It is fair to say that the first place which springs to mind on the topic of business in the UAE is Dubai. This is understandable, of course. Over the years, Dubai has built a reputation as a modern business and cultural hub. But it’s far from the only place in the UAE with a world-class, welcoming business environment.
Just next door, the emirate of Sharjah offers many of the benefits of business setup in Dubai, often at lower cost. In this article, we’ll explore the process of getting set up here, along with the advantages starting an e-commerce business in Sharjah, including:
- Steps to get your e-commerce licence in Sharjah
- Cost of an e-commerce licence in Sharjah
- Benefits of starting an e-commerce business in Sharjah
- Cheapest e-commerce licence in UAE
- Things to consider when starting an e-commerce company in Sharjah
- Why start your company with BIZ?
Steps to get your e-commerce licence in Sharjah
Here are the three steps to obtain a commercial licence in Sharjah. When you make your application with Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ), we can manage the entire process for you, assisting with applications and liaising with authorities on your behalf.
Step 1: Submit documents
As much of the application process takes place online, you can usually receive your trade licence within just two hours.
You will need to submit your completed application form, including your chosen trade name. When choosing a name out here, you will need to comply with certain naming regulations.
In short, you should avoid any offensive or blasphemous language. Avoid names of well-known organisations and avoid abbreviations if naming your company after yourself – i.e., Dave Mann Consulting, rather than D Mann Consulting. You must also check that your chosen name is available to register.
For this reason, it helps to choose several potential company names in order of preference in case your first option has already been registered by another company.
When making your application, you will also be asked to submit the following documents:
- A valid copy of your passport
- Copy of visa
- Copy of National ID (if applicable)
- No objection certificate (if required)
Step 2: Register for e-channel and receive immigration card
Next, you will need to register for e-channel services and apply for your immigration card. Once again, much of this process takes place online. Once registered you can access vital civic services and make additional applications for your visa and Emirates ID.
Step 3: Visa processing
Once you have received your immigration card, you can apply for an entry permit. This allows you to stay in the UAE for up to 60 days. You are free to leave and return during this period, but it is advised against as it can cause issues with immigration further down the line.
As part of the visa process, you will be expected to undergo a medical. This involves biometric scanning, a chest X-ray and a blood test. At this stage, you can also apply for your Emirates ID which allows you to access a range of services in the country.
Cost of an e-commerce licence in Sharjah
An e-commerce licence in Sharjah costs AED 5,750. However, this figure may increase depending on your needs. Your location and activities, visa requirements and number of employees can all have a bearing on the cost of starting a business in Sharjah.
For a detailed quotation, tailored to your requirements, get in touch with the team at BIZ.
Benefits of starting an e-commerce business in Sharjah
Sharjah offers many of the same benefits as business setup in Dubai. Just like setting up in the UAE’s most famous business hub, Sharjah gives you a prime trading location at the heart of the Middle East. With direct links via land, sea and air, it is the perfect base from which to trade with the vast markets of Africa, Asia, Europe and beyond.
Then there is the emirate’s open and welcoming business environment, 0% tax rate on both corporate and personal income and low VAT rate of just 5%. When you set up in a Sharjah free zone, you can also take advantage of 100% customs tax exemption, zero currency restrictions and the freedom to repatriate capital and profits.
Sharjah’s growing population also presents many opportunities for e-commerce businesses. These include low cost labour and burgeoning industries such as dropshipping and warehousing.
When operating in the e-commerce industry, it is also possible to enjoy many of these benefits without relocating to the UAE.
Cheapest e-commerce licence in UAE
The cheapest e-commerce licence in the UAE costs AED 5,750. To obtain this licence at this low price, get in touch with the team at BIZ. We will guide you through the application process and let you know as soon as you are ready to trade.
Things to consider when starting an e-commerce company in Sharjah
One of the main things to keep in mind when starting an e-commerce business is that you are not just up against the competition here in the UAE but also around the globe. You will need a catchy domain and a standout internet presence.
You should also consider your niche. Are you offering something that no one else can? Or is your offering simply better than others in your field? This is what sets you apart, so you will have to communicate this message clearly to your audience.
Consider how you are going to market your site, too. Social media marketing is huge and can be a relatively quick, simple and affordable way to put your offering in front of a large market. If you are not skilled in online marketing, outsourcing this function is often a wise decision.
Just as important as your product is your platform. There are plenty of out of the box e-commerce solutions out there offering payment processing, pre-built shops and stylish design. But some are better than others. Ask your free zone if they recommend a particular platform or look at some of the market leaders like Shopify or Magento.
Finally, the look and feel of your site is vital. Not only do you need eye-catching visuals and immersive, descriptive copy, but you’ll also need to consider the customer journey. A smooth basket and checkout process can help to significantly reduce abandoned carts and increase revenues.
Why start your company with BIZ?
Business Incorporation Zone is the expert in all things business setup in Dubai. Whether you are looking for a general trading licence in a free zone or interested in LLC company formation in Dubai, we can help.
Our vast international experience and local knowledge means setting up your e-commerce company with us is quick, easy, affordable and enjoyable. We understand that your business is unique, so we’ll tailor our licensing packages to your requirements – giving you exactly what you need to succeed.
We’re with you at every step, managing the entire process from inception to completion. To see this impeccable service for yourself, get in touch today to take the first steps toward UAE business ownership.