7 Steps to Setting Up Your Business in Shams Free Zone

Sharjah, the cultural and industrial heart of the United Arab Emirates, offers a vibrant business ecosystem, unrivalled growth opportunities, and a cost-effective environment for entrepreneurs. As the third-largest emirate in the UAE, Sharjah is strategically located, making it a business gateway to global markets. Sharjah is dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurship, and Shams Free Zone is at the forefront of this endeavour. Let's explore the seven steps to setting up your business in Shams Free Zone.

Step 1: Determine Your Business Activity

The first and most crucial step is identifying the nature of your business. Shams offers a diverse range of business activities, making it easy to select the right category that aligns with your vision. With dozens of options under Media, Wholesale and Retail, and Services and Consultancy categories, businesses can find the right fit for their requirements.

Step 2: Legal Structure and License Type

Based on your business activity, determine the most suitable legal structure, whether it's a sole proprietorship, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or a Branch of a Foreign Company. Each formation type has its pros and cons with slightly varying processes. Shams offers comprehensive guidance to help you make an informed decision.

Step 3: Choose Your License Package

Shams understands that every business is unique. You can select from various cost-effective license packages tailored to your specific needs. Whether you are a freelancer, a startup, or an established corporation, Shams has a package that suits your business needs. The cost calculator on the Shams website enables businesses to choose their required business activities and see the cost they will incur for their setups.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

With your business activity, legal structure, and license package in place, you're ready to submit your application. Just select the license number of years, number of required visas, and office facilities to submit your application. Businesses can enjoy up to 35% discount on their license costs when applying for a 5-year license. The entire process from application to approval can be seamlessly conducted online through Shams' user-friendly platform. For a more personalised service, Shams’ support team is available for assistance. 

Step 5: Legal Requirements and Documentation

To ensure compliance, you must submit all the necessary documentation required to open an LLC or branch. These include identification documents, a completed onboarding form, Ultimate Beneficial Owner form, and a business plan. In the case of a branch, you will also need to submit the parent company’s Certificate of Incorporation, Articles of Incorporation, Good Standing Certificate etc. Shams' team of experts will assist and guide you in this process.

Step 6: Pay the Required Fees

Shams offers affordable fee structures, enabling businesses of all sizes to set up without incurring substantial financial burdens. The cost-effectiveness of Shams allows you to invest your resources where they matter most: in your business.

Step 7: Start Your Business Operations

Once your application is approved, you can begin your business operations. Shams provides a range of facilities, from state-of-the-art offices to co-working spaces, helping you set up your workspace as per your preferences. Moreover, you can easily apply for visas, helping you bring your team on board.


Setting up your business in Shams Free Zone is a strategic decision that aligns with Sharjah's growth and innovation-driven business landscape. With a streamlined seven-step process, an array of business activities, cost-effective license packages, and access to world-class facilities, Shams is the perfect partner for your entrepreneurial journey. Take advantage of the opportunity to be part of this thriving business community. Start your business in Shams today.

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