The ‘dual mainland- freezone license’ and other unique perks of Sharjah Publishing City Freezone

In this article we intend to cover the various unique perks of setting up a company in Sharjah Publishing City Freezone, under Sharjah Book Authority. The dual mainland- freezone license, up to 20 visa quotas for freezone companies and more covered in this article.


an artists rendering of Sharjah book authority
An early artist's rendering of the famous Sharjah Book Authority building before its launch. (Image Credit: Sharjah Book Authority)

Established by Royal Decree, backed by the Government of Sharjah, and led by a strong vision to advance business in the Emirate


Established in 2017, by the Royal Decree of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi- the Ruler of Sharjah, Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPC FZ) is managed by the Sharjah Book Authority and provides state of the art facilities and various innovative packages for company setup in key industries.


It is one of the world’s first freezone concepts dedicated exclusively to serving the global Publishing and Printing industry.


Whilst keeping these activities as core focus areas, it provides licensing options to businesses for over 1500+ activities across trading, services and other activity types.


an aerial view of al noor mosque in sharjah
An aerial view of Al Noor Mosque along Sharjah Corniche (Image credit: Lonely Planet)

What are the main benefits and unique features of Sharjah Publishing City Freezone?


Key propositions of doing business in SPC FZ include:

  • Long license durations: Up to 10-year trade licenses are available at SPC FZ. This isn’t very common to come by in other jurisdictions. Not only does this reduce the annual cost of doing business, but also demonstrates great credibility as a company with a long term plan to do business.

  • Vast array of activities available: More than 1,500 business license activities with the ability to combine activities from different sectors on one license.

  • Large visa quotas available: Most freezone companies are limited to issuing 5-10 visas, with additional visas requiring special approvals. SPC FZ allows its companies to have up to 20 visas (Please note that this depends on the company type, office space size, etc. and is not a generic quota for all SPC FZ companies).

  • Unique ability to have a Dual license (Mainland and Free Zone establishment under the same license): this allows all SPC-based companies to make the most of the many advantages of being based in a free zone, such as 100% foreign ownership, exemption of tax, as well as making the most of the state-of-the-art infrastructure and logistics services, whilst also being able to market their products and services across Sharjah and the UAE.

  • No immigration deposits required for visas issued through SPC freezone.

  • Zero paid-up share capital requirement.

  • Office facilities available with 24/7 access.

  • A well reputed freezone that makes setting up a bank account and developing other partnerships very convenient.

  • Quick incorporation process: Company incorporation documents are issued within as quick as 1 working day (subject to all required documents/ KYC/ due diligence being completed before).


Other benefits of having a freezone entity are as follows:

  • 100% foreign ownership permitted.

  • No corporate taxation.

  • No personal income taxation for freezone employees.

  • Convenient repatriation of profits.

  • Quick, cost effective and convenient option for setting up a UAE company and gaining residency via freezone investor or employment visas.


an image of al mamzar corniche
Al Mamzar Corniche (Image Credit: Holidify)

How to set up a company in Sharjah Publishing City Freezone?


The following is a summary of what the company set up process in SPC freezone looks like. It has been structured by the governing authority as such that investors are able to set up a company as conveniently and quickly as possible.

  1. Application and submission of the following documents (Step 1):

  2. SPC FZ application forms (to be shared by the company set up consultant. We will draft these for you when applying to set up a company in SPC FZ)

  3. Documents required for individual shareholders/ managers/ directors:

  4. Passport Copy

  5. Entry stamp copy or residence visa copy (if applicable)

  6. 2 passport size photos (for immigration card application)

  7. Documents required for corporate shareholders:

  8. Copy of parent company's Certificate of Formation or Trade License

  9. Copy of Certificate of Incumbency or Letter of Good Standing (if applicable)

  10. Copy of Memorandum of Association

  11. Copy of Board Resolution

  12. UBO Documents

  13. Documents of the Authorized Signatories/ Managers/ Directors of the parent company:

  14. Passport copies of all shareholders/ managers

  15. Entry stamp page or residence visa copy (if applicable)

  16. 2 passport size photographs

  17. Degree certificates (if applicable)

  18. Issuance of trade license and company incorporation documents within 1 working day. This will complete the company formation process. The next steps are immigration processes should you be interested in obtaining residence visas for yourself and your employees via the company.

  19. e-Channel registration completion and immigration card issuance within 4 working days after the previous step.

  20. Entry permit issuance, medical tests, Emirates ID application, visa status change within 4 working days after previous step is completed.

  21. Visa issuance within 2 working days after previous step is completed. This will complete the entire immigration process for visa issuance.


an image of eye of the emirates sharjah
Eye of the Emirates, Sharjah (Image Credit: Musafir)

What are the available activities in Sharjah Publishing City Freezone?


The freezone provides investors the option to set up companies choosing from over 1500+ activities in the following key sectors:

  • Publishing

  • Media

  • Wholesale

  • Retail/ Trading

  • Services

  • Consultancy

If you are interested to receive their full activity list, please contact us and we will share the same with you.


For more information on freezone company set up in the UAE, please review the following articles or feel free to contact us.

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