Shams Free Zone (Sharjah Media City)
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About Sharjah Media City (Shams Free Zone)
Shams Free Zone issues service, trading, and industrial licences. It welcomes over 200 business activities, covering everything from bookkeeping and auditing to publishing and wholesale.
Prices starting from AED 11,500
Average business setup time: less than a week
Benefits of setting up a company in: Shams Free Zone (Sharjah Media City)
100% BUSINESS OWNERSHIP AND CAPITAL REPATRIATION
As an expatriate, you can own 100% of the company and remit all profits to your home country.
INCORPORATE FROM ANYWHERE
Shams allows shareholders to incorporate a new company without the need to be present in the UAE.
FAST AND AFFORDABLE
Shams offers quick and easy online registration with no deposit required.
Offers on-site services to its clients including visa, phone, document translation and attestation.
WIDE RANGE OF ACTIVITIES
Shams welcomes a wide range of business activities and allows for multiple activities under one licence.
Shams is located just off the E88 and E611 highways, within reach of two major international airports.
Shams Free Zone (Sharjah Media City) welcomes a range of financial and professional business activities. Here are some of the most popular options:
Scientific Research and Development
Bookkeeping and Auditing
Physical Presence Requirement
You do not have to be physically present to complete the setup process of your company.
10 reasons to set up in Shams Free Zone
1. Shams Free Zone has business benefits
- Competitive company setup fees
- Multiple business activities can be conducted under the same licence
- 100% foreign ownership is permitted
- 100% repatriation of capital and profits
- 0% corporate and personal income tax
- No currency restrictions
- 100% import and export tax exemption
2. Easy setup process
Shams Free Zone aims to make it as easy as possible for businesses to set up in the free zone and get working. As long as all paperwork is filed correctly, authorities award the licence within days.
3. Flexible office arrangements
Shams offers flexible office and desk space options including IT and tech support. It can provide almost any kind of facility – dedicated or shared hot desk, private office, or creative units providing flexible space, e.g. for use as a showroom or setting up a community area.
4. Shams Free Zone permits many business activities
Shams is open to a broad range of business activities on the same licence.
Shams free zone is not dominated by media companies, with many doing business in trading activities. Shams is also home to a number of retailers, events and e-commerce companies, and management consultancies.
The most common businesses in Shams Free Zone are:
- Event management
- Trading (garment and automobile trading)
- Film production/post production
- Graphic design
- Investment consultancy
- Business/project management consultancy
5. Multiple shareholders
In Shams, it’s possible to establish your business with multiple shareholders – up to a maximum of 50 – which can be either individuals, corporate entities or a combination of the two. Shareholders aren’t required to be physically present in the UAE.
6. Multiple visas
Under the Shams flexi-desk package, it’s possible to apply for up to six visas, for you, and your shareholders or employees.
7. Thriving business community
There is a thriving business community. Shams organises regular seminars, networking events and conferences. Entrepreneurs can meet, share ideas and collaborate. It also provides opportunities to meet new clients.
8. Free education
Shams provides media-focused education and training. Industry experts from around the world regularly run seminars and training sessions at Shams where media professionals can go to hone their skills.
9. Support services
Extensive support services are offered in the free zone, from technical help to guidance on running a business. Shams also helps new customers by featuring them on its website and social media pages.
10. Strategic location
The location is easily reached from both Sharjah and Dubai international airports.
Now you know why Shams Free Zone is the right place to set up your business, let’s look at how to do this.
Setting up in Shams Free Zone
The steps to take in setting up your business are:
Choose your business activity
Decide on your company name
Complete and file your registration paperwork with the relevant authorities
Apply for your business license
Open a bank account
Apply for any visas that may be required
First, you must meet with Shams officials to make your initial licence application. The free zone issues licenses for:
Once licenced, you’re then required to sign the official memorandum and submit passport copy photos.
Your passport photos must meet the UAE’s immigration criteria – coloured shirt against a white background; no glasses, visible piercings or jewellery; no teeth showing or hair covering the face.
As well as applying for employee visas, it’s very straightforward to sponsor your dependants for their visa applications.
Whether you require a visa for a spouse, child, maid or driver, the process consists of four straightforward stages:
- Entry permit
- Status adjustment
- A medical fitness test
- Emirates ID registration and visa stamping
Once you’ve received your licence and established your business in Shams Free Zone, you’re ready to set up your corporate bank account. The application process is quick and simple.
Virtuzone has an in-house banking consultant who can advise you on the best bank to suit your needs – and can even arrange meetings for you, should you wish.
Once you have completed these steps, you’re ready to trade.
The specifics of this process will depend on the type of licence you’re applying for and the kind of business you wish to run. That’s why before starting any of these steps, the first port of call should always be to a company setup expert who will guide you through every part of the process, ultimately ensuring the entire application requires little more than a few hours of your time.
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