Sharjah Media City Free Zone (Shams Free Zone)
Shams offers smart innovative services for aspiring startups and SMEs, as well as established companies or corporations. Launched as a world-class hub for modern services for those who wish to set up their business within specialized facilities in the media and creative industry, Shams strived as a dynamic initiative, a forward-thinking and holistic community with the aim of making creative entrepreneurship accessible to all. As a world-class free zone hub for innovation, Shams sets the benchmark for service and support to those wishing to set up and launch their business with specialized facilities for the creative and media industries. Shams will offer smart innovative services, coupled with a holistic community-centred approach, placing great value on localized content and actively encouraging entrepreneurial talent from within a continuously thriving community.
Shams’ mission is to make creative entrepreneurship accessible to all aspiring startups, SMEs and established companies striving to grow their business both locally and globally. Shams is a dynamic initiative that makes a strong connection with the talented individuals it attracts.
Advantages of Setting up a Business in Sharjah Media City (Shams Free Zone) :
Sharjah Media City (Shams free zone) offers an array of facilities for investors:
- Company setup options starting from AED 11,500
- Wide range of business activities available on the same business license
- No need for NOC to start your own company
- No paid-up Share Capital or Annual Audit
- All company documents issued within 2 days
- 100% foreign ownership permitted
- Shareholders are not required to be physically present in the UAE to incorporate a new company
- Companies will have limited liability
- Ability to appoint Corporate Directors and Corporate Managers for your company
- 100% repatriation of capital and profits
- 100% free transfer of funds.
- 0% corporate or personal income tax for 50 years
- 0% import and export duties.
- A quick and simple online registration process
- Deposits are not required by Shams
- Inexpensive workforce and easy recruitment procedures.
- Allocation of up to 6 visas on a shared desk facility
- Located 5 minutes from Sharjah International Airport and 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport
Types of Business licenses in Sharjah Media City Free Zone:
- Service License: It allows for production, re-production, transformation and distribution of services. Service license includes rendering services as a primary objective and utilizing goods to provide them i.e. restaurants, media productions, etc.
- Trading License: Selling goods within Shams or importing and exporting of goods. It includes movement of goods, wholesale and retail sale of goods and rendering of services related to the sale of these goods.
- Industrial License: It allows for production, re-production, transformation and manufacturing of goods.
- Holding License: It allows holding standalone assets and/or stakes in other companies. You would require a holding company for the purpose of controlling other company(ies), property such as real estate, patents, trademarks, stock and other assets.
Value Added Tax (VAT):
Value Added Tax (VAT) has been introduced across the UAE on 1 January 2018 at a standard rate of 5%.
Who should register for VAT?
A business whether situated in designated zone or non-designated zone or outside free zone should register for VAT if the taxable supplies and imports exceed the mandatory registration threshold of AED 375,000 within preceding 12 months or it is anticipated that the total value of taxable supplies exceed AED 375,000 in the next thirty 30 days. Upon registration, a tax registration number (TRN) would be issued to business by the Federal Tax Authority.
What is a designated zone?
A Designated zone is a specified fenced geographical area having security measures and customs controls in place to monitor entry and exit of individuals and the movement of goods to and from the area. Following free zones are declared as designated zones.
a. Free Trade Zone of Khalifa Port
b. Abu Dhabi Airport Free Zone
c. Khalifa Industrial Zone
d. Jebel Ali Free Zone (North-South)
e. Dubai Cars and Automative Zone (DUCAMZ)
f. Dubai Textile City
g. Free Zone Area in Al Quoz
h. Free Zone Area in Al Qusais
i. Dubai Aviation City
j. Dubai Airport Free Zone
k. Hamriyah Free Zone
l. Sharjah Airport International Free Zone
m. Ajman Free Zone
n. Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone in Ahmed Bin Rashid Port
o. Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road
p. RAK Free Trade Zone
q. RAK Maritime City Free Zone
r. RAK Airport Free Zone
s. Fujairah Free Zone
t. FOIZ (Fujairah Oil Industry Zone)
What is a non-designated zone?
Any free zone which is not declared as designated zone is a non-designated zone. In other words a non – designated zone is any geographical area within UAE which does not have any security measures and custom controls in place to monitor entry and exit of goods and individuals. Eg. DMCC, Dubai Media city, DIFC and Dubai Internet city.
What transactions are subject to VAT within Designated zones?
a) Goods transferred between designated zones shall not be subject to VAT. However goods supplied by an entity in the designated zone to entities outside the designated zone are subject to 5% VAT.
b) Services provided by an entity to other entities inside the designated zone or outside the designated
zone are subject to 5% VAT.
c) Professional fees for services are subject to VAT @ 5%.
What government/free zone fees (License/Visa/rent) are subject to VAT?
In case of designated zones the trade license fees, visa fees, lease rentals will not be subject to VAT. And in case of non-designated zones the trade license fees and visa fees are not subject to vat however rent is subject to 5% VAT.