Cost to Form & Renew a Tax-Free Company in SAIF Zone

Unveiling the financial requirements for creating and renewing a tax-free company in SAIF Zone

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The hustle and bustle of entrepreneurial dreams often lead to the corridors of the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone). It’s not just about the strategic location near Sharjah International Airport and Dubai International Airport. It’s about the promise of business without the burden of taxes. But understanding the “SAIF Zone cost” involved in forming and renewing a tax-free company can be a game-changer. So let’s break down the nitty-gritty set by the FZBuddy.

What is SAIF Zone? 

SAIF Zone is a free trade area within the Sharjah Airport Free Zone. It offers a range of benefits, including 100% foreign ownership, types of licenses like service license and industrial license, and exemption from customs duties. Ideal for various types of businesses, SAIF Zone is a magnet for foreign investors looking for complete ownership and a pro-business environment.

Why Opt for a Tax-Free Company in SAIF Zone? 

Imagine having a slice of the business cake without the cherry of taxes on top. That’s SAIF Zone for you. Not only does it offer foreign ownership exemption, but also capital repatriation and no import duties. Plus, a 25-year contract with renewal remedies. Sound too good to be true? Welcome to the reality of business activity in SAIF Zone.

Costs to Consider When Forming a Company 

So, you’re ready to kickstart your company formation in SAIF Zone. Before you do, it’s crucial to be in the know about some costs:

  • Initial Approval and Registration Fee: Yes, it’s not free to be tax-free.
  • Business License Type: Costs vary whether it’s a trading license, professional services license, or industrial license.
  • Legal Entity Selection: Whether you opt for a Limited Liability Company or a Free-Zone Company impacts your pocket.
  • Office Space: From built-in office spaces to flexi desk options, SAIF Office offers a range of choices, each with its own price tag.
  • Residence Visas and Employee Visa Applications: Necessary for your workforce, but yep, they come at a price.
  • Bank Statement Requirements: Opening corporate bank accounts in local or international banks isn’t a free affair.
  • Professional Advice: Let’s not forget the consultation fees for legal and financial advice.

Don’t forget the golden rule—always read the fine print! Sneaky additional charges may apply.

Read more: How to Start a Company in SAIF Zone from Home (2023 Guide)

Ongoing Operational Costs 

You’ve probably heard that running a business is like raising a kid. Well, it’s true. Utility bills, maintenance, and the ever-elusive security services fees keep coming in.

  • Resident Visas Renewal: Required every few years, with accompanying immigration fees.
  • License Fee Renewal: It’s not a one-time payment, folks.
  • Utility Charges: Think electricity, internet, and perhaps a dash of extra costs for those air-conditioned and furnished executive suites.

Renewal Costs 

The renewal phase is like a rerun of your favorite TV show—familiar but costly. Here’s what you should expect:

  • Business License Renewal: Yearly affair and not getting cheaper.
  • Lease Agreement Renewal: Landlords usually don’t offer discounts on tenancy contracts.
  • Renewal of Residence Permits and Employee Visas: The government wants its share too.
  • Financial Statements: Submitting these bad boys could mean additional costs in auditing services.
  • Company Liquidation Process: If you decide it’s time to pull the plug, brace yourself for more financial punches.

Additional Costs to Watch For 

Alright, you savvy business maven, listen up. If you thought SAIF Zone was just about the glossy corporate brochures and investor-friendly policies, buckle up for some reality. Just like in dating, there are red flags to look out for. Yep, those additional charges lurking in the corner, ready to bite your ROI.

  • Clearance Letters and Authorization Letters: Oh, you need this for your business setup in SAIF Zone? Ka-ching!
  • Corporate Income Tax: Although foreign ownership exemption exists, some types of businesses are still subject to certain taxes.
  • Entry Permits and Immigration Procedures: Entry stamps, residence permits, immigration fees—these add up, folks!
  • Corporate Structure & Company Incorporation: You’ve got options, but some are more dollar-draining than others.
  • Charge Approx for Consumables: Let’s not forget the miscellaneous costs like utility charges and consumables. Yeah, that’s on you.
  • Service License Fee: Depending on your type of business activity, fees can swing wildly.

Also read: SAIF Zone License Types for Company Formation

Case Study: A Real-Life Example 

Meet Sally. She’s a go-getter who decided to dive into the SAIF Zone, drawn in by its promise of complete ownership and customs-free operation. She picked her office space, paid for the trading licenses, even got herself a shiny new investor visa. But then, bam! Out came the additional costs like utility bills, medical examinations, and professional services fees.

Sally learned the hard way that reading the fine print and getting professional advice before signing any company formation documents are not steps to skip. And her bank statement was all the sadder for it.

Tips to Manage Costs Effectively 

Don’t be a Sally. Here’s how to handle your business without dipping into the red:

  • Budget Planning: A business plan isn’t just for show, folks. Use it.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Look, no one said you had to do it alone. Legal and financial advice can actually save you money.
  • Utility Cost Management: Turn off the lights, Karen! Energy-saving means dollar-saving.
  • Tenant Contracts and Lease Agreements: Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. Who said you have to accept the standard rate?
  • Visa Application & Residence Visas: Cut costs by understanding visa quotas and capitalizing on any special packages available.

Keep these in mind, and you’re one step closer to not blowing your entire capital amount on initial setup. Make your balance in company account happy!


By now, if you’re not aware of the numerous, ever-so-slightly hidden costs that come with setting up shop in SAIF Zone, well, I don’t know what to tell you. The Sharjah Airport International Free Zone offers some snazzy perks, like foreign ownership and capital repatriation, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Your business activity here isn’t a charity, after all.

So do your homework. Understand the SAIF Zone’s intricacies. Consider the entirety of the additional costs, from your desk package to your corporate entity’s needs. Take Sally’s hard lesson to heart and take preemptive measures.


FZBuddy aims to provide accurate and reliable information as you navigate the UAE Freezone space. As such, our writers refer to primary information sources in supporting each article appearing on this website. These include, but are not limited to, published news articles, government portals, research papers, and more.

  1. sharjah freezone, sharjah business license, business set up. (n.d.). Sharjah International Airport Free Zone.
  2. Home | The Official Portal of the UAE Government. (n.d.).

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