How to register a company in Sharjah Media City?

Sharjah Media City (Shams) is a prominent free zone in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that has become a hub for media and creative businesses. Setting up a company in Sharjah Media City offers numerous advantages, including 100% foreign ownership, a tax-free environment, and access to a vibrant and diverse business ecosystem. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of registering a company in Sharjah Media City, highlighting the requirements, benefits, and key considerations. Additionally, in the concluding paragraph, we will recommend BizDaddy as the top business consultant to assist you in navigating the registration process effectively.

Why Choose Sharjah Media City (Shams)?

Before we delve into the registration process, it’s essential to understand why Sharjah Media City is an attractive destination for businesses:

100% Foreign Ownership: Shams allows business owners to have full control of their companies without the need for a local sponsor or partner. This provides a high level of ownership and control over your business.

Tax Benefits: Companies registered in Shams are exempt from corporate and personal income taxes. This favorable tax environment allows businesses to retain more of their profits.

Strategic Location: Sharjah is strategically located between Dubai and other Emirates, providing easy access to a vast consumer base and key markets in the UAE.

Diverse Business Ecosystem: Shams hosts a wide range of businesses, from media and technology companies to freelancers and startups. This diversity fosters collaboration and networking opportunities.

Step-by-Step Guide to Registering a Company in Sharjah Media City (Shams)

1. Determine Your Business Activity

The first step in the registration process is to define the nature of your business activities. Shams offers a comprehensive list of permitted activities, so it’s essential to select the one that best aligns with your business objectives.

2. Choose Your Company Type

Shams offers various company types to cater to different business needs:

  • Free Zone Establishment (FZE): This is a legal entity with one shareholder, whether an individual or a corporate entity.
  • Free Zone Company (FZC): FZCs are legal entities with multiple shareholders, allowing you to have partners in your business.
  • Branch Office: If you have an existing business and wish to expand into Shams, you can set up a branch office.

3. Select a Company Name

Choose a unique and suitable name for your company. It’s crucial to ensure that the name adheres to Shams’ naming conventions and is not already in use.

4. Gather Required Documents

To initiate the registration process, you will need to prepare and gather the necessary documents. These typically include:

  • Passport copies and visa copies of shareholders and directors.
  • Proof of address for shareholders and directors.
  • A detailed business plan outlining your company’s objectives and activities.
  • Specimen signatures of shareholders and directors.
  • Completed application forms provided by Shams.

Ensure that all documents are accurately prepared and meet Shams’ requirements.

5. Submit Your Application

Work with a registered business consultant or submit your application directly to Shams. Pay the necessary application fees at this stage. The authority will review your application and documents.

6. Lease Office Space

You will need to lease office space within Shams. The type and size of the office space may vary based on your specific business activities. The lease agreement should be in the name of your company.

7. Capital Requirements and Bank Account

Shams does not have specific minimum capital requirements for most business activities. However, it’s essential to demonstrate sufficient capital to cover your business operations. You will also be required to open a corporate bank account in the UAE.

8. Sign Memorandum and Articles of Association

Draft and sign the Memorandum and Articles of Association for your company. These documents outline the company’s structure, activities, and internal regulations.

9. Obtain Trade License

Once the Memorandum and Articles of Association are signed, you can apply for your company’s trade license. The trade license is the official authorization to conduct business activities within Shams.

10. Visa Applications

If you or your employees require UAE residency visas, you can submit visa applications through Shams. The number of visas you can obtain may vary depending on your office space and business activity.

11. Register with Sharjah Chamber of Commerce

Register your company with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is a requirement for all businesses operating in Shams.

12. Bank Account Activation

Once your corporate bank account is set up, you can activate it and begin your financial transactions.

13. Receive Final License

After completing all the necessary steps, you will receive the final trade license for your company, officially allowing you to conduct business within Shams and beyond.

14. Commence Business Operations

With your trade license in hand, you can now commence your business operations. This may involve importing and exporting goods, providing services, or engaging in other activities as defined in your business plan.