Sharjah, the third-largest Emirate in the UAE, offers many business opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. Securing a trade license is paramount if you’re contemplating establishing a venture in this dynamic region.
This article provides a comprehensive guide on the process, requirements, and types of trade licenses available in Sharjah.
This guide provides insights into the step-by-step procedure, ensuring a seamless and efficient application process. Equip yourself with this knowledge to navigate the business landscape of Sharjah with confidence.
What is a trade license?
A trade license is a legal document that authorises an individual or a company to engage in a specific business activity within the UAE. In the context of Sharjah, the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) is the primary authority responsible for issuing these trade licenses. Holding a trade license legitimises your business operations and ensures compliance with the Emirate’s regulations and standards.
Role of the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD)
The SEDD plays a pivotal role in the business ecosystem of Sharjah. As the main regulatory body, it oversees the issuance, renewal, and management of trade licenses within the Emirate.
Ensuring that businesses align with the Emirate’s economic objectives and legal frameworks, the SEDD fosters a conducive environment for local and foreign entrepreneurs.
How to get a trade license in Sharjah – Step-by-step
Embarking on the journey to obtain a trade license in Sharjah requires meticulous attention to detail and adherence to the prescribed steps. Here’s a systematic guide to streamline your application process:
Step 1: Determine your business activities
Before anything else, it’s crucial to pinpoint the business activities you intend to undertake. Sharjah offers flexibility, allowing you to select up to 10 activities from its comprehensive trade license activities list.
Step 2: Select your business legal structure
Your business’s legal structure forms its backbone. Depending on your vision and objectives, choose from the prevalent structures in Sharjah, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC.
Step 3: Decide on your business name
A business name is more than just an identifier – it’s the first impression your brand gives. Ensure you opt for a unique name that has not been previously registered in the UAE and resonates with your target audience.
Step 4: Apply for initial approval
With your business activities, structure and company name established, seek initial approval from the Sharjah Economic Development Department. This preliminary step can be completed online or in person.
Step 5: Secure an office space
A tangible office space is non-negotiable. Ensure your chosen location receives the green light from the Sharjah Municipality, aligning with their stipulated guidelines.
Step 6: Submit your trade license application
After the initial approval, it’s time for the formal application stage. This phase involves submitting specific documents, including the initial approval certificate and your tenancy contract.
Step 7: Settle the license fee
Every business endeavour comes with specific financial obligations. To secure your trade license in Sharjah, you’ll need to pay the designated license fee, which varies based on factors like business activity and legal form.
Step 8: Obtain your trade license
Upon successful verification and approval of your application, you’ll be granted your Sharjah trade license.
Types of trade licenses in Sharjah
Sharjah’s diverse economic landscape caters to a wide array of business activities, offering multiple trade license categories to accommodate these varied ventures.
Understanding these categories is pivotal in ensuring your business aligns with the Emirate’s regulatory framework.
A commercial license is tailored for businesses primarily engaged in trading activities. This encompasses buying and selling goods, importing, and exporting. It’s the go-to license for merchants and traders eyeing Sharjah’s bustling market.
Businesses that revolve around manufacturing or industrial operations, such as producing, assembling, and packaging goods, require an industrial license. This license ensures that industrial entities adhere to Sharjah’s safety and environmental standards.
If your business offers specialised professional services, the professional license is what you need. This category covers professions like consulting, legal advisory, accounting, and other expert services that rely on individual skills and qualifications.
For self-reliant professionals working on an independent basis, the freelance permit is ideal. This license is tailored for photographers, writers, designers, and other freelancers who operate without a traditional corporate structure.
In the digital age, online trading has surged in popularity. The e-commerce license facilitates businesses that operate on digital platforms, selling goods and services through e-commerce websites or apps.
Cost of getting a trade license in Sharjah
Securing a trade license in Sharjah costs between AED 5,000 and AED 30,000. It fluctuates based on various determinants such as the type of business activity, the chosen legal form, office rent, visa fees, and other associated expenses.
E-commerce license affordability
Sharjah’s e-commerce license is an attractive proposition for entrepreneurs eyeing the digital marketplace. This license type is one of the most affordable options, with starting costs pegged at around AED 6,000.
Beyond the license fee, businesses should also account for other ancillary costs. These might include office rent, utility bills, visa processing fees for employees, and other operational expenses that arise during the business setup phase.
Starting a business in Sharjah presents a golden opportunity to tap into a thriving market and benefit from the Emirate’s robust economic infrastructure. While the process might seem intricate, with the right guidance, it becomes seamless.
If you’re looking to establish your venture in Sharjah, consider reaching out to Worldwide Formations. Our team of experts is here to assist you every step of the way, ensuring a smooth business setup experience.