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How to start a Business in Sharjah?

Businesses in the UAE are leveraging the perks skyrocketing economy, state-of-the-art infrastructure, hassle-free availability of resources, etc. The UAE government is also encouraging overseas investors to create more business avenues in UAE by allowing 100% business ownership in Free Zones. And there is an overwhelming response from foreign investors.

With Sharjah being a growing economic hub, the LLC or Limited Liability Company ownership for foreign investors encourages them to acquire 100% ownership of their business setup in Sharjah if their business model matches their designated categories. 

Setting up a business setup in Sharjah is a hot topic among entrepreneurs and enterprise-grade multinational organizations who are willing to leverage this opportunity. This blog post will help you understand the process of starting a business in Sharjah that offers a business-friendly environment and zero corporate & personal income tax for foreign investors.

Why Start a Business in Sharjah?

Sharjah is one of the most developed business hubs in the UAE with a contribution to the national GDP of up to 45%. Sharjah is the only Emirate in UAE with ports touching the Arabian Gulf, a quick approach to the Indian Ocean, and borders North Africa giving it a leading edge in the business ecosystem, especially for expats. Apart from a business-friendly ecosystem and important geographical location, starting a business in Sharjah Free Zone also offers 100 percent business ownership.

Benefits of Starting a Business in Sharjah

Sharjah offers a highly sustainable resources-rich ecosystem for company formation in Sharjah. It offers an alternative to the more expensive option of setting up a business in Dubai with the same advantages. Starting a business in Sharjah frees you from the liability of paying any corporate, trade, or personal taxes. Among all Free Zones in UAE, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone) is the eye candy for overseas investors due to its geolocation and additional perks.

Some of the notable benefits of starting a business in Sharjah include:

1. Market Exposure

Sharjah being one of the most densely populated states of UAE can serve as the high potential market for businesses belonging to all industries. You can easily find a significant number of potential buyers in Sharjah in all niches. A greater target audience means more business opportunities and better ROI, one of the primary reasons Sharjah is the best place to start your foreign business in the UAE.

2. No Need for Capital Upfront

Unlike Mainland business activities, you can set up a business in Sharjah Free Zone without any need to fulfill any benchmark of showing Capital Investment. Free Zone in Sharjah gives you the freedom to set up a business at minimum cost making it a haven for startups. Entrepreneurs around the world are increasingly attracted to Sharjah Free Zone for the said reason.

3. Sustainable Economy

Having shared a perfect geostrategic position in the center of the UAE with bordering Dubai, businesses in Sharjah are destined to leverage the sustainable economy of the Emirates. By setting up a business in Sharjah, you have peace of mind and a stable ecosystem to elevate your business because of the booming economic indicators of the UAE.

4. Ease of Doing Business

Sharjah offers a hassle-free visa process, license process, and company registration process to encourage foreign investors and young entrepreneurs in their ventures to contribute to UAE’s economy. Sharjah also gives you the freedom to choose from a wide array of business activities to make your debut in the UAE’s market as a strong competitor.

How to set up a business in Sharjah

Business Setup in Sharjah

Setting up a business in Sharjah is a straightforward and sequential process. The following key steps will help you get a clear picture of the entire setup concluding the company formation in Sharjah.

Step 1. Find your business activity 

Any activity practiced by a business for the core purpose of generating a profit is considered a business activity. It includes all the economic activities performed by businesses throughout their lifecycle. Your business activity can either make or break your business. Therefore, it is necessary to decide and conclude your business activity before jumping on a bandwagon to create a business setup in Sharjah. You need to consider all unforeseen and black swan events that can potentially cause upheavals in the market. It will help you to align your business strategy with the success route and open vast business opportunities.

Step 2. Decide on a Free Zone

With bureaucracy-free and tax-free business infrastructure, there are 45 different Free Zones in the UAE at perfect geostrategic locations to boost the logistics operations of companies. Sharjah offers a perfect geostrategic location for business and attracts most foreign investors. You can choose from 4 different Free Zones in Sharjah.

  1. Sharjah Airport International Free Zone
  2. Hamriyah Free Zone
  3. Sharjah Media City
  4. USE Regional Trade Center (USARTC) Free Zone

Step 3. Choose a company name & trademark

Choose a company name that reflects your mission, vision, priorities, and target market. Once you finalize your company name you can consult Airzone to help you opt for the trusted partner in finding and registering your trademark. There are several instances in UAE that result in the form of trademark rejection. Therefore, it is necessary to opt for the right trademark service in UAE. You can also search for your trademark on your own at the trademark registry to discover if anyone has already claimed your selected trademark or not.

Step 4. Apply for business approval

Before getting started with your company formation in Sharjah, it is mandatory to meet the legal obligations of the UAE Corporate Law. The initial steps and documents required for business setup in Sharjah include:

  • Starting with a business registration application with the UAE’s Department of Economic Development,
  • Submitting your business’s memo of association,
  • Getting the UAE Trade License,
  • Applying for an establishment card with the Ministry of Labor which is issued by the immigration authority of UAE, with documents required as under
    • Original Emirates ID
    • Passport of UAE sponsor
    • Old Immigration card
    • A valid Trade license
    • Copy of Passport with valid visa page of all partners for Free Zone Company
  • Confirmed and potential employees must be registered with the Ministry of Labor, with the documents required as under
    • UAE’s Residence visa
    • Copy of Passport with valid visa page
    • Contract of Employment
    • Labour card.
    • Emirates ID

Step 5. Open a corporate bank account 

Free Zone company formation in Sharjah involves the process of opening a Free Zone bank account that varies from bank to bank. Some of the prerequisite requirements to open a Free Zone bank account in Sharjah include

  • Proof of physical presence for all business partners at the time of submitting their documents.
  • Off-shore businesses opening a Free Zone bank account need to verify and certify their documents from the Consulate of Emirates (for the state they are going to set up in).
  • The next step for any off-shore company is to certify their documents from the UAE’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Below is the list of documents required for opening a Free Zone bank account in the UAE.

  1. Complete Business Profile
  2. Last 6 months’ bank statement
  3. Resume of the account holder and other stakeholders involved
  4. Proof of physical existence
  5. Valid Passport or Emirates ID
  6. Trade License
  7. Company’s regulatory document
  8. Directors Resolution

Step 6. Set up your office location

Businesses that want to create a physical presence in a Free Zone can leverage a range of office spaces of all scales. You can acquire furnished or unfurnished offices in Free Zone’s jurisdiction for well-equipped SMBs as well as enterprise-scale businesses.

Apart from workplace facilities, most Free Zones enable businesses to leverage a range of other facilities for hassle-free communication and logistic or business operations. Office spaces in Free zones are equipped in such a way as to assist businesses in conducting their day-to-day operations without any hurdles.


How Airzone can help you in starting a Business in Sharjah?

Airzone offers a rich knowledge base to help SMBs and Enterprise-grade businesses to equip themselves with the right knowledge for business setup in Sharjah and throughout the UAE. By helping you connect with trusted business formation consultants, we ensure that you can fulfill your desire to set up a business in Sharjah seamlessly.

By starting a business in Sharjah Free Zone with our trusted and experienced company formation partners, you can leverage their rich experience and dedicated skill force, enabling you to sort out all your business needs instantly. Connect with Airzone and we’ll help you find the right company formation service providers in Sharjah who’ll help you get your trade licenses, open your Free Zone bank account, and register your business and employees.

FAQs about Business Setup in Sharjah

What types of Sharjah business licenses are available for new companies?

Depending on your industry or business niche, you can choose from three different types of licenses to register your company in Sharjah:

    • Commercial license

    • Professional license

What is the cost of starting a business in Sharjah?

For a small business, license cost in Sharjah can cost you around 8000 to 10,000 AED. The cost may vary up to 30,000 AED depending on the scale and nature of the business.

How to launch a small business in Sharjah?

The initial steps required for business setup in Sharjah include:

    1. Choose your company’s activities.

    1. Choose a name for your company.

    1. Select location: free zone or mainland?

    1. Apply for a business license.

    1. Apply for Visa applications.

    1. Establishing a corporate banking account.


This wraps our guide covering the complete process of business setup in Sharjah. Sharjah provides a remarkable business-friendly ecosystem for businesses of all scales. From zero tax liability on trade or customs to 100 percent ownership, Freezones in Sharjah are the perfect business avenues to invest your money.

Among notable Freezones in Sharjah, the Hamriyah Free Zone and Saifzone are the prime focus of overseas investors. Therefore, Sharjah has become a parallel alternative to Dubai in terms of business opportunities. You can read more about how to set up a business in Dubai to compare the facilities and feasibility of starting your company in the two most prominent business hubs of UAE.