Sharjah company registration


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If properly structured, Sharjah company registration is a tax efficient way for entrepreneurs to conduct international business. Some of our Clients choose Sharjah company registration, in particular Sharjah Airport Freezone, as a cost effective alternative to Dubai.

Sharjah company registration summary

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  • Advantages and disadvantages

    Advantages of Sharjah company registration

    Doing business in Sharjah

    • Foreign investors will enjoy certain benefits in Sharjah including
      • Being an emirate of the UAE, Sharjah levies no corporate income tax, withholding tax, value added tax, import/export tax or capital gains tax. Furthermore, our Clients wishing to move to Sharjah will not be required to pay any personal income tax;
      • While there is a requirement for UAE nationals to hold at least 51% stake in the company, the profit/loss distribution can be determined by our Client. Also, there is no minimum share capital requirement for a limited liability company in the UAE;
      • Sharjah’s free zones offer Clients several incentives including i) 100% foreign ownership ii) exemption from taxes and custom duties iii) full repatriation of capital and iv) access to quality infrastructure. The popular free zones in Sharjah include the Hamriyah free zone and the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone. For more information, kindly refer to our UAE free zones page;
      • Sharjah is a renowned industrial hub, producing 48% of UAE’s industrial output. Furthermore, the city also ranks among the top 10 cities for business in the Gulf region. Hence, our Clients may find it advantageous to setup a manufacturing company in the city;
      • Sharjah’s strategic location near the African and European continents make it an ideal location for setting up trading company. Furthermore, this coupled with the UAE’s world class infrastructure, makes Sharjah an ideal location for offering product distribution services;
      • Companies incorporating in Sharjah will additionally benefit from huge government subsidies offered to the energy and utilities sector. Statistically, the government bears 70% of the cost of electricity and water usage. Consequently, it will be relatively economical for a company looking to invest in the Middle East to choose Sharjah as their base of operations;
      • A Sharjah company will also benefit from the 69 double tax treaties signed by the UAE with countries like China, India, Japan and Singapore to reduce withholding taxes on payments abroad. Furthermore, there are no exchange controls in the UAE, making it easier for our Clients to repatriate their profits to their home countries.
    • Sharjah has become the largest air cargo hub in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region due to the presence of the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF-Zone). Moreover, entrepreneurs can procure licenses in the SAIF-Zone in just 24 hours and run their business at the earliest possible time. All businesses can benefit from the i) office spaces; ii) industrial park; iii) pre-built warehouse facilities and iv) labour accommodation facilities in the SAIF-Zone.

    Disadvantages of Sharjah company registration

    • Effective 30 April 2019, locally-incorporated Sharjah entities, foreign entities registered in Sharjah and limited partnerships engaging in i) holding company activities ii) banking business iii) distribution and service centre business iv) finance and leasing v) fund management vi) headquarters business vii) insurance viii) intellectual property holding and ix) shipping are required to employ local staff and lease a physical office;
    • Registering a company in Sharjah can be expensive and time consuming. The challenge is further heightened by high government fees, inconsistent and complex UAE company laws, and an inefficient bureaucracy in the city;
    • A Sharjah limited liability company (LLC) requires a minimum of 51% shareholding by UAE nationals;
    • Sharjah corporate and personal banking products and customer service are of a poor standard compared to other jurisdictions;
    • Investors undertaking company registration in Sharjah Airport Free Zone as a branch of a foreign company require a minimum capital of AED150,000 (approximately US$41,000);
    • Annual audited accounts for a Sharjah company must be submitted to the government;
    • All companies registered in the UAE must i) create and maintain a register of their ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) and ii) submit UBO data to the relevant registrar or licensing authority;
    • Arabic is the official language for doing business in Sharjah. Therefore, non-Arabic speakers are most likely to face communication barriers while working with the government authorities, local customers and suppliers. All government documents, company brochures, presentations and business cards must be both in English and Arabic. As a result, most of the multi-national entrepreneurs need to hire local suppliers to overcome the language barrier;
    • In 2020, the UAE introduced new regulations requiring all UAE companies to maintain and submit registers of their i) Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) or Real Beneficiaries ii) shareholders and iii) directors. Fortunately, information contained within company registers is kept confidential by the authorities.
  • Best uses for a Sharjah company

    • Ports in Sharjah offer additional advantages to investors, like warehousing facilities that allow investors to store their goods for free for up to two months;
    • Sharjah is the only one of the seven Emirates with ports on the Arabian Gulf’s west coast and east coast with direct access to the Indian Ocean.

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Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Sharjah, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi