SHAMS is located in Sharjah - the nearest Emirate to Dubai. It is known as the Media Free Zone, but you shouldn’t think that all business activities are related only to Media sector. In fact, activity list is very broad and includes trading, professional services, holding and other activities.
Company registration can be done fully remotely - no matter if you are in UAE or abroad, your company can be registered in a week’s time. The documents you need to provide are just the passport copy plus some personal details such as phone number and email.
SHAMS allows the youngest age of the company shareholders - you can own a business starting from the age of 19. This is a great benefit not available in any other Free Zones. Company employees can be as young as 18 years old, which is also quite unusual in comparison to other Free Zones.
SHAMS has one of the most flexible system of visas allocation - you can have a company eligible from zero up to 6 visas for very reasonable costs. On top of that, you can upgrade your package at any time.
Company renewal just like the setup can be done completely remotely. Audit reports are not required by the authority.
All the documents of the companies are electronic - you can print them out anywhere and may not worry about losing the originals. The documents can be always verified through SHAMS web-site to make sure they are authentic.
When you apply for a resident visa through SHAMS, you need to get a health insurance or sign an undertaking letter that you are intending to do it within the next 10 months. One more thing worth mentioning - if you are a woman, who needs to get resident visa and sponsor dependents (children or husband), we would not recommend Sharjah, because you may face serious difficulties being a female sponsor (Sharjah is quite a conservative Emirate).
In conclusion, we would say that SHAMS is a great option for start-ups and developing businesses - you most probably will be able to find a business activity suitable to your needs and be satisfied with the costs and requirements.
TRADING AND SERVICE LICENSE COSTS IN SHAMS FREE ZONE
UP TO 6 VISAS COMPANY
|LICENSE TYPE||VISAS INCLUDED||TOTAL COST|
|Trading / Service license + Flexi desk||no visa||AED 21,475 $5,900||download breakdown|
|Trading / Service license + Flexi desk||1 visa||AED 32,408 $8,900||download breakdown|
|Trading / Service license + Flexi desk||2 visas||AED 39,690 $10,900||download breakdown|
|Trading / Service license + Flexi desk||3 visas||AED 46,973 $12,90||download breakdown|
|Trading / Service license + Flexi desk||4 visas||AED 54,255 $14,900||download breakdown|
|Trading / Service license + Flexi desk||5 visas||AED 61,538 $16,900||download breakdown|
|Trading / Service license + Flexi desk||6 visas||AED 68,820 $18,900||download breakdown|
GENERAL TRADING LICENCE COSTS IN SHAMS FREE ZONE
UP TO 6 VISAS COMPANY
|LICENSE TYPE||VISAS INCLUDED||TOTAL COST|
|General Trading + Flexi Desk||no visa||AED 26,475 $7,300||download breakdown|
|General Trading + Flexi Desk||1 visa||AED 37,408 $10,250||download breakdown|
|General Trading + Flexi Desk||2 visas||AED 44,690 $12,250||download breakdown|
|General Trading + Flexi Desk||3 visas||AED 51,973 $14,250||download breakdown|
|General Trading + Flexi Desk||4 visas||AED 59,255 $16,250||download breakdown|
|General Trading + Flexi Desk||5 visas||AED 66,538 $18,250||download breakdown|
|General Trading + Flexi Desk||6 visas||AED 73,820 $20,250||download breakdown|
DOCUMENTS FOR SHAMS FREE ZONE COMPANY SETUP
Yes, you can have a company registered outside Dubai, but reside in Dubai or any other Emirate. You do not have to live in the same Emirate where your visa belongs to. You can also have a bank account in a Dubai branch of any UAE bank of your choice.
No, you have to visit UAE personally. It is a requirement of a UAE Central bank which all local banks have to follow. Personal visit is required to make sure that the client is known by the bank.
Normally you can get a debit card for your newly opened company if there is only one shareholder. You can also have a credit card, but it will be given against a fixed deposit. As for the loan, it is possible to get it, but you need to show company operations and profits to the bank. Upon checking your company's turnovers and profits, a bank may approve a loan. We recommend applying for it at least after one year of company's operations.
Officially an office of a free zone company has to be located only within the free zone where this company was registered. If you need an office in Dubai, you have an option to rent a space in a Business center and use it either a few times per month or daily, depending on the package that you choose. However, the free zone minimum required space (flexi desk) cannot be cancelled.
A flexi desk is an obligatory requirement for any company eligible for resident visas. UAE government obliges to have it because it's the minimum physical office space, that a company who has any individual under its visa must have. Apart from that, flexi desk is helpful for bank account opening. The compliance department of the banks needs to see that a company has some kind of office or at least a small physical seat, where it can be working from.
VAT obligations of the company depend not only on the place of its registration, but on the place where its business takes place. To start with, VAT comes into picture once your taxable turnover reaches 375 000 AED. Taxable turnover means the turnover which was done in the UAE. If your company is registered in a Free Zone, but the trading takes place abroad (for example you sell goods from India to Africa), that turnover is not considered taxable, because the transactions are taking place out of UAE. It means that you do not have to pay VAT. But if you have a free zone company and import goods to UAE, you have to add 5% VAT to your Invoices and pay VAT. If your company is registered in a designated free and sells the goods to another designated free zone or within the same zone, VAT does not appear.
UAE is free from income tax and corporate tax. It has only imported tax 5% for the goods that you bring into the country and VAT 5% for the trading or service transactions that happened in UAE.
Everything depends on your business model and requirements, but a free zone setup is the most suitable for the majority of the business needs. Free Zone company has 100% foreign ownership unlike mainland where you need a local partner or agent, it can be eligible for resident visas, allows doing business both in and out of UAE, more favorable by the banks in comparison to offshore companies, can have a flexi desk space instead of an executive office like in mainland companies. Free Zone is a good way to start a business for reasonable fees and without unwanted obligations.
We do our best when we setup your company in such a way that would make account opening easier for you. Knowing your background and your business model, we can give you our estimation about the chances of successful account opening. The approval of the account fully depends on the bank. Each case goes to a few departments of the bank where it has to be approved before the account gets opened. If the bank has any questions or needs clarifications, it will contact you directly with the inquiries. The more clear picture about your business you give to the bank, the higher your chances of account opening are. Being a consultancy company, we cannot guarantee opening of a bank account, because it depends on the factors which do not depend on us. However, we do our best to prepare you and your company for smooth and fast account opening.
Yes, the company should be renewed annually. The cost of the renewal is usually less than the setup cost. It depends on your company package. You can get the price by downloading the Estimate from this page. Renewal does not require personal presence of the owner and can be done by your agent. After company renewal, the new license has to be shown to the bank in order to extend the bank account. It is always included into our renewal service.
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