SAIF Zone License Types for Company Formation

Explore SAIF Zone's diverse licensing options for efficient company formation

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Greetings, budding tycoons and business magnates! If you’re eyeing the Middle East for your next big venture, you simply can’t overlook Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone). Sure, it might not have the bling of Dubai, but what it lacks in skyscrapers, it makes up for in a business-friendly environment. Today, we’re delving into SAIF Zone license types from FZBuddy, because, let’s be honest, without the right license, you’re just a tourist with a briefcase.

The Benefits of SAIF Zone for Business 

Ah, the Benefits of the SAIF Zone for Business. Look, if you’re considering setting up shop in the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone, also known as SAIF Zone, you better listen closely. This isn’t just a box on the Monopoly board; it’s the Beverly Hills of business opportunities.

Let’s start with the location. You’re right next to Sharjah International Airport and a short drive from Sharjah City Center. The strategic location is the stuff of a real estate agent’s wet dreams. It’s not just about looking pretty on a map; it offers top-tier regional communications with the Middle East and beyond.

And oh boy, the license options. You’ve got types of licenses coming out of your ears: Commercial License, Industrial License, Trade Licenses, you name it. Plus, the simplified procedures mean you could have your license faster than you can say “pass the hummus.” The entire process can be a cakewalk if you’re not an absolute muppet.

But wait, there’s more! You’re looking at a wide range of business setup options. Whether you’re a Limited Liability Company, a branch office of a parent company, or an entirely new venture, the SAIF Zone has the carpet rolled out for you. There’s also a smorgasbord of office spaces and business facilities. From an SAIF Executive Office to just a single office space, the choices are as endless as a brunch buffet.

Speaking of facilities, your employees won’t be left in the lurch. We’re talking labor accommodation, modern facilities, and even recreational options. In SAIF Zone, even your expatriate workers will feel like they hit the jackpot. Employment visas, residence visas, investor visas—these are as easy as filling out an application form correctly, and God help you if you can’t manage that.

And let’s not forget—SAIF Zone is more than just a business destination; it’s a business community. Think of it like the Ivy League of Middle Eastern business clusters. The types of businesses that thrive here are as diverse as the snack aisle at a grocery store. From industrial businesses and consultancy firms to jewelry businesses, the sky’s the limit—or should I say, there’s no maximum limit.

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

Licensing in a Nutshell: Why It Matters 

Now, let’s get down to brass tacks. Selecting the right license for your type of business activity is not just a bureaucratic tick box; it’s your gateway to the market. Choose wrongly and you might end up trapped in a legal quagmire. This isn’t Vegas; you can’t gamble your way to business success. Whether you’re setting up a limited liability company, a branch office, or any other legal structure, each comes with its own rules of engagement, capital requirements, and yes, penalties for getting it wrong.

Types of Licenses in SAIF Zone

Alright, folks, fasten your seatbelts because we’re diving deep into the heart of SAIF Zone license types. Consider this your cheat sheet for navigating the legal labyrinth of setting up shop in Sharjah’s business Eden.

Commercial License 

So you want to trade product lines from A to Z? A Commercial License is your golden ticket. Perfect for a wide range of business activities like importing, exporting, or distributing. Remember, if you’re dealing in goods, you’re a Commercial License candidate. Bonus: You can have multiple product lines under one license—maximum limit be damned!

Industrial License

Heads up, industrial moguls! If you aim to manufacture, assemble, or process raw materials, then the Industrial License is your best bud. And worry not about the mass of sector knowledge you’ll need; there are professional advice and industrial powerhouse facilities to aid you. Plus, your finished product can be freely exported, with zero customs duty.

Let’s talk money, honey. One of the juiciest benefits? The absence of personal income taxes and corporate taxes. Plus, capital repatriation is as free as a bird. Cash your profits and exit like a rockstar. Oh, and lest we forget, there’s a stable currency and an army of international banks lined up to service your financial whims.

Service License 

Consultancy businesses, IT firms, and the like, lend me your ears. If you’re in the business of offering services rather than goods, a Service License is your jam. Legal services, types of services that are intellectual—think lawyers, business consultants, and service types that make you scratch your head in confusion. All under one roof. And let’s not forget the service charges, which are competitive, given the benefits of business setup in this zone.

Trading License 

Last but not least, the Trading License—this one’s for businesses involved in buying and selling goods, both inside and outside the UAE. Forget your country of origin or foreign country affiliations; it’s the great equalizer among licenses. This license covers a range of business license types, including General Trading and specialized trading activities. And oh, you can also hold shares in other SAIF Zone businesses. How’s that for business growth?

License Costs and Renewal

Firstly, can we all admit that costs are a nightmare? But here’s the deal: SAIF Zone has options. Take your pick from Commercial License, Industrial License, to Service Licenses. Depending on your business activities, your license fee can vary faster than your mood at a family dinner. Expect anywhere from a few thousand AED to something that will make your eyes water.

One of the joys of company formation here is the transparency. No hidden fees, people! You pay for what you get—office space, labor accommodation, and even that delightful container parking for raw materials. License renewal? That’s an annual affair. Forget it, and you might as well forget having a business. Be prepared for renewal fees, obviously. Hey, this is a business destination, not a charity.

Now, I can almost hear you ask, “What about foreign investors?” They’re invited to the party too. With the lure of repatriation of capital and the absence of personal income taxes, you can pull out your funds faster than a magician’s rabbit. Let’s not even talk about corporate taxes—because there aren’t any. Wink.

Also read: How Much it Cost to Form & Renew SAIF Zone Company in 2023

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Listen up, wannabe business owners. The road to SAIF is paved with companies who thought they could wing it. First mistake: opting for the wrong type of license. You wouldn’t put ketchup on a cake, would you? Your business license should align with your business activities—be it industrial, trade, or services.

And for the love of balance sheets, please fill out the application form correctly. Nothing slows down the speed of service like a typo in the ‘Copies of Owners’ section. SAIF Zone isn’t a spelling bee but come on, professionalism, people!

Also, visas. Your expatriate workers need them, and you have options like Employee Visa or Investor Visa. Screw this up and watch your human resource turn into a horror story. Understand your visa quotas, and don’t think you can smuggle in employees like they’re contraband.


To sum it up, the SAIF Zone is a business owner’s playground with all the trimmings: strategic location adjacent to Sharjah International Airport, top-tier business setup services, and the freedom to run a wide range of businesses, from construction companies to jewellery businesses. But it’s not a free-for-all. Mistakes in the setup process can lead you to a bureaucratic maze quicker than you can say ‘license fee.’

In this industrial powerhouse, the entire process can be as smooth as your morning coffee or as gritty as sand in your swim trunks, the choice is yours. Take professional advice, get your paperwork straight, and for heaven’s sake, choose the right license. It’s not rocket science, but it’s close enough.


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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