How to start a business in Shams Free Zone


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The UAE’s free zones are famed around the world for offering incredible benefits to entrepreneurs. Most give you 100% company ownership, 100% customs tax exemption, no currency restrictions, and repatriation freedoms for capital and profits. Many also offer rapid company setup, no paid-up share capital, and a range of coworking and premises options.

But they are not all the same. Each also has its own selection of advantages not found elsewhere. In this article, we’re going to look at one, SHAMS Free Zone, in the emirate of Sharjah. We’ll cover the following topics:

  • What is SHAMS Free Zone?
  • Cost of starting a business in SHAMS Free Zone
  • Steps to obtain a SHAMS Free Zone License
  • SHAMS Free Zone Review
  • Activities in SHAMS Free Zone
  • Why choose Set Hub?

What is SHAMS Free Zone?

Sharjah Media City, also known as SHAMS Free Zone, was launched in 2017 as a hub for media and other creative business to thrive in the UAE and beyond. It has since expanded its scope to welcome a wide range of business activities across media, services, consultancy, wholesale and retail.

SHAMS is located in Sharjah, an emirate just 30 minutes east of Dubai. Sharjah is bordered by six of the seven emirates that make up the UAE and served by three seaports across the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean. It is also home to Sharjah International Airport which has direct links to the wider Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.

SHAMS Free Zone incorporates two company types, LLCs and branches, and issues the following trade licenses:

Service License – allows for production, re-production, transformation and distribution of services.

Trading License – permits the movement, wholesale and retail selling of goods within SHAMS or importing and exporting of goods elsewhere.

Industrial License – allows for production, re-production, transformation and manufacturing of goods.

Cost of starting a business in SHAMS Free Zone

The cost of setting up a business at SHAMS for one activity start in the region of AED 10,000 to AED 12,000. Inclusive of one visa and use of the free zones shared desk facilities, this price increases to around AED 14,000 to AED 16,000, depending on the business activity.

The same license package inclusive of five business activities costs in the region of AED 20,000 to AED 23,000.

As the cost of starting a business in SHAMS free zone depends on multiple factors such as your company type and activities, it’s best to get in touch with Set Hub for a personalised quotation.

Steps to obtain a SHAMS Free Zone License

With the help of the expert team at Set Hub, setting up at SHAMS is both fast and straightforward. Once we know a little about you and your business, we’ll guide you through the following five-step process.

Step 1 – Choosing your company name

There are a few naming conventions to keep in mind here in the UAE. You should avoid any offensive or blasphemous language. Avoid names of well-known organisations and avoid abbreviations if naming your company after yourself – i.e., Dave Mann Consulting, rather than D Mann Consulting.

Step 2 – Choosing your business type and activities

After a brief consultation we will be able to advise on the company setup type and business activities most suited to your needs.

Step 3 – Submit application and required documents

At this stage, we will help you complete your SHAMS application and assemble the required documentation to ensure all is in order.

Step 4 – Make payment

Once you have paid the required fees, you will receive a payment confirmation and license processing timeline.

Step 5 – Start trading

As soon as you receive your company documents via email, you are ready to start trading in SHAMS Free Zone. This is usually within four hours of cleared payment.

SHAMS Free Zone Review

Many SHAMS Free Zone reviews praise it for its incredible business infrastructure that puts it on a par with all international standards. The free zone opens its doors to the very best talent from around the world, attracted by its cost-effective solutions – designed for SMEs, freelancers and established multinationals alike.

When you set up at SHAMS, you benefit from fast and cost-effective business setup, 0% corporate and personal income tax, 100% ownership, allocation of up to six visas with a shared desk facility and the freedom to carry out multiple business activities under a single license.

SHAMS Free Zone also offers a wide range of business facilities such as wi-fi access, printers, phones and meeting rooms. You can also choose from four working environments:

  • A shared desk in a common space
  • A dedicated desk in a shared space but assigned for your use only
  • A shared office allowing you to work side by side with other SHAMS entrepreneurs and businesses
  • A dedicated and lockable office exclusively for the use of your business

Activities in SHAMS Free Zone

SHAMS media activities span printing and reproduction, programming, telecommunications, and creative, arts and entertainment activities.

It is also open to a range of services activities, including support consultancy, holding companies, support for transportation activities, insurance and reinsurance, legal and accounting, and real estate.

Finally, SHAMS wholesale and retail activities include general trading, sale of food and beverages, sale of household goods, and sale via stalls and markets.

Why choose Set Hub?

When you work with Set Hub, business setup in SHAMS Free Zone is fast, affordable and straightforward. In no time at all, you can take advantage of working from this incredible free zone in the heart of Sharjah – the UAE’s industrial hub.

Set Hub is proud of giving new and relocating businesses the best possible start to life out here in the UAE. We will always take the time to get to know you and your business ideas before advising on the most suitable pathway to successful company setup.

Our dedicated team of experts in UAE company formation are extremely passionate about what we do and can’t wait to help you bring your dreams of business ownership to life.

We’re on hand to help with all trade license applications and business administration, including bank account opening, visas, and assistance with relocating. Our service does not stop after startup either, we’re always by your side to support you as your business grows.

If you’re ready to get started, get in touch with our expert team today on 800 SETHUB (738482), email [email protected], or pop in and visit us at our offices in Dubai and Fujairah.