Hamriyah Free Zone, situated in the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is widely recognized as a leading economic center. With its primary goal of promoting international trade and facilitating economic development, Hamriyah Free Zone has become a flourishing business hub that attracts companies from all sectors worldwide.
The zone’s strategic location, modern infrastructure, and investor-friendly regulations make it an ideal choice for businesses looking to establish, expand, and capitalize on the abundant opportunities available in the UAE and the broader Middle East region. From manufacturing to logistics and trading, Hamriyah Free Zone provides a dynamic platform for companies to excel and thrive in the fiercely competitive global market.
WHY START A BUSINESS IN THE HAMRIYAH FREE ZONE?
The only emirate with ports on the Arabian Sea and Arabian Gulf coasts is Sharjah, which gives it access to both the global supply chain and the world’s maritime networks. The Hamriyah Port serves as a hub for exports to foreign markets. Thanks to Sharjah’s well-connected road network, which also links the region to Oman, Bahrain, and other places, the area’s great coastal location is improved.
One of the primary attractions of the city is the HFZA Maritime City, which also functions as a center for oil and gas businesses and offers investors the chance to expand opportunities like shipbuilding, repair, offshore fabrication, etc.
WIDE CHOICE OF WAREHOUSES AND OFFICES
There are several alternatives for warehouses in the Hamriyah Free Zone, as well as offices that are well-equipped for business owners.
Here is an overview:
- Warehouses – The business district in Sharjah provides investors with a selection of pre-built units with sizes ranging from 276 square meters to 614 square meters. All warehouses are constructed in accordance with government safety and environmental rules, and they come with benefits like plenty of parking places and the proper infrastructure for IT needs and utilities.
- Well-equipped offices – The Hamriyah Free Zone provides numerous office conveniences, including flexible rooms and state-of-the-art communication equipment. Executive offices start at 15 square meters, and executive suites range from 22 to 40 square meters. Annually renewable leases, a prepared IT infrastructure, meeting rooms with internet access, plenty of parking spaces, and more are additional advantages.
3 TYPES OF BUSINESS LICENSES IN HAMRIYAH
The HFZA provides three different kinds of business licenses to proprietors wishing to run successful businesses in the area:
- Industrial License – Holders of the license are permitted to import raw materials for manufacturing, packing, assembling, processing, and associated uses. Holders may employ regional distributors and agents to advertise their goods in the UAE.
- Commercial License – According to the terms of the license, the holder is allowed to distribute, sell, export, and store commodities. Additionally, this covers general trading (for up to three to five activities) and e-commerce.
- Service License – Holders of the license are only permitted to perform services inside the Hamriyah Free Zone and only for the purposes listed on the license.
ESTABLISHING A COMPANY IN THE HAMRIYAH FREE ZONE
There are three different legal statuses that the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority offers:
- One-shareholder Free Zone Establishment (FZE)
- Free Zone Company (FZC) has two to five shareholders
- Branches of national or global businesses
Research and Planning – Conduct thorough research on the market, industry, and business opportunities within the Hamriyah Free Zone. Determine the company’s legal structure and type of business activity.
Application and Documentation – Submit an application to the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA) with the required documents. The specific documents may vary depending on the type of business and legal structure but typically include:
- Completed application form.
- Passport copies and CVs of shareholders and directors.
- Business plan.
- Bank reference letter.
- Memorandum and Articles of Association (MOA/AOA).
- Lease agreement for office or warehouse space.
- NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the current sponsor, if applicable.
- Other specific documents as requested by HFZA.
Company Registration – Once the application is submitted, HFZA will review the documents and conduct the necessary due diligence. Upon approval, the applicant will receive a Letter of Approval (LOA) from HFZA. Pay the required registration and licensing fees as per the fee structure provided by HFZA.
Lease Agreement and Office Setup – Sign the lease agreement for office or warehouse space in the Hamriyah Free Zone. Obtain necessary approvals for the office or warehouse design and fit-out. Set up the physical infrastructure and furnish the office as per the regulations and guidelines provided by HFZA.
Licensing and Permits – Apply for the necessary licenses and permits required for the business activity. Provide any additional documents or information requested by HFZA during the licensing process. Pay the applicable license fees and security deposits.
Bank Account Opening – Open a corporate bank account with a local or international bank approved by HFZA. Provide the necessary documents, including company formation documents, shareholder information, and KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements. Refer to Hamriyah free zone bank account opening to know more.
HAMRIYAH’S FREE ZONE VISA
Regarding visas, Hamriyah is flexible. You can establish a business that qualifies for 1 to 7 visas without having to pay for an executive office. Due to high visa numbers, it beats numerous alternative methods of obtaining a UAE residence visa.
Businesses are allowed to open up to 50 visas in a warehouse facility.
A partner’s or investor’s visa is valid for two years, and an employee’s visa is good for the same amount of time.
For investors, AED 9,125 will be required for the visa, which also includes a medical exam and an Emirates ID. Immigration fees, such as those for an establishment card and an e-channel, are also included.
For employees, AED 3,785 plus a refundable deposit equal to one month’s pay and one round-trip ticket is required.
RENEWAL OF THE BUSINESS
Every year, any business in the Al Hamriyah Free Zone must be renewed. Providing an audit report at the time of renewal is mandated by the government. Auditing must begin after the second year of business.
If the applicant can’t submit the audit report, they can elect to sign a waiver letter and pay a cost of 1,000 AED.
The shareholder need not be present for the renewal to take place.
PROS AND CONS OF SETTING UP A BUSINESS IN HAMRIYAH FREE ZONE
ADVANTAGES OF SETTING UP A BUSINESS IN HAMRIYAH FREE ZONE
- Hamriyah Free Zone allows businesses to have full foreign ownership. This eliminates the need for a local partner or sponsor, giving investors complete control over their business operations.
- Businesses operating in the Hamriyah Free Zone are exempt from re-export, export, or custom duties. This makes importing and exporting products much less expensive and makes it cheaper for businesses to engage in international trade.
- The Hamriyah Free Zone offers flexible lease options. This allows businesses to choose between short and long-term lease agreements based on their specific needs.
- Businesses in the Hamriyah Free Zone have easy access to both the domestic UAE market and the wider Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market. This provides companies with a large consumer base and numerous opportunities for business growth and expansion.
- The Hamriyah Free Zone provides convenient online services for visa applications, renewals, and other administrative processes.
- Modern telecommunications infrastructure in the Hamriyah Free Zone makes it simple for businesses to communicate.
- Onsite customs facilities and worker accommodations are available in the Hamriyah Free Zone, making it simple for enterprises to manage their customs clearance procedures effectively.
DISADVANTAGES OF STARTING A BUSINESS IN HAMRIYAH FREE ZONE
- Due to the high density of businesses in the zone, competition can be fierce. To stand out from the competition, businesses must differentiate themselves.
- Businesses operating within the zone must abide by the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority’s (HFZA) rules and regulations. Changes in the rules or processes may directly affect how businesses operate.
- While the Hamriyah Free Zone offers various benefits, typically, only companies are permitted to conduct operations within it. If they want to expand outside the Free Zone, they might need extra licenses, permits, or partnerships with local organizations.
- Arabic is the language used officially in the UAE. While English is commonly used, it is possible to encounter communication challenges when interacting with local officials, suppliers, or customers due to language differences. Businesses might have to face communication difficulties by employing staff members who can speak two languages or by using services that help with translating.
Reach out to us at Relin Consultants – Leading Global Business Set Up Partners for further assistance with your Hamriyah Free Zone company incorporation.
What are the types of companies that can be incorporated in the Hamriyah Free Zone?
The Hamriyah Free Zone enables the formation of different kinds of companies. This consists of Free Zone Establishment (FZE), Free Zone Company (FZC), and a Branch of a Foreign or Local Company.
What is the minimum share capital requirement for incorporating a company in the Hamriyah Free Zone?
The Hamriyah Free Zone doesn’t have a particular minimum share capital rule. However, it’s suggested to have enough share capital available to support the planned business activities and operational needs.
Are there any restrictions on the business activities that can be conducted in the Hamriyah Free Zone?
The Hamriyah Free Zone permits many different types of businesses in various industries such as manufacturing, trading, logistics, and services. But, some activities might need extra permission or permits from the right authorities.
Can I choose any office or warehouse space within the Hamriyah Free Zone?
There are various alternatives for offices and warehouses in the Hamriyah Free Zone. You can choose the ideal place based on what you need for your business and what is available.
Can I have a virtual office in the Hamriyah Free Zone?
The Hamriyah Free Zone offers services for virtual offices. These services enable organizations to utilize specific facilities and services without the requirement for a physical office space while also providing them with a professional company address.
Can I convert my existing company into a Hamriyah Free Zone company?
Yes, it is possible to convert an existing company into a Hamriyah Free Zone company. This process may involve certain legal and administrative requirements.