Business Setup in Sharjah

Unlocking Growth : Your Gateway to Successful Business Establishment

Sharjah Ventures

Choosing the right location is crucial for your venture’s success, and Sharjah, the beating heart of the United Arab Emirates, offers a compelling proposition. As the third largest emirate in UAE, right after Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Sharjah is successfully attracting investors from across the world. 

Nicknamed the “Pearl of the Gulf,” Sharjah is strategically located at the crossroads of vital trade routes connecting the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Sharjah also benefits from convenient proximity to the International Airport and enjoys connectivity to ports situated along both the western and eastern shores of the Arabian Gulf.

Beyond its geographical advantage, Sharjah stands out as one of the safest cities worldwide, with an exceptionally low crime rate. Sharjah offers a unique blend of traditional values and a modern, forward-thinking approach, providing a vibrant ecosystem for businesses to succeed, as well. Its business fee structure and economic policies are progressive, offering competitive property lease rates. Moreover, entrepreneurs can tap into a pool of highly qualified and skilled workforce available to support operations within their Sharjah Mainland company.

Business Setup in Sharjah Mainland - Benefits:

dubai freezone business setup

Absence of corporate or income taxes

Businesses operating in Sharjah Mainland can enjoy the advantage of not being subjected to corporate or income taxes, contributing to higher profitability.

100% tax exemption on import, export, and commercial levies:

Companies in Sharjah Mainland benefit from a 100% tax exemption on import, export, and commercial levies, reducing operational costs and enhancing competitiveness in the global market.

Competitive rental rates

Sharjah Mainland offers competitive rental rates for commercial spaces, allowing businesses to establish their presence without incurring exorbitant overhead expenses.

dubai freezone business setup

Simplified process for opening bank accounts in the UAE

The UAE boasts a well-established banking sector, making it convenient for businesses in Sharjah Mainland to access a wide range of financial services and products.

dubai freezone business setup

Government incentives tailored for investors

The government of Sharjah offers various incentives and support programs to attract investors, including grants, subsidies, and facilitation services, further enhancing the business environment.

Assurance of investment security

With a stable political environment and robust regulatory framework, Sharjah Mainland provides a secure environment for investments, ensuring peace of mind for entrepreneurs.

Government incentives tailored for investors:

Situated at the crossroads of international trade routes, Sharjah Mainland provides businesses with strategic access to regional and global markets, facilitating trade and expansion opportunities.

Sharjah boasts modern infrastructure facilities, including ports, airports, roads, and telecommunications networks, supporting seamless business operations and logistics.

Sharjah Mainland offers access to a diverse pool of skilled and semi-skilled labor at competitive wages, enabling businesses to optimize operational costs while maintaining productivity.

With over 19 industrial areas contributing significantly to the UAE's industrial output, Sharjah Mainland provides ample opportunities for industrial and manufacturing enterprises to thrive.

Businesses in Sharjah Mainland can easily sponsor residence visas for their employees and dependents, facilitating the relocation process and ensuring a smooth transition for expatriate workers.

Businesses in Sharjah Mainland can easily sponsor residence visas for their employees and dependents, facilitating the relocation process and ensuring a smooth transition for expatriate workers.

As the cultural capital of the UAE, Sharjah Mainland offers a vibrant cultural landscape, fostering creativity, innovation, and cross-cultural exchange, enriching the business environment and enhancing the quality of life for residents and employees.

Business setup in Sharjah mainland - Types of Companies in UAE

In Sharjah, businesses can operate through several legal entities, each offering distinct advantages and requirements. Here are the primary legal entities available for setting up a business in Sharjah, Mainland:

Limited Liability Company (LLC): LLC is one of the most common legal entities in Sharjah Mainland. It requires at least two shareholders and can have up to 50 shareholders. The liability of each shareholder is limited to their share of the company’s capital. One notable requirement for LLCs is the inclusion of a local Emirati sponsor who holds at least 51% ownership in the company, while the foreign shareholder(s) can own the remaining 49%.

Joint Stock Company (JSC): JSC is suitable for larger enterprises planning to go public or raise capital through stock offerings. It requires a minimum of ten founding members and has more complex regulatory requirements compared to LLCs.

Branch of a Foreign Company: Foreign companies looking to establish a presence in Sharjah, Mainland, can set up a branch office. The branch operates under the parent company’s name and is subject to UAE laws. It must appoint a local service agent to represent it in dealings with the government.

Representative Office: A representative office serves as a liaison or promotional office for the parent company based outside the UAE. It cannot engage in profit-generating activities but can conduct market research, promote products or services, and facilitate communication with clients or partners in Sharjah.

Professional Firm: Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, and engineers can establish a professional firm to offer their services in Sharjah, Mainland. This legal entity requires obtaining a professional license and fulfilling specific qualifications and regulations set by relevant authorities.

Civil Company: Civil companies are suitable for partnerships involving professionals or artisans providing services like consultancy, contracting, or trading. Unlike LLCs, civil companies do not require a local Emirati sponsor and offer more flexibility in ownership structure and profit distribution.

Each legal entity on the Sharjah Mainland has its own set of advantages, requirements, and regulatory frameworks. Entrepreneurs should carefully evaluate their business goals, ownership preferences, and legal obligations before choosing the most suitable legal entity for their venture. Consulting with legal experts or business advisors familiar with UAE laws and regulations can help navigate the process smoothly and ensure compliance with local requirements.

Business Setup in Sharjah - Business License Types

In Sharjah Mainland, businesses are required to obtain specific licenses based on the nature of their activities. Here are the main types of business licenses available:

Commercial License: This license is issued to businesses engaged in trading activities, such as buying and selling goods. It covers a wide range of commercial activities, including retail, wholesale, general trading, and e-commerce.

Professional License: Professionals offering services such as consultancy, legal, accounting, engineering, healthcare, and educational services need to obtain a professional license. This license is granted to individuals or firms operating in professions that require specific qualifications and expertise.

Industrial License: Businesses involved in manufacturing, processing, or assembling goods require an industrial license. This license is issued to companies operating in industrial zones or premises designated for industrial activities.

Tourism License: Entities engaged in tourism-related activities, such as travel agencies, tour operators, hotels, restaurants, and leisure facilities, must obtain a tourism license. This license ensures compliance with regulations governing the tourism sector.

Contracting License: Companies involved in construction, contracting, or building-related activities need to obtain a contracting license. This license allows businesses to undertake construction projects, including contracting, maintenance, and renovation works.

Transportation License: Businesses providing transportation services, such as logistics companies, freight forwarders, and passenger transport operators, require a transportation license. This license ensures compliance with regulations governing the transportation sector.

Healthcare License: Entities operating in the healthcare sector, including hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, medical laboratories, and healthcare professionals, need to obtain a healthcare license. This license is issued by the relevant health authorities to ensure the quality and safety of healthcare services.

Food License: Businesses involved in food-related activities, such as restaurants, cafes, food manufacturing, catering, and food trading, must obtain a food license. This license ensures compliance with food safety and hygiene standards.

Real Estate License: Companies engaged in real estate activities, such as property development, brokerage, leasing, and management, require a real estate license. This license is issued by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) to regulate and oversee real estate transactions.

Education License: Entities operating educational institutions, training centers, nurseries, or tutoring services need to obtain an education license. This license ensures compliance with regulations governing the education sector and the quality of educational services.

Before applying for a business license in Sharjah Mainland, entrepreneurs should carefully review the specific requirements and regulations governing their industry sector. Seeking guidance from legal advisors or business consultants can help streamline the licensing process and ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.

Click here to read about the manufacturing industry in Dubai

Business Setup in Sharjah - Step by Step Guide

Setting up a business in Sharjah Mainland involves several steps, each of which is essential for ensuring compliance with legal requirements and obtaining the necessary permits and licenses. Here's a step-by-step guide to setting up a business in Sharjah Mainland:

Business Setup in Sharjah - The Cost

The cost of setting up a business in Sharjah can vary depending on various factors such as the type of business activity, legal structure, office space requirements, government fees, and professional service charges. Here’s a breakdown of the potential costs involved in setting up a business in Sharjah:

Business License Fees: The cost of obtaining a business license from the Department of Economic Development (DED) varies depending on the type of business activity and legal structure. License fees typically range from a few thousand to several thousand UAE dirhams (AED).

Office Space Rental: The cost of leasing commercial space for your business operations will depend on factors such as location, size, and amenities. Office rental rates in Sharjah Mainland are generally more affordable compared to prime locations in Dubai.

Local Sponsor Fees (for LLC): If setting up a Limited Liability Company (LLC), you’ll need to engage a local Emirati sponsor or service agent. Sponsorship fees may vary depending on the agreement reached with the sponsor and can include an annual sponsorship fee or profit-sharing arrangement.

Legal and Professional Fees: Engaging legal advisors or business consultants to assist with the business setup process can incur additional costs. These fees may include drafting legal documents, obtaining approvals, and navigating regulatory requirements.

Government Fees and Charges: Various government fees and charges are associated with the business setup process, including initial approval fees, trade name reservation fees, visa processing fees, and municipality fees. These fees can add up depending on the scope of services required.

Visa and Immigration Costs: The cost of obtaining residency visas for shareholders, partners, and employees will include visa application fees, medical fitness test fees, Emirates ID card fees, and visa stamping fees. Visa costs can vary based on nationality and visa type.

Miscellaneous Expenses: Additional expenses may include utilities setup fees, insurance premiums, equipment and furniture costs, marketing and advertising expenses, and initial working capital requirements.

Overall, the total cost of setting up a business in Sharjah can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of UAE Dirhams, depending on the complexity and scale of the business venture. It’s advisable to conduct thorough research, budgeting, and consultation with experts to accurately estimate the costs involved and plan accordingly for a successful business setup in Sharjah.

Frequently Asked Question

Sharjah offers a great location, business-friendly atmosphere, good incentives, and a solid infrastructure, making it a fantastic choice for various industries.

Yes, in structures like Free Zone Companies, foreigners can have 100% ownership.

Sharjah has a well-established banking sector. You can open business accounts, access financing, and leverage various banking services offered by local and international banks.

Depending on the business structure, you might be allowed to conduct multiple activities under one license. Consult with relevant authorities to understand the specific regulations.

Generally, there are no restrictions on repatriating profits. However, it’s advisable to stay informed about any changes in financial regulations that might affect fund transfers.

Yes, in Free Zones, you can lease commercial space without requiring a local partner. This provides flexibility for foreign investors.

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