How to start your business in the UAE?

When it comes to setting up your business in the UAE, there are several options you can choose from. First of all, you have to decide where in the UAE you want your business to be. Usually, entrepreneurs look for business setup options in Dubai. However, Sharjah has recently become a major attraction point for entrepreneurs to start their projects. In this blog, we will be pointing out your options as an entrepreneur or a business owner looking to start and grow their business in Sharjah.

All about Business Setup in Sharjah, UAE

The progress Sharjah is witnessing in the investment sector is due to many factors. Here are some of those factors:

Sharjah Free Zones

Let’s start with what solopreneurs and startup owners can opt for when they decide to start their business in Sharjah. As a foreign (non-UAE national) entrepreneur, you can either establish your company in a Free Zone or in Mainland. If you choose to have your license issued by the Department of Economic Development, you are allowed to practice your business activity across the UAE. However, you have to partner up with a UAE national at 49% of ownership. In the case of Free Zones, the major perks that attract foreign investors are 100% ownership of your business as well as 0% of corporate or personal income tax. All the same, entrepreneurs who register their companies at Free Zones can only practice the business within the Free Zone.

There are three Free Zones in Sharjah: Sharjah International Airport Free Zone (SAIF Free Zone), Hamriyah Free Zone Authority and Sharjah Media City (Shams). We mentioned in a previous blog a few reasons why you should choose Shams as your ideal Sharjah Free Zone. 

Incubators and Accelerators

There’s no ideal age for an owner of a creative and potentially successful business idea. In fact, the most innovative ideas come from youngsters still pursuing their bachelor degrees. As students, there’s no way they can start their own businesses from scratch by themselves. This is where accelerators and incubators fall into place.

From the name, an accelerator accelerates the business setup process and helps the company grow faster. In the same way, business incubators are concerned with entrepreneurs who have a great idea but don’t have the means to turn it into a business, so they incubate this idea and help it grow.

When you mention Sharjah and incubator in the same sentence, the mind will directly go to Sheraa, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center. There are three main programs in Sheraa where each represents a major stage of any business: ideation, incubator, accelerator. The Center can help you first to validate your business idea. Upon passing this stage, you will be given the opportunity to refine and develop your prototype, a stage that is full of learning new experiences. Finally, you move to the accelerator stage where your startup can thrive.

Is that it about Sharjah?

Absolutely not! If you take a closer look at the Emirate, you will be surprised at the pace Sharjah is growing. Every day huge projects are being started. This means a plethora of opportunities for not only entrepreneurs but also owners of startups and SMEs. On a side note, Sharjah’s first English radio channel ‘Pulse 95’ was launched less than a week from today. With a project of such importance just been born, think what opportunity you can make from it!

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