If you’re considering starting a business in Sharjah Free Zones, look no further. DBS Business Setup, a renowned consultancy and service provider based in Dubai, is here to assist you every step of the way. With expertise in business registration, company formation, and incorporation, DBS can help you navigate the complexities of the UAE business landscape. From obtaining necessary approvals from government departments to opening corporate bank accounts and handling tax and VAT registrations, DBS offers a comprehensive range of services to ensure a seamless and successful business setup. Whether you’re interested in Sharjah Free Zones or any other location in the UAE, DBS is your go-to partner for expert assistance and support.

Start a Business in Sharjah Free Zones

Table of Contents

Benefits of Starting a Business in Sharjah Free Zones

Tax advantages

One of the key benefits of starting a business in Sharjah Free Zones is the tax advantages it offers. Companies operating in these free zones are exempt from corporate and personal income taxes for a period of up to 50 years. This can significantly reduce the financial burden on businesses and allow them to reinvest their profits into growth and expansion.

100% foreign ownership

Another major advantage of Setting up a business in Sharjah Free Zones is the opportunity for 100% foreign ownership. Unlike in mainland Sharjah, where a local partner is required for company formation, free zones allow complete ownership by foreign investors. This provides a greater sense of control and autonomy for business owners, as well as the ability to make independent decisions and retain full profit shares.

Easy company setup process

Starting a business in Sharjah Free Zones is known for its streamlined and efficient company setup process. The free zone authorities have developed a fast-track system that simplifies the procedures and reduces the time and effort required to establish a company. The process typically involves submitting the necessary documents, paying the required fees, and obtaining the relevant approvals, all of which can be accomplished within a reasonable timeframe.

Incentives and subsidies

Sharjah Free Zones offer a wide range of incentives and subsidies to attract businesses and promote economic growth. These include reduced setup costs, discounted or free office space, access to affordable utilities and services, and financial incentives such as grants and loans. These incentives not only make setting up a business more affordable but also provide ongoing support and resources that can help businesses thrive in the long term.

Infrastructure and facilities

The free zones in Sharjah boast state-of-the-art infrastructure and world-class facilities, designed to cater to the specific needs of different industries. From modern office spaces and warehouses to advanced technology and communications infrastructure, businesses in Sharjah Free Zones can benefit from a high-quality work environment that enhances productivity and efficiency.

Access to skilled labor

Sharjah Free Zones are home to a diverse and highly skilled workforce, making it easier for businesses to find and recruit top talent. The free zones attract professionals from all over the world, offering a vibrant and multicultural work environment. Additionally, the free zones often have partnerships with educational institutions, providing access to training programs and resources that help businesses develop and upskill their employees.

Proximity to international markets

Located strategically in the UAE, Sharjah Free Zones provide businesses with easy access to international markets. The well-connected transport infrastructure, including airports, seaports, and highways, allows for efficient import and export operations. Additionally, the free zones’ proximity to Dubai and other major business hubs in the region opens up opportunities for collaboration and networking with global corporations and potential customers.

Networking and collaboration opportunities

Sharjah Free Zones are renowned for their vibrant business communities and networking opportunities. The free zones often organize events, trade fairs, and conferences, bringing together entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and potential investors. These events create a conducive environment for networking, collaboration, and knowledge sharing, allowing businesses to expand their professional connections and explore new growth opportunities.

Flexible work environment

Sharjah Free Zones provide a flexible work environment that caters to the diverse needs of businesses. Whether you require a small office space, a dedicated warehouse, or a virtual setup, the free zones offer a range of options to accommodate different business requirements. The flexibility in workspace options allows businesses to scale up or down as needed, without the constraints of long-term leases or excessive overhead costs.

Security and stability

The UAE, including Sharjah Free Zones, is known for its political stability, robust legal framework, and commitment to maintaining a safe and secure business environment. The country consistently ranks high in terms of business transparency, and the free zones have their own regulations and authorities dedicated to ensuring compliance and protecting the rights of businesses. This stability and security provide a solid foundation for businesses to operate and grow with peace of mind.

Types of Companies in Sharjah Free Zones

Free Zone Establishment (FZE)

A Free Zone Establishment (FZE) is a type of company that can be formed by a single shareholder, whether an individual or a corporate entity. The shareholder has 100% ownership of the FZE and is responsible for all aspects of the business. An FZE is a popular choice for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking for full control over their operations.

Free Zone Company (FZC)

A Free Zone Company (FZC) is similar to an FZE but can have multiple shareholders, with a maximum limit set by the free zone authority. The shareholders can be individuals or corporate entities, and the ownership percentages can be determined based on the agreement among the shareholders. FZCs are often preferred by businesses that want to collaborate with partners or investors.

Branch of a Foreign Company

A branch of a foreign company is an extension of the parent company that operates in the free zone. The branch has the same legal identity as the parent company and operates under its name. While the parent company retains full liability for the branch’s activities, the branch can conduct business independently within the free zone.

Branch of a Local Company

Similar to a branch of a foreign company, a branch of a local company is an extension of an established UAE company that operates within the free zone. The branch holds the same legal identity and liability as the parent company but operates independently within the free zone.

Branch of a Free Zone Company

A branch of a free zone company is an extension of an existing free zone entity that operates within the same free zone. The branch carries the same legal identity as the parent company but can function independently within the free zone, allowing for increased market presence and business expansion.

Start a Business in Sharjah Free Zones

Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Business in Sharjah Free Zones

Research and choose a suitable free zone

The first step in starting a business in Sharjah Free Zones is to research and choose the most suitable free zone for your industry and business requirements. Consider factors such as location, industry focus, infrastructure, facilities, incentives, and costs. Each free zone has its own regulations and benefits, so it’s essential to select the one that aligns with your business goals.

Select the appropriate type of company

Once you have chosen a free zone, you need to determine the most suitable type of company for your business. Decide whether an FZE, FZC, branch of a local company, branch of a foreign company, or branch of a free zone company is the right fit. Consider factors such as ownership structure, liability, and operational flexibility.

Prepare the necessary documentation

After selecting the company type, gather all the required documentation for company setup. This typically includes passport copies of shareholders and directors, visa copies (if applicable), proof of residential address, Memorandum and Articles of Association, Certificate of Incorporation (for foreign companies), board resolution (for foreign companies), and a lease agreement for the office space in the free zone.

Submit the application and required documents

Submit the completed application form and the necessary documentation to the free zone authority. Ensure that all the documents are accurate, up to date, and meet the specified requirements. Any inaccuracies or missing information can delay the process or lead to rejection.

Obtain the initial approval

Once the free zone authority reviews and approves your application, you will receive the initial approval. This approval confirms that your business meets the criteria for setting up in the chosen free zone. It is an important step towards obtaining the business license and proceeding with the company formation process.

Pay the necessary fees and sign the lease agreement

Pay the required fees, which include licensing fees, registration fees, and security deposits, as per the free zone’s fee structure. Additionally, sign the lease agreement for the office space within the free zone. Ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of the lease agreement before signing.

Collect the business license

After fulfilling all the financial obligations and signing the lease agreement, you can collect your business license from the free zone authority. The business license grants you legal permission to operate within the free zone and engage in the authorized business activities. Display the license prominently at your office premises.

Register employees with relevant authorities

Once you have obtained the business license, proceed to register your employees with the relevant authorities. This includes applying for residency visas, work permits, and labor cards. Follow the required procedures and provide the necessary documents to complete the employee registration process.

Open a corporate bank account

To facilitate financial transactions and manage your business’s funds, open a corporate bank account with a reputable bank in the UAE. Research different banks and their offerings, and gather the necessary documents, such as company registration documents, shareholder information, and identification proofs, to complete the account opening process.

Commence business operations

After obtaining the necessary approvals, licenses, and permits and setting up your corporate bank account, you can start your business operations in the Sharjah Free Zone. Adhere to the regulations and guidelines set by the free zone authority and ensure compliance with local laws and requirements.

Choosing a Suitable Sharjah Free Zone

Location and accessibility

Consider the location and accessibility of the free zone when choosing the most suitable one for your business. Evaluate factors such as proximity to markets, transport links, and ease of access for clients, suppliers, and employees. Choosing a free zone in a strategic location can provide logistical advantages and enhance operational efficiency.

Industry focus

Different free zones in Sharjah cater to specific industries and sectors. Evaluate the industry focus of each free zone and select the one that aligns with your business activities. Choosing a free zone that specializes in your industry can provide access to industry-specific infrastructure, resources, and networking opportunities.

Infrastructure and facilities

Assess the infrastructure and facilities offered by each free zone. Consider factors such as the quality of office spaces, warehouses, logistics facilities, utilities, and technology infrastructure. Opt for a free zone that provides the required facilities and resources to support your business operations effectively.

Flexibility of office space

Evaluate the flexibility of office space options offered by the free zones. Determine whether you require a small office, a shared workspace, or a larger premises for future expansion. Consider the availability of short-term and long-term lease options, as well as the scalability of office spaces to accommodate your evolving needs.

Support services

Look for free zones that offer comprehensive support services to businesses. These services may include legal, accounting, marketing, and administrative support, as well as access to business consultants and advisors. A free zone that provides a range of support services can help you navigate through the complexities of setting up and running a business more efficiently.

Business incentives and benefits

Compare the business incentives and benefits offered by different free zones. Assess the availability of reduced setup costs, tax incentives, grants, and financial support. Analyze how these incentives can positively impact your business in terms of cost savings, growth opportunities, and competitive advantage.

Costs and fees

Consider the costs and fees associated with setting up and operating in each free zone. Evaluate the licensing fees, registration fees, annual fees, and any additional charges. Compare these costs to your budget and financial projections to ensure that they are manageable and align with your business plans.

Reputation and track record

Research the reputation and track record of the free zones you are considering. Look for testimonials and reviews from businesses already operating in the free zones. Assess the stability and reliability of the free zone authorities and their commitment to supporting businesses in the long term.

Networking opportunities

Consider the networking and collaboration opportunities available within each free zone. Look for free zones that organize networking events, industry forums, and business conferences. These platforms can help you connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, potential clients, and investors, and foster collaborations that fuel business growth.

Expanding and scaling options

Evaluate the expansion and scaling options offered by the free zones. Determine whether the free zone allows for easy upgrade or downgrade of office spaces, addition of new business activities, or relocation within the free zone. Choosing a free zone that supports business growth and expansion can save time and costs in the long run.

Start a Business in Sharjah Free Zones

Required Documents for Company Setup in Sharjah Free Zones

Passport copies of shareholders and directors

One of the essential documents required for company setup in Sharjah Free Zones is a copy of the valid passports of all shareholders and directors. The passport copies must be clear, legible, and valid for a minimum period as per the free zone’s requirements.

Visa copies of shareholders and directors (if applicable)

If the shareholders and directors require visas to reside and work in the UAE, copies of their valid visas must be provided. The visa copies should clearly show the visa type and validity dates.

Proof of residential address

As part of the company setup process, the free zone authorities require proof of the residential address of the shareholders and directors. This can be in the form of a recent utility bill, a rental agreement, or a residential address confirmation issued by a government authority.

Memorandum and Articles of Association

The Memorandum and Articles of Association (MOA and AOA) outline the company’s objectives, shareholders’ rights and liabilities, share capital, and general operational regulations. The MOA and AOA must be prepared and signed by the shareholders and directors, adhering to the guidelines set by the free zone authority.

Certificate of Incorporation (for foreign companies)

If your company is a foreign entity establishing a branch in a Sharjah Free Zone, a valid Certificate of Incorporation from the home jurisdiction must be provided. The Certificate of Incorporation should be notarized and attested as per the legal requirements.

Board resolution (for foreign companies)

Foreign companies establishing a branch in a Sharjah Free Zone are required to provide a board resolution approving the establishment of the branch. The resolution should be notarized, legalized, and attested as per the regulations of the home jurisdiction.

Lease agreement

As part of the company setup documentation, a lease agreement for the office space within the free zone must be provided. The lease agreement should be signed by the company and the free zone authority, detailing the terms and conditions of the lease, including the duration and rental costs.

Obtaining Initial Approval and Business License

Submit the application form

To begin the process of obtaining initial approval and a business license, submit the completed application form to the free zone authority. The application form typically requires details about the company, its activities, shareholders, directors, and the intended office space within the free zone.

Provide the required documents

Along with the application form, provide all the necessary documents as per the free zone’s requirements. Ensure that the documents are complete, accurate, and properly attested, as any discrepancies or missing information can delay the approval process.

Pay the necessary fees

Pay the required fees, including application fees, licensing fees, registration fees, and any other charges specified by the free zone authority. Different free zones have different fee structures, so ensure that you are aware of the applicable fees and make payments accordingly.

Receive the initial approval

Once the free zone authority reviews your application and documents, they will grant initial approval if everything is in order. The initial approval confirms that your proposed business activities are compliant with the free zone’s regulations and that you meet the criteria for setting up in the free zone.

Sign the lease agreement

After obtaining the initial approval, you will need to sign the lease agreement for the office space within the free zone. Read the lease agreement carefully and understand the terms and conditions before signing. Ensure that the agreement aligns with your business requirements and provides the necessary flexibility.

Collect the business license

Once all the required documentation is submitted and the fees are paid, the free zone authority will issue the business license. The business license allows you to legally operate your business within the free zone and engage in the authorized activities. Display the license prominently at your office premises as proof of your legitimacy.

Setting Up Corporate Bank Account

Research and choose a suitable bank

Research different banks operating in the UAE and choose a suitable one to open a corporate bank account for your business. Consider factors such as the bank’s reputation, services offered, fees, online banking capabilities, and accessibility of branches.

Gather the necessary documents

To open a corporate bank account, gather the necessary documents required by the bank. These typically include copies of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, business license, passport copies of shareholders and directors, proof of address, and the bank’s account opening forms.

Complete the bank account application

Complete the bank’s account opening forms accurately and provide all the requested information. Ensure that the information matches the details provided in the company setup documentation. Any discrepancies may delay the account opening process.

Attend the bank account opening meeting

Schedule a meeting with the bank to submit your account opening application and required documents. Attend the meeting prepared with all the necessary paperwork and any additional information or clarifications that the bank may require.

Provide the required initial deposit

To activate the corporate bank account, you will need to provide an initial deposit as per the bank’s requirements. The deposit amount varies from bank to bank and may depend on the type of account and banking services you require.

Receive the corporate bank account details

After completing the necessary formalities and providing the initial deposit, the bank will provide you with the corporate bank account details. This includes the account number, IBAN, and any other relevant information required for transactions and management of the account.

Registering Employees



×

Powered by WhatsApp Chat

× How can I help you?