Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone) is an industrial hub that offers exceptional incentives and benefits to foreign investors for starting a business in the UAE. The process of business setup in SAIF Zone remains attractive due to the free zone’s strategic location, straightforward registration process, a wide range of licenses, robust facilities, unique business activities etc. To make things easier for foreign entrepreneurs, SAIF Zone provides all the business setup services under one roof.

Furthermore, SAIF Zone has implemented a set of progressive regulations for foreign investors to do business without any hassle. Entrepreneurs who are new to the region can navigate the licensing process with the help of business setup consultants in UAE. However, the investors should know the critical information about the free zone before applying for a license in SAIF Zone. Read ahead to know further about the environment of business setup in SAIF Zone.

A Brief Introduction to Sharjah Airport Free Zone

SAIF Zone was established in 1995 to enhance the industrial prowess of the emirate of Sharjah. The free zone’s dynamic approach towards facilitating company formation in the UAE is the reason why it has completed more than 26 years of operation. The landscape of business setup in SAIF Zone is highly conducive to businesses of all sizes: from small companies operating in a single office space to huge manufacturing facilities. Moreover, investors can enjoy benefits such as 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits etc.

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    Licenses Permitted in Sharjah Airport Free Zone 

    A license is the most important permit investors should obtain to conduct a business in the UAE. The license should align perfectly with the preferred business activity and the nature of the proposed company. Business licenses in SAIF Zone cover all the major sectors that offer lucrative opportunities for foreign investors. The following are the major licenses available for company formation in SAIF Zone:

    Commercial License 

    SAIF Zone issues a standard commercial license that allows activities such as import, export, distribution, consolidation, storage or warehousing of goods. However, the free zone has imposed a maximum limit of three similar product lines.

    General Trading License 

    Obtaining a general trading license in SAIF Zone allows the investors to trade a large number of goods. Unlike a standard commercial license, there is no limit on the product lines. Business set up consultants in Sharjah can help the investors obtain a commercial license without any hassle.

    Service License 

    A SAIF Zone service license allows the entrepreneurs to conduct services specified in the license. SAIF Zone allows the service license holders to carry out all types of activities except those prohibited by the Federal or local authorities. Some of the activities covered by the service license are IT services, consultancy services, e-commerce etc.

    Industrial License 

    A SAIF Zone industrial license allows the holder to carry out activities such as import of raw materials and manufacturing, processing, assembling, packaging and exporting of finished goods. Jewellery manufacturing is an example of an activity covered by an industrial license in the SAIF Zone. Consult with business setup consultants in Sharjah to know further about the activities permitted under an industrial license.

    Types of Companies in Sharjah Airport Free Zone 

    After selecting the license type, the investors are required to determine a legal structure for their proposed company. The legal structure depends upon the number of shareholders in the company. The following types of companies can be incorporated in SAIF Zone:

    1. Free Zone Establishment (FZE)
    2. Free Zone Company (FZCO)
    3. Branch of a Local Company
    4. Branch of a Foreign Company

    Business Setup Facilities in Sharjah Airport Free Zone 

    SAIF Zone has all the modern facilities suited for small, medium or big businesses. Choosing the right facility is paramount to achieving business growth and also for carrying out daily operations without any trouble. Business set up consultants in Sharjah can advise investors on selecting the right facility from a range of available ones. The following are the major facilities available in SAIF Zone:

    1. SAIF Suite 

    SAIF Suite offers a fully furnished executive office space with sophisticated IT/telecommunications infrastructure. A SAIF Suit is suitable for commercial, service & consultancy businesses, secretarial and business centre services. It provides visa eligibility of up to eight visas.

    2. SAIF Executive Office 

    SAIF Executive Office is a semi-furnished, customisable space with amenities such as air conditioning, water, electricity and an advanced IT/telecommunications infrastructure. This type of office space is ideal for commercial and consultancy businesses. Investors are eligible for up to five visas.

    3. SAIF Office 

    A SAIF Office is a well-appointed, cost-effective furnished space offering facilities such as  IT/telecommunications infrastructure that can be used for 24 hours on a non-sharing basis. A SAIF Office most suited for consultancy service businesses. Entrepreneurs are eligible for up to three visas.

    4. Plots of Land

    A diverse range of land plots is available for business setup in SAIF Zone. Industrial businesses can construct facilities for custom-built warehouses/factories on these plots of land.

    5. Jewellery Park 

    SAIF Zone provides a full-fledged and highly specialised jewellery manufacturing unit for entrepreneurs. It allows the investors to carry out operations, eliminating the need to go to multiple locations. Entrepreneurs will also get the opportunity to network and collaborate with a community of established jewellery businesses in SAIF Zone Jewellery Park.

    6. Labour Accommodation

    SAIF Zone offers well-maintained and fully furnished spaces for companies to accommodate their staff. Labour accommodation in SAIF Zone is fully air-conditioned and comes with recreational facilities as well as other amenities. Get help from business setup consultants in Sharjah for choosing the right facility.

    7. Warehouses 

    The warehouses available in SAIF Zone are specially built to boost the growth of businesses engaged in activities such as manufacturing and trading. The benefits include proximity to retail districts and major logistical hubs, eligibility to apply for UAE Residency Visas, built-in offices with pantries and lavatories, easy access to manpower and cargo etc.

    Process of Business Setup in Sharjah Airport Free Zone 

    The process of business setup in SAIF Zone is straightforward and involves no complex requirements. However, the assistance of business setup consultants in Sharjah may help the entrepreneurs reduce the risk of errors during documentation. The investors need to carry out the following steps to obtain a license in SAIF Zone:

    1. Choose a license
    2. Select a business facility
    3. Arrange the documents
    4. Collect the license

    Documents Required for Business Setup in Sharjah Airport Free Zone 

    Entrepreneurs should submit the following documents to complete the process of business setup in SAIF Zone:

    1. A duly filled application form
    2. A summary of the business project
    3. Passport copies of owners/managers
    4. Certificate of incorporation/registration
    5. Memorandum and Article of Association
    6. Board resolution to open a branch in the SAIF ZONE
    7. Power of Attorney appointing the person(s) in charge

    Benefits of Opening a Company in Sharjah Airport Free Zone 

    Every investor should consider the benefits while selecting a free zone for company formation in the UAE. Each free zone differs from the others and so does the benefits they offer. However, business setup experts in Sharjah can advise the investors on the benefits offered by each free zone. Here is a list of benefits offered by the SAIF Zone:

    Unmatched strategic location 

    SAIF Zone is strategically located in Sharjah, the third-largest emirate in the UAE. Sharjah acts as a gateway to all the lucrative markets in the Middle East and other parts of the world. Sharjah offers foreign investors access to a cost-effective living and the ability to hire labourers at lower costs. By setting up a business in SAIF Zone, investors can access well-connected highways, airports and seaports. SAIF Zone is close to Sharjah International Airport and Cargo Centre, which makes imports and exports easier. Furthermore, business hubs like Dubai and Abu Dhabi are easier to access from Sharjah.

    A Free Zone of Global Reputation 

    SAIF Zone is a well-managed free zone with a good reputation among the government, banks and the global business community. The free zone has been ranked among the ‘Superbrands’, which further enhances its goodwill. SAIF Zone has also earned the reputation of being the world’s first airport free zone to have ISO 9001 certification. Due to the free zone’s reputation, some of the world’s biggest brands have established their presence in SAIF Zone and their numbers are growing.

    Easy to Open Corporate Bank Accounts 

    Generally, it is difficult to open a bank account in the UAE as the lenders have increased due diligence after the introduction of Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT) laws. However, companies licensed by the SAIF Zone enjoy a good reputation among the banks and, therefore, entrepreneurs need not struggle much to open a business bank account. Moreover, business setup consultants in Sharjah can provide the investors with a letter of introduction to make the bank account opening process hassle-free.

    Easy to Sponsor Visas of Dependents 

    Business owners or shareholders in SAIF Zone companies can easily sponsor the UAE residency visas of their employees, spouse, parents and children etc. They can also sponsor their drivers and maids without any struggle. Business setup experts in Sharjah offer excellent PRO services to speed up visa processing.

    Compliance Requirements in Sharjah Airport Free Zone 

    Companies incorporated in SAIF Zone are required to comply with Economic Substance Regulations (ESR), Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) and AML-CFT Laws. Failing to comply with such requirements will lead to hefty penalties and reputation damage. Even companies under liquidation in SAIF Zone must meet their obligations under ESR & UBO. However, business setup consultants in Sharjah can assist the companies in complying with ESR, UBO and AML.

    Enlist the Best Business Setup Services in Sharjah, UAE 

    Having a company in a reputed free zone like the SAIF Zone is a golden opportunity for foreign investors to establish a presence in the lucrative Middle East region. However, the process of business setup in SAIF Zone involves some complex steps for which expert assistance is needed. Companies that provide business setup services in Sharjah such as Jitendra Business Consultants can help the investors navigate complex registration procedures.

    JBC is one of the best business setup consultants in Sharjah, UAE with years of experience and reputed service history. JBC can help the investors with services such as selection of activities, advice on licence & legal structure, document drafting, PRO services, visa application, bank account opening, sponsoring of dependents etc. We also provide compliance services such as VAT compliance, ESR filings, UBO, and AML. Consult with JBC’s highly qualified company setup experts to get a SAIF Zone license hassle-free.

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