Company Formation in the SHAMS Free Zone in 2024-25: Full Guide

In this blogpost, you will know about the procedure & benefits for company formation in the SHAMS free zone in 2024-25. Read the complete article for more.


    Note:This form is not for job seekers or salary employees.

    *Not valid for Local Residents/Companies.

    Table of Contents

    SHAMS Free Zone

    Established in 2017, Sharjah Media City (SHAMS) has swiftly ascended to prominence as a beacon of opportunity within the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Renowned for its cost-effective company registration solutions, SHAMS has emerged as a dynamic nucleus for businesses operating in the media sector.

    Distinguished by its strategic focus on fostering the growth of media and creative enterprises, SHAMS offers a comprehensive ecosystem tailored to their unique needs. Beyond facilitating company setup, SHAMS actively cultivates synergistic relationships among its diverse array of businesses. This collaborative ethos not only nurtures individual growth but also fuels the collective prosperity of the entire free zone.

    By championing innovation and collaboration, SHAMS exemplifies a forward-thinking approach to business development in the UAE. Through its strategic initiatives and supportive infrastructure, SHAMS empowers media and creative ventures to thrive in an increasingly competitive global landscape.

    Types of Business Structure in the SHAMS Free Zone

    • Free Zone Company (FZC): A Free Zone Company in SHAMS allows entrepreneurs to establish a distinct legal entity within the free zone. FZCs can be owned entirely by non-UAE nationals and enjoy full repatriation of profits and capital.
    • Branch Office: For existing companies looking to expand their operations into SHAMS, establishing a branch office is a viable option. Branch offices operate as an extension of the parent company, enabling them to conduct business within the free zone while retaining their original identity.
    • Freelancer Permit: Tailored for individual professionals such as freelancers, consultants, and creatives, the Freelancer Permit in SHAMS provides a platform to operate as a sole proprietor. This flexible option allows freelancers to capitalize on the benefits of SHAMS without the complexities of establishing a full-fledged company.
    • Strategic Business Units (SBUs): SHAMS also offers the option of establishing Strategic Business Units, which are specialized entities designed to cater to specific industry verticals or niche markets. SBUs benefit from dedicated support services and targeted resources tailored to their unique business requirements.
    • Holding Company: Entrepreneurs seeking to establish a holding structure for their diverse business interests can opt for a Holding Company setup in SHAMS. This structure enables the consolidation of assets and investments under a single entity, providing strategic advantages such as tax optimization and centralized management.

    Why Setup a Company in the SHAMS Free Zone?

    • 100% Foreign Ownership
    • Cost-Effective
    • Easy & Quick Incorporation Process
    • Advanced Infrastructure
    • Industry-Specific
    • Tax Friendly
    • Worldwide Connectivity
    • Vast Activity list

    Procedure for Setting up a Company in SHAMS Free Zone

    1. Define your Business Activity: Identify the specific area your business will operate in. SHAMS Free Zone offers a wide range of allowed activities.
    2. Choose Legal Structure and License Type:
    • This depends on your ownership structure. You can opt for a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a branch of a foreign company.
    • There are various license types available, including Service, Trading, Industrial, and Holding Licenses.
    1. Select your License Package: SHAMS Free Zone provides various packages with different durations (1 year or 3 years) and visa options (number of visas you require).
    2. Submitting your Application:
    • The application process is online via SHAMS Free Zone’s user-friendly portal.
    • You’ll choose your license validity period, number of visas, and any desired office facilities during this stage.
    1. Legal Requirements and Documentation:
    • Prepare all the necessary documents, including ID proofs, onboarding forms, a business plan, and a Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) form.
    • For branches of existing companies, additional documents from the parent company are required (like Certificate of Incorporation, Articles of Incorporation, etc.).

    Documents Required for Company Registration in SHAMS Free Zone

    • Passport copy of director, Company Secretary
    • Board resolution to establish a new company
    • Passport copy and UAE visa of General Manager
    • Certificate Of Incorporation
    • Business Plan
    • Board resolution giving signatory authorisation or Power of attorney for the third party
    • Memorandum & Articles of Association (MoA and AoA)
    • Passport copy of the individual shareholder
    • Board resolution to establish a new branch
    • Certificate of good standing, valid trade license

    Licenses Offered by SHAMS Free Zone

    • Trading License: The Trading License permits businesses to engage in the import and export of goods within the SHAMS Free Zone. This encompasses activities such as wholesale and retail trading, as well as the provision of related services to facilitate trade operations.
    • Industrial License: Businesses seeking to undertake activities related to the production and transformation of natural resources into finished goods require an Industrial License. This license enables companies to establish manufacturing facilities, undertake industrial processes, and produce goods for commercial purposes within the free zone.
    • Service License: Professionals offering specialized services that rely on their skills, talent, and expertise can obtain a Service License in SHAMS Free Zone. This license covers a wide range of service-based industries, including consultancy, media production, advertising, and other professional services.
    • Holding License: The Holding License is designed for companies that wish to hold standalone investments or stakes in other companies. It enables businesses to establish a holding structure for the purpose of controlling other entities and assets, including real estate properties and investments in various sectors.

    Final Thoughts

    Company formation in the SHAMS Free Zone offers a compelling proposition for entrepreneurs seeking to establish and grow their businesses in a dynamic and vibrant environment. With its strategic location, favorable regulatory framework, tax-free status, and world-class infrastructure, SHAMS stands as a premier destination for businesses looking to thrive in the global marketplace. As the business landscape continues to evolve, SHAMS remains at the forefront, driving innovation, growth, and prosperity for businesses across diverse industries.

    Contact OnDemand International’s UAE consultant for more information in detail.