Sharjah is known for its blend of diversity. It is known for being a populous city. It is also the third largest emirate in the UAE. Its location is strategic as it is on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf which is on the Arabian Peninsula. This emirate performs important functions with other emirates in the areas of military, the law, political and economic. It is a hub for those who love nature, and it’s a favorite tourist destination too. It is a free-trade zone and it is where the Sharjah International Airport is located.
The SAIF Zone
The Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone) is the first ISO certified airport free zone established in 1955 with 55 companies in it. Today it is home to 6,500 companies and it is known to be the most dynamic free zone whose aim is excellence. This free zone offers multiple opportunities for varying startups and business entities. It operates on the principle of business versatility. SAIF zone can provide entrepreneurs with all the business facilities without the inclusion of taxes.
Some of the sectors that are catered to by SAIF Zone are the following: perfumes, cosmetics, business consultancy services, assembly of hubs of various machinery parts, oil and gas services, marketing services, third-party logistics services, accounting services, freight forwarding services, and moreetc.
Business Types Incorporated in the Sharjah Free Zone
There are many business types that can be formed within the SAIF Zone:
1) Free Zone Company (FZC)
It requires a minimum of two people to operate the business. The maximum number is 5 but it can be extended up to 7 but it requires approval by the SAIF Zone authority. The minimum capital requirement is AED 150,000.
2) Branch of a UAE Company
A company that has been established and incorporated in any area of the UAE. It has the flexibility to extend its branch within the SAIF Zone. The name of the branch will be the same as the parent company.
3) Free Zone Establishment (FZE)
To establish an FZE in the SAIF Zone, a minimum of two people is required. One shareholder is required and a minimum capital of AED 150,000.
4) Branch of a Foreign Company
Any company whose roots are in a foreign country has the capacity to incorporate their branch office in the SAIF Zone. The branch company will have the same name as the parent company.
Benefits of Setting Up a Company in SAIF Zone
Setting up a company in the SAIF Zone has several benefits:
- 100 percent foreign ownership
- Flexibility on labor accommodation on site
- Strategic location which is in the middle of the east and west
- Lease period may reach up to 25 years
- No tax
- No restrictions in foreign employment
- Continuous employment support, easy sponsorship, and visa for the entire staff
- Access to the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf ports
Requirements and Licenses for Establishing a Company in the SAIF Zone
To be able to conduct business activities, companies are required to obtain different licenses depending on the business activities to be done:
This is intended for the export, import, consolidation, and distribution of products.
- Service License
This is offered to professionals for them to carry out their profession and for them to, later on, establish their own company.
This is meant for the import of raw materials, assembling, manufacturing, and export of finished products.
This is for the conduct of multiple business-related activities.
How to Register in the SAIF Zone
To register a company in the SAIF Zone, it requires licensing and leasing. There are three major steps to undergo:
- Submit the required documents along with the basic outline of the project to the sales and marketing department.
- Once the approval letter is received, the amount of lease has to be paid and the agreement has to be signed too.
- Collect the business license as well as the lease agreement and keys needed for the facilities.
The documents that are required for incorporating a company in the SAIF Zone are the following:
- Summary of the project
- AOA or Articles of Association
- Bank statement for the most recent 3 months.
- Certificate of registration/incorporation
- Filled out application form
- Copies of passports of owners and managers
- Board resolution for opening a branch within the SAIF Zone
- MOA or Memorandum of Association
Some of the modern facilities found in the SAIF Zone to enhance efficiency and effectiveness are the following:
- Labor accommodation
- Cutting-edge office spaces
- Bunker facilities
- Temporary storage facilities