Shams Free Zone (Sharjah Media City)

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Shams Free Zone

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About Sharjah Media City (Shams Free Zone)

Shams Free Zone, aka Sharjah Media City is located just five minutes from Sharjah International Airport and 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport.

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.

ON-SITE SERVICES

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.

STRATEGIC LOCATION

Shams is located just off the E88 and E611 highways, within reach of two major international airports.

Business Activities

Shams Free Zone (Sharjah Media City) welcomes a range of financial and professional business activities. Here are some of the most popular options:

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Insurance Services

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Information Services

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Scientific Research and Development

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Advertising

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Trading

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Education

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Travel Agencies

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Sports

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Bookkeeping and Auditing

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Broadcasting

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Wholesale

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HR

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Publishing

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 license 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 license.

The 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)
  • e-commerce
  • Film production/post production
  • Graphic design
  • Investment consultancy
  • Business/project management consultancy
  • Media
  • Marketing

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 license application. The free zone issues licenses for:

  • Trading
  • Industrial
  • Service
  • Holding

Once licensed, 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.

Free zone staff can advise on the best bank to suit your needs – and can even arrange meetings in-branch 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.