Dubai and the Sharjah Free Zone

Dubai is one of the world’s largest business hubs, with a thriving economy and endless opportunities for savvy investors. And for those looking to take advantage of the city’s advantageous economy, setting up a business in Sharjah Free Zone is a wise choice.

The Sharjah Free Zone is a designated area within the emirate of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), where companies can take advantage of significant tax incentives and full foreign ownership. The zone was established in 1995 and offers a range of services to businesses, including office spaces, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities.

In this blog post, we will guide you through securing your trade license in the Sharjah Free Zone, including tips on company formation and the necessary steps for obtaining a UAE trade license.
Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting, this guide will provide valuable information on establishing a successful business setup in the Sharjah Free Zone. So, let’s get started!

The Role of Sharjah’s Department of Economic Development

In Sharjah, the Department of Economic Development (DED) plays a pivotal role in regulating and overseeing the business setup process.

The DED is responsible for issuing trade licenses and permits for businesses operating in Sharjah, including Sharjah Mainland. This includes everything from small retail shops to large industrial companies. The DED also works closely with other government agencies to ensure that businesses follow all relevant laws and regulations.

In addition to issuing trade licenses, the DED also provides a range of services to businesses, such as helping to identify suitable locations for new businesses and providing guidance on registering a new company. They also offer support and guidance to new businesses on various aspects of business setup in the UAE.

However, it’s important to note that certain business activities require approvals and licenses from other government agencies. These include:

• The Ministry of Health gives approvals to pharmaceutical and medical companies
• The Central Bank of the UAE gives approvals to financial institutions and banks
• The Ministry of Finance and Industry approves the business activities of industries
• The Ministry of Economy and Commerce permits insurance companies and associated agencies

Types of Trade Licenses in Sharjah Free Zone

When setting up a business in the Sharjah Free Zone, you can obtain several types of trade licenses, each with its specific requirements and benefits. Understanding the different types of licenses and their uses can help you make the best decision for your business.

1. Industrial License

An industrial license is required for businesses engaged in manufacturing, assembling, packaging, or similar industrial activities. This license allows companies to import raw materials and machinery and export finished goods. Companies with an industrial license can also benefit from the free zone’s exemptions from corporate and personal income taxes.

2. Professional License

A professional license is required for businesses that provide consulting, engineering, and design services. This license allows companies to import equipment and tools necessary to provide their services and also benefits from exemptions from corporate and personal income taxes.

3. Commercial License

A commercial license is required for businesses engaging in trading activities, such as importing and exporting goods. This type of license authorizes companies to import and store goods in the free zone and then export them to other countries. Companies with a commercial license can also benefit from the free zone’s exemptions from corporate and personal income taxes.

Each type of license has its own specific requirements and benefits, and it’s essential to understand the requirements and regulations of each one before deciding.

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How to Obtain Your Trade License in Sharjah and Establish Your Business

Setting up a business in Sharjah, UAE, can be a complex process, but with the proper guidance, it can be done smoothly and efficiently. In this section, we will outline the steps you need to take to obtain your trade license in Sharjah, including tips on company formation and the necessary steps for obtaining a UAE trade license.

1. Choose your business activity.

Before you start the process of setting up your business, you need to choose your business activity. This will help you identify the type of trade license you need and the relevant authorities you will need to approach.

2. Identify your business licensing category.

Once you have decided on your business activity, you must identify the relevant licensing category. This will help you understand the requirements and regulations that apply to your business.

3. Submit a trade name request.

Before you can apply for your trade license, you need to choose and register a trading name for your business. This can be done through the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Sharjah.

4. Determine your legal structure.

You will need to develop a legal business structure that complies with the laws and regulations of the UAE. In many cases, an investor will choose to form their business as an:

• Limited Liability Corporation
• Sole Proprietorship
• Partnership Company

5. Obtain a local sponsor (Mainland Company Formation).

To set up a business in Sharjah mainland, you must obtain a local sponsor. This UAE national will act as a partner in your business and is required to own a majority share in your company.

6. Submit an initial trade license application.

After completing the above steps, you can submit your initial trade license application, all the necessary documents, and payment for fees.

7. Acquire a commercial space.

To conduct business in the Sharjah Free Zone, you will need to acquire a commercial space through rental or purchase.

8. Seek relevant government approvals.

You will also need to seek approvals from relevant government departments such as the Ministry of Health for pharmaceutical and medical companies, the Central Bank of the UAE for financial institutions, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce for insurance companies, and the Ministry of Finance and Industry for industries.

9. Submit your trade license application.

Once you have completed all the above steps, you’ll want to submit your trade license application to the DED, along with all the relevant documents and fees.

Required Documents for Sharjah Trade License

Before you can submit your trade license application in Sharjah, you will need to gather several important documents. These include:

• Single copies of passport
• National ID
• Visa or Resident ID
• Official technical assessment report
• Certified lease contract
• No objection certificate
• Property certificate
• Completed trade license application

Once you have these crucial pieces of information in hand, you can submit your trade license application.

Trade License Renewal in Sharjah

The process of renewing a trade license in the Sharjah Free Zone involves submitting several documents to the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Sharjah. Here are the documents and information you will need to provide to renew your trade license:

• License Renewal Form
• No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Relevant Authorities
• UAE National ID and Passport Photocopies
• A Photocopy of Signature Verification Authenticated by the Notary Public
• Attested Lease Agreement

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and information, you can submit them to the DED along with the renewal fee. The DED will review your application and issue your renewed trade license if everything is in order.

It’s important to note that failure to renew your trade license on time can result in penalties and fines, so it’s essential to stay on top of the renewal process and to have all the required documents ready.

Frequently Asked Questions

Undertaking a new business venture in a foreign country can be daunting, even for those with experience in investing. And for newcomers, you’ve likely developed a few questions regarding business setup in Sharjah Free Zone or business setup in Sharjah Mainland. So, to help, we’ve gathered several frequently asked questions about the process.

1. How much does it cost for a trade license in Sharjah?

The cost of a trade license in Sharjah varies depending on the type of business activity and the company’s size. The fees are determined by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Sharjah and can be paid online or at the DED office. It’s best to contact the DED directly for more information on the specific fees for your business.

2. How can I register my trade name in Sharjah?

You can register your trade name in Sharjah by visiting the Department of Economic Development (DED) and submitting the necessary documents and information. The DED will review your application and approve your trade name if everything is in order.

3. How can I get a trade license in Sharjah?

To obtain a trade license in Sharjah, you will need to follow several steps:

• Identify the type of business activity you will be engaged in
• Identify the relevant licensing category
• Choose and register a trading name for your business
• Develop a legal business structure
• Obtain a Local Sponsor if required
• Submit an initial trade license application
• Acquire a commercial space
• Seek relevant government approvals
• Submit your trade license application to the Department of Economic Development (DED) along with the necessary documents and fees.

4. How can I cancel my trade license in Sharjah?

To cancel your trade license in Sharjah, you must visit the Department of Economic Development (DED) and submit a written request for cancellation. You will also need to provide documentation and pay any outstanding fees.

5. How can I check the fine for my trade license in Sharjah?

You can check the fine for your trade license in Sharjah by visiting the Department of Economic Development (DED) or by checking the DED’s website. You may also check the fine by contacting the DED by phone or email.

Forming Your Business in Sharjah? MSZ Can Help!

MSZ Consultancy is your one-stop shop for ex-pats and entrepreneurs looking to succeed in the UAE business world. From company formation in Sharjah to securing the help of PRO services, we have the expertise to guide you through every step of your business journey.

Whether you’re looking to set up your business in the Sharjah Free Zone or in Sharjah Mainland, we can help you navigate the process and ensure that your company follows all regulations and maximizes every business opportunity.

Don’t let the complexities of business setup in the UAE hold you back from realizing your entrepreneurial dreams! Let MSZ Consultancy help you navigate the process and secure your success in the UAE market. Contact us today at +971 52 544 1248 for a free quote and detailed plan on how we can help you!

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