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SHAMS Free Zone

SHAMS Company Formation. Business Setup in Sharjah Media City Free Zone, the UAE

SHAMS Free Zone - Freezone Logo

Get the details about company formation in SHAMS Free Zone

Phone number: +971 (4) 425 6062

Office hours: Sunday - Thursday from 9-00 to 17-30

  1. Advantages of company setup in SHAMS free zone
  2. Types of business licenses for business setup in Sharjah Media City
  3. Company registration in Sharjah Media City
  4. Available infrastructure in Sharjah Media City (SHAMS)

In a country known for innovations and business, the Emirate of Sharjah is considered to be the center of history and cultural heritage. Sharjah is located between Asia, Europe and Africa, and its strategic location enables the access to developing markets with more than 3 billion people. The Emirate provides a safe and progressive environment for registering companies, offers foreign investors such advantages as the absence of corporate tax and no restrictions on the return of capital and the withdrawal of profits.

Sharjah media city free zone (SHAMS) is the youngest free zone in the UAE. It was founded in January 2017, and is intended to accelerate the growth of the media business and innovative start-ups. Sharjah does not want to stay behind Dubai in terms of innovation, so local authorities plan to make the Emirate a world-class media center as an incubator for innovative development and services, while in Sharjah media city free zone they offer a wide range of opportunities for those who are planning to start their own business in the UAE.

The mission of Sharjah Media City is to make creative entrepreneurship accessible to all start-up start-ups, small and medium-sized companies and those seeking to develop their business both locally and globally. SHAMS is an initiative that connects talented people. This zone offers intelligent innovative services, as well as an integrated approach focused on the community of the zone.

Sharjah media city free zone location in Sharjah city (Google maps)

Fig. 1 – Sharjah media city free zone location in Sharjah city (Google maps)

The up-to-date information about the conditions for registering a company in the free zone can be found on their official website: Sharjah Media City (SHAMS).

Advantages of company setup in SHAMS free zone

Here is a list of the main advantages of company formation in Sharjah Media City zone:

  • No corporate, personal and income tax. Just like other free zones in the UAE, SHAMS FTZ has a special tax regime.
  • No restrictions on repatriation of capital. An entrepreneur can easily withdraw all his profits. There is no currency control in the country.
  • The company may be 100% owned by a foreigner. Unlike UAE mainland, a foreign citizen can fully own his business in the free zone (the rest of the territory requires the participation of a local partner).
  • One license gives the right to engage in several activities at once. A license of a certain type gives the right to engage in several activities of this group. The license can be extended for an additional fee.
  • Shareholders are not required to be physically present in the UAE to register a new company. Most of the company registration processes in SHAMS can be completed online. Personal presence is required only for signing papers – it’s enough to visit the country for one day.
  • Quick and easy registration. All company documents are issued within 4-5 days. The minimum cost of registering a company starts from 8,000 dirhams. The process of forming a company is simple and quick, and cheap as well. A few thousand dollars are enough for a simple startup.
  • The possibility of obtaining a resident visa. Opening a company in the free zone of Sharjah media city entitles its owners and their families to obtain resident visas.
  • Good infrastructure. The SHAMS Free Zone is located close to the Sharjah and Dubai Airports.

As you can see, there are quite a few reasons to consider the possibility of opening a company in SHAMS free zone.

Types of business licenses for business setup in Sharjah Media City

In order to get the right to work in the free zone, a company must obtain a license of the appropriate type. A SHAMS business license is a document that allows a company to conduct certain activities in the Sharjah Media City free zone. There are several types of activities in SHAMS available.

  • Service license. The service license permits the provision of services as the main purpose of the activity; it also permits the use of goods for the provision of these services. You will need a service license to provide services in which no goods are involved at all, or if you provide services when the main purpose is services, although goods are involved, for example, it may be a restaurant activity.
  • Trading license. The trading license allows you to sell products inside Sharjah Media City or import and export products. The trading license allows the movement of goods, wholesale and retail sale of goods and the provision of services related to the sale of these goods. This license will be required if you need a customs code, or if you are importing or exporting goods, or if you are selling goods.
  • Industrial license. The industrial license allows to produce, process, transform and manufacture goods.
  • License for holding activity. This license allows you to own assets or shares in other companies. You will need a license to control another company, property such as real estate, patents, trademarks, shares, and other assets.

The cost of obtaining a license and the cost of basic packages are provided in the table.

Table 1 - Cost of packages of business licenses


Service license

Trading license

Holding license

Industrial license

1 year

AED 11,500

AED 11,500

AED 11,500

AED 16,500

2 years

AED 20,700

AED 20,700

AED 16,500

AED 29,700

3 years


AED 29,325

AED 29,700

AED 42,075

Additional class

AED 2,000

Ghaya package

AED 4,000

Social media influencer package

AED 13,000

In order to estimate the potential costs of running a business in the free zone of Sharjah media city, you can use the online cost calculator.

Company registration in Sharjah Media City

In Sharjah media city free zone, you can register a limited liability company (LLC) or a branch.

A limited liability company (LLC) is a corporate structure, a separate independent legal entity. The main advantage of LLC is that the obligations of the company arising from the contract or otherwise are the obligations of the company and not the personal obligations of the shareholders. Company assets are owned by the company and are not personal assets of shareholders.

A branch is a structure owned by an existing parent company. All profits, revenues, receipts, and assets of the branch are the profits, revenues, receipts and assets of the parent company. All expenses, debts and other obligations of the branch are expenses, expenses, debts and other obligations of the parent company.

A foreign investor who plans to start a business in Sharjah Media City free zone must first compile a list of documents:

  • Application form for company registration.
  • Copy of passport pages (for individuals);
  • A copy of the page with a stamp on the entry/copy of the residence visa of the UAE (for individuals);
  • Two passport size photos (for individuals).
  • Certificate of registration of the parent company (for legal entities);
  • Certificate of “Good Standing” (for legal entities);
  • Copy of the Memorandum of Association (for legal entities);
  • A copy of the Resolution of the Board of the parent company (for legal entities);
  • Documents of authorized persons (for legal entities);

Documents must be translated and notarized.

Available infrastructure in Sharjah Media City (SHAMS)

Rental services at Sharjah Media City are designed to serve customers and meet their needs and requirements for mandatory office space.

The Shared Workplace proposed by this zone provides a joint working environment, which is an excellent solution for startups that need to interact with other entrepreneurs.

In addition to the Shared Workplace, this zone also provides Dedicated Workplaces, Shared Offices, Dedicated Offices, and Creative Blocks. Wi-Fi is provided in each of the options.

  • Shared Workplace. A Shared Workplace is a common space shared between like-minded people. This option is ideal for today's entrepreneurs who prefer to choose flexible work areas and opportunities. The workplace is modern and practical, which creates a pleasant working environment.
  • Dedicated Workplace. The dedicated workplace is an individually dedicated workplace, which is located next to the workplaces of other like-minded people.
  • Shared Office. Shared Office provides a more private environment than a workplace.
  • Dedicated Office. A Dedicated Office is a lockable office space used on an individual basis. The size of office space varies and can accommodate as one table, and several tables.
  • Creative Blocks. Creative blocks are designed to stimulate mental work and innovation. Economical and ergonomic designs create a unique working environment for any company and professionals who want to grow and develop.

Objects will include autonomous offices, office studios, exhibition halls, and public areas.

You can save your time and effort if you use the services of a consulting company. Experts who are involved in starting a business in the free zone will help you to go all the way of registering a company and solve a number of important issues, such as opening an account, obtaining a visa, etc.

If you want to start your business in the free zone of Sharjah Media City (SHAMS) and do not know where to start, contact our consultants, we will be glad to assist you in this matter.

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SHAMS Free Zone

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