownership of your business.
  • 0% corporate tax and 0% personal income tax.
  • No import, export, re-export fees, or customs duties.
  • No restrictions on currency.
  • Quick and easy setup process.
  • A range of business facilities and services including business centres, warehouses, and land plots.

Whether you're an entrepreneur or an established business, Sharjah offers a wealth of opportunities. So why not explore them today? With its business-friendly environment, ease of registration, and favorable tax policies, Sharjah could be the perfect location for your next business venture.

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