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Home > Business Setup (UAE Resident Companies) > Sharjah - UAE RESIDENT COMPANIES

Sharjah - UAE RESIDENT COMPANIES

The Emirate of Sharjah is the oldest Emirate on the coast of Oman, and lies in the centre of other emirates, spread over an area of 2600 sq. km, occupying 3.3% of the total area of the United Arab Emirates (not counting the islands). The SharjahDepartment of Economic Development is the key government body issuing business licenses for resident companies in the Emirate of Sharjah.

Main Benefits

  • Could do business in any part of UAE.
  • No corporate tax
  • Can rent office anywhere in that particular Emirate of registration
  • Can get any number of visas depending on facilities taken / business

Business Environment in Sharjah

Since the early days of trading between the East and the West, Sharjah has always been well positioned historically, geographically and commercially as a regional centre of development. 

With the discovery of oil and later gas, Sharjah rapidly developed from a small trading town relying on fishing and pearl diving to one of the most modern, dynamic and commercial trading centres, as well as one of the leading tourist destinations in the Arabian Gulf.
Sharjah was also the first place in the region to develop tourism, dating back to 1932 when international flights were operated out of Sharjah's now historic airport.

Uniquely located on world trade routes and the only Emirate with direct access to both the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, the development of ports on both coasts has largely contributed to the growth of Sharjah as a trading cum cargo hub and a commercial maritime centre.

Over the past few years, Sharjah has exerted considerable efforts to legislate a wide range of reforms, including the infrastructure of each economic movement that has resulted in attractive opportunity packages for investors. The emirate's lucrative economic policy makes it attractive for industrial and commercial companies. Sharjah has also forged strong economic relationships with over 125 countries around the world, with foreign trade statistics indicating that Sharjah's imports have dramatically increased during the last few years while the number of trade licenses issued within the emirate indicates an increase in domestic trade activities.

Sharjah, as the third largest Emirate by contribution in the UAE, Sharjah has weathered the global economic crisis well, registering a CAGR of 6% between 2008-2010. Sharjah also has the highest level of diversification in its economy, with each sector (mining, construction, financial, transport and telecom) contributing not more than 20% of the GDP.

The Government of Sharjah established Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in February 2009 to evaluate and follow up on tourism, investment and heritage-related infrastructure projects, participating in comprehensive construction and development processes both within the emirate of Sharjah and in the UAE as a whole. Shurooq provides sound consultation resulting from their study and experience.

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Advantages of setting up business in Sharjah

The international companies setting up in Sharjah can obtain significant cost advantages not generally available internationally like

  • No foreign exchange control
  • Competitive import duties (4% with many exemptions)
  • Competitive labour costs – labour force is multi lingual and skilled
  • Competitive energy costs
  • Competitive real estate costs
  • Competitive financing costs and high levels of liquidity
  • No corporate profit or personal income taxes (except for oil companies and branches of foreign banks)
  • 100% repatriation of capital and profits allowed

With its strategic location, tax-free living and consistently strong economic outlook, Sharjah is the ideal base for multinationals and other companies targeting markets in Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Asian Subcontinent and the Eastern Mediterranean.

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How to Start Business in Sharjah

Sharjah has become a bustling business hub and desirable location for investors due to its stable infrastructure and unique positioning.

The investors choose Sharjah as their business destination attracted by the efforts of Sharjah government in attracting investments of all sizes and gestation periods. The Government of Sharjah established Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in February 2009 to evaluate and follow up on tourism, investment and heritage-related infrastructure projects, participating in comprehensive construction and development processes. Shurooq provides sound consultation resulting from their study and experience. These are a few requirements the consideration of which is indispensable in planning even the initial phase of setting up business. These include office space required for business, targeted market for business, number of shareholders and human work force required. It is based on this a suitable option of business registration can be decided. The above requirements also become important factors in deciding the legal structures of business.

The companies in UAE are governed under Federal Law No (8) of 1934 or the Commercial Companies Law in the UAE issued by Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and published in the Official Gazette No 137 of April 1984. Therefore a reference to a company in Sharjah always implies a UAE resident company registered with the Sharjah Department of Economic Development subject to the laws of land of UAE. But there is also other option of setting up businesses in Sharjah as non-resident companies that are subject to different rules and regulations. This option is registration of business in Free Zones of Sharjah.

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Business Licensing in Sharjah

A business license in Sharjah is a certificate that permits a natural person or legal entity to practice a particular type of activity in line with the legal requirements and conditions relating to that particular activity in Sharjah. The Sharjah Department of Economic Development is the key government body issuing business licenses for resident companies in the Emirate of Sharjah. The Free Zone Authorities in Sharjah – Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone) and Hamriyah Free Zone - are the government bodies registering businesses with a non-resident legal status.

The investors choose Sharjah as their business destination attracted by the efforts of Sharjah government in attracting investments of all sizes and gestation periods. The Government of Sharjah established Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in February 2009 to evaluate and follow up on tourism, investment and heritage-related infrastructure projects, participating in comprehensive construction and development processes. Shurooq provides sound consultation resulting from their study and experience. These are a few requirements the consideration of which is indispensable in planning even the initial phase of setting up business. These include office space required for business, targeted market for business, number of shareholders and human work force required. It is based on this a suitable option of business registration can be decided. The above requirements also become important factors in deciding the legal structures of business.

The primary step in setting up a business entity in Sharjah is the selection of business activities. This is so because the other phases of business setting up including the selection of proper legal business structure and number of business licenses can be decided only based on the selected business activities. In Sharjah, the business licenses are mainly classified into commercial, industrial, agricultural and professional. The business activities classified as professional necessitates a business structure where partners can be held personally liable. A Limited Liability Company will not be therefore issued a professional license. A commercial license on the other hand is issued to Limited Liability Companies (LLC). However a professional license mostly allows a legal business structure with 100% foreign ownership unlike the Limited Liability Companies (LLC) in which the UAE National holds at least 51% equity in share capital.

The Free Zones in Sharjah, like everywhere else in UAE, offers 100% ownership to foreign investors.

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Operating Business in Sharjah

The Emirate of Sharjah offers infrastructural facilities like office and warehouse spaces and land areas at rates very lower compared to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Besides Sharjah lies very near to Dubai and hence gets impacted by all the breathtaking developments happening in Dubai. The cost effective business facilities coupled with infinite business opportunities makes Sharjah a very intelligent choice of location for setting up business. Sharjah also provides excellent living community with Al Majaz (the family friendly leisure area and waterfront landmark of Sharjah) and Al Qasba (premier tourism, cultural, business and entertainment landmark within the Emirate of Sharjah). The Buhairah Corniche in Sharjah has a unique mix of residential and business community around the beautifully maintained Al Majaz waterfront.

Sharjah has an excellent infrastructure with sophisticated land, air and sea road network as well as the best transportation network in the region qualifying the emirate as an important investment destination. Sharjah is also home to the largest designated area for industry in the UAE offering 19 industrial areas and accounts for 40% of the industrial sector's revenues in the country making it the UAE's oasis of investment.

The Free Zones in Sharjah, like everywhere else in UAE, offers 100% ownership to foreign investors.

Contact Socprollect Business Consultants to Know More

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Expanding Business in Sharjah

The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) aims to enhance Sharjah as a leading investment and tourism destination and provide investors with investment opportunities. The Emirate of Sharjah is continuously undergoing expansion with the support of Shurooq. The successful development of Al Majaz Waterfront project and Al Qasba at commendable pace has instilled confidence in investors. Shurooq conducts study of investment opportunities with expert international agencies before implementing any projects with the aim of boosting economic development and attracting foreign investments to the emirate.

The expansion of businesses in Sharjah is a sure outcome given the reforms being made by Sharjah Government in laws related to investments. Shurooq conducts feasibility studies on various projects in depth to make huge investments and also invites competitive investors to invest in sectors needed to boom Sharjah's economy.



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