START BUSINESS IN UAE FREE ZONES

SAIF - Sharjah Airport Free Zone

Overview of SAIF

Sharjah Airport Free Zone (SAIF) is situated right next to Sharjah International Airport.

It is one of the oldest UAE zones with most developed infrastructure: offices, warehouses and land can be leased for any business. It was formed in 1995 and hosts almost 7000 companies now.

SAIF’s location perfectly suits trading, manufacturing and logistics companies who consider a business setup in UAE for a reasonable budget.

If you are looking for business setup services in Dubai, it is worth checking SAIF as a possible option.

Wide range of offices, warehouses and land 

Sharjah Airport International Free Zone is one of very few zones which offers ready-to-move facilities.

Its warehouses are equipped with fitted office with air conditioning, pantry and kitchen. Your investments into the fit out of a warehouse will be minimal.

Size of warehouses starts with 125 sq meters, out of which 22 sq meters are taken by the office space.

There are 2 types of offices in SAIF zone authority:

  • Fitted out, air conditioned and furnished
  • Unfurnished offices with included utility costs

Apart from that, labour accommodation and temporary warehouses are available.

SAIF facilities are likely to suit any company, considering business setup in Sharjah.

Activities

The 3 major categories of licenses in Sharjah Airport Free Zone include:

  1. Trading 
  2. Service 
  3. Industrial 

Your license can belong only to one of these categories. If you want to mix them, additional license will have to be purchased.

Sharjah airport SAIF zone has a very broad business activity list. It even has some hard to get service activities, such as "Investment of own funds".

Activities also allow storage and consolidation of the products specified in your license, as well as manufacturing and assembling of your products.

SAIF does not share its activity list, so all the business activities availability needs to be checked. The free zone allows to have multiple activities in the license for your company formation in Sharjah, but if they are not related, additional fee will apply.

Sharjah Free Zone company setup costs 

The best SAIF offers currently are:

  1. Trading or services license for 13,500 AED. 
  2. General trading / aviation / e-commerce / multiple activities license for 21,000 AED.

These packages are eligible for 3 resident visas and have a small office as a part of the package.

If you are planning to rent a bigger facility, you will pay license fee + the rent of the office or warehouse. The prices will be competitive to Sharjah LLC company formation cost, however the facilities in the Mainland are usually cheaper than in the free zones.

Visa fees and other immigration fees are paid separately.

Company Setup

Sharjah free zone company formation in SAIF can be done personally by company owners or by Power of Attorney holders.

License is issued instantly on the day of application.

The required documents and information for the incorporation in Sharjah Airport Free Zone:

  1. Passport
  2. Passport size photo
  3. Residential address, phone number and email of the owner

The documents issued by SAIF after company registration include:

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • License
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Investment Service Agreement
  • Share Certificate
  • Lease agreement

Company registration in this free zone can be done by business setup consultants in Sharjah or in Dubai.

SAIF free zone visa cost

Company formation is Sharjah SAIF usually entails resident visa opening.

The visa of the company owner is valid for 3 years, the visa of the employee 2 years.

SAIF fees. AED:

 SAIF feesMedical checkupEmirates ID
Owner/Investor

Normal (8-10 days) 3,840

Urgent (3-4 days) 4,040

690370
Employee

Normal (8-10 days) 3,240

Urgent (3-4 days) 3,440

690270

In case you applied for a resident visa while being on a tourist visa, a procedure of status change will apply. It costs 860 AED or 1010 AED on urgent basis.

Trade License Renewal

Renewal of Sharjah Airport Free Zone company can be done without a personal visit of the company owners. It takes 1 day.

The free zone requires to make the payment and sign renewed lease agreement in order to process the renewal.

Amendments 

Amendments of any company in SAIF can be done only by the shareholders or Power of Attorney holders.

Some standard amendments with the costs:

  • Shares transfer 10,000 AED
  • Adding/removing Director 2,000 AED
  • Change of Manager 2,000 AED
  • Change of financial year 500 AED

Liquidation

Company liquidation in SAIF requires submission of a few documents:

  • Board Resolution 
  • Clearance from Customs
  • Audit report
  • Visa status report from SAIF immigration department
  • Clearance from facilities management department of SAIF

The cost of the cancellation is 5,500 AED including publication of a newspaper notice.

UAE business setup consultant opinion

In light of recent substance requirements introduced by the UAE government, SAIF becomes an attractive place. Here you can get a company with an office space for a more than reasonable fee.

Apart from that, resident visa slots per company are more than in similar zones. Another way of getting a large number of visas per company is Fujairah free zone company setup. In case you do purely international business and do not need UAE resident visas, you may also look at offshore company formation in Dubai.

BENEFITS OF SAIF FREE ZONE COMPANY

  • Located next to Sharjah airport - easy logistics
  • Wide range of Industrial activities
  • The company can be registered in 1 day
  • Small office facilities available

START YOUR BUSINESS IN SAIF TODAY

TRADING AND SERVICE LICENSE COSTS IN SAIF FREE ZONE

UP TO 5 VISAS COMPANY

LICENSE TYPE VISAS INCLUDED TOTAL COST
Trading / Services license + Flexi desk no visa AED 27,999 $7,700 download breakdown
Trading / Services license + Flexi desk 1 visa AED 35,522 $9,750 download breakdown
Trading / Services license + Flexi desk 2 visas AED 40,944 $11,250 download breakdown
Trading / Services license + Flexi desk 3 visas AED 46,367 $12,750 download breakdown
Trading / Services license + Office 4 visas AED 56,289 $15,450 download breakdown
Trading / Services license + Office 5 visas AED 61,711 $16,950 download breakdown

GENERAL TRADING / OIL&GAS / INVESTMENT LICENCE COST IN SAIF FREE ZONE

UP TO 5 VISAS COMPANY

LICENSE TYPE VISAS INCLUDED TOTAL COST
General trading / Oil&Gas / Investment licence + Flexi desk no visa AED 35,499 $9,750 download breakdown
General trading / Oil&Gas / Investment licence + Flexi desk 1 visa AED 43,022 $11,800 download breakdown
General trading / Oil&Gas / Investment licence + Flexi desk 2 visas AED 48,444 $13,300 download breakdown
General trading / Oil&Gas / Investment licence + Flexi desk 3 visas AED 53,867 $14,800 download breakdown
General trading / Oil&Gas / Investment licence + Office 4 visas AED 63,789 $17,500 download breakdown
General trading / Oil&Gas / Investment licence + Office 5 visas AED 69,212 $19,000 download breakdown

DOCUMENTS FOR SAIF FREE ZONE SETUP

DOCUMENTS

PROCEDURE

INDIVIDUAL SHAREHOLDER

  • - Passport
  • - Passport size photo
  • - NOC from sponsor for UAE visa holders
  • 1 day- Visit SAIF for company registration
  • 1-3 week- Establishment card
  • 1 week- Entry permit
  • 1 day- Medical Check-Up and Emirates ID
  • 4 days- Visa stamping

Top 10 questions about SAIF free zone company

  • If l register a company in a free zone outside of Dubai, can l live and have a bank account in Dubai?

    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.

  • Can I open a bank account remotely?

    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.

  • Do banks give debit and credit cards or loans?

    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.

  • Can a free zone company hold its offices outside the free zone?

    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.

  • Why do I need a flexi desk or office?

    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.

  • Do we have to pay VAT if our company is registered in the Free Zone?

    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.

  • Should I pay any other TAX?

    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.

  • Why will a free zone company suit me better than an offshore or a mainland entity?

    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.

  • Can you guarantee opening of a bank account?

    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.

  • Should I renew my company? When? How much does it cost?

    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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