Starting a business in a Sharjah SPC free zone offers entrepreneurs an attractive opportunity to tap into the United Arab Emirates (UAE) thriving economy while benefiting from various incentives and advantages. Sharjah, one of the UAE’s seven emirates, has several free zones, each with its unique offerings. In this article, we’ll guide you through the general steps to start a business in a Sharjah free zone.
Determine your business activity:
The first step is to decide on the type of business activity you want to pursue. Sharjah free zones offer a wide range of permissible activities, including trading, manufacturing, logistics, services, and more. Ensure your chosen activity aligns with the free zone’s regulations.
Choose the right free zone:
Research and select the Sharjah free zone that best suits your business needs. Some well-known free zones in Sharjah include Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone), Hamriyah Free Zone, and Sharjah Media City (SHAMS). Each free zone may have specific benefits and costs associated with it.
Legal structure and ownership:
Determine the legal structure of your company. You can choose to set up a free zone establishment (FZE), free zone company (FZC), or branch of an existing foreign company. Consider whether you want sole ownership or if you require local partners, depending on the free zone’s regulations.
Reserve a trade name:
Before proceeding with the setup process, you’ll need to reserve a trade name for your business. Ensure that the name is unique and aligns with the free zone’s naming conventions.
Submit application and documents:
Prepare the necessary documents, which typically include your passport copy, business plan, application form, and other relevant paperwork. Submit these documents to the chosen free zone authority along with the required fees.
Lease office space:
Most Sharjah free zones require businesses to lease office space within the free zone premises. Choose an office size that suits your needs and budget. The free zone authority will guide you through this process.
Visa and immigration process:
If you plan to have foreign employees, you’ll need to apply for visas for them. The free zone will facilitate the visa application process, which may require submitting medical fitness tests, Emirates ID applications, and other relevant documentation.