Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC Business Set Up and Company Formation

Company formation in DIFC Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai Government conceived of the Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC as the world’s first and only fully functional financial zone in the UAE, and it is the only free zone in the UAE. Dubai International Financial Centre, which was founded in 1990 and has its own court and civil and commercial laws are not applied in this zone.

The Dubai Financial Centre DIFC was established to foster the development of financial services in the UAE’s fast-growing economies. It aims to provide a secure platform for firms to expand into the Middle East and overseas markets, as well as to provide a recognised legal and business framework, world-class infrastructure, and a stable economic environment.

All Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC administration costs are collected in US dollars, making it the only financial centre in the UAE in which one can pay for registration fees. Apart from the payment of registration fees, during the time of company formation in DIFC , DFSA (Dubai Financial Services Authority) approvals are also required to operate in Dubai International Financial Centre.

Dubai Internatinal Financial Centre DIFC’s financial and nonfinancial sectors are located across the Centre. There are a variety of corporate sectors, professional services organisations, global corporations, insurance firms, asset management firms, and capital markets access businesses within the Centre.


Company Structures at Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC

The variety of structure types that a DIFC business may be established as, makes it appealing to an individual or corporate investor. The following are examples:

Companies can be structured in a variety of ways, including

  • a company limited by shares (LTD),
  • a limited liability company (LLC),
  • a branch of an existing foreign company (Branch of a Foreign Company), a representative office of a pre-existing foreign company (Representative Office), and a continuation company (Continued Company).

The LLP structure options under the Limited Liability Partnership Law include

  •  a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) and
  • a Branch of an existing foreign LLP (RLLP).

The GP structure options under the General Partnership Law include

  • a GP and
  • a Branch of an existing foreign GP (RP)

Under the Limited Partnership Law:

  • A branch of an existing limited partnership (RLP),
  • a pre-existing limited partnership (RLP),
  • or a company formed by transferring a foreign limited partnership (FLP).

Types of Licenses Available for Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC

Dubai International Financial Centres DIFC offers different licensing options such as:

  • Professional services
  • Regulated / non-regulated business
  • Proprietary investment
  • Holding / regional headquarters

Business Activities Permitted in Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC

The following listed business activities are permitted in Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC:

  • Private Banking
  • Investment Banking
  • Brokerage
  • Capital Marketing
  • Insurance
  • Fund Management
  • Wealth Management
  • Private Equity
  • Corporate Offices
  • Asset Management
  • Innovation Licence
  • FinTech
  • Retail and Convenience
  • Cafes & Restaurants
  • Art Galleries

Facilities offered at Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC

Here is a list of the facilities available at Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC. They are as follows:

  • Commercial retail spaces
  • Offices shell and core options
  • Serviced offices

Advantages of Company Set up in Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC

The Dubai International Financial Centres meets all of a company’s growth requirements. In addition to meeting all of a company’s growth requirements, the Dubai International Financial Centres offers the following benefits to investors:

  • Access to regional wealth and investment opportunities through a unified platform
  • 100 per cent foreign ownership of the company
  • A zero per cent tax rate on income and profits
  • A wide range of double taxation treaties that UAE incorporated entities can use
  • There are no exchange controls (free capital convertibility)
  • International legal standards are exceptionally high
  • The Common Law of England & Wales is the basis of the international legal system
  • A regulatory environment that conforms to global best practices
  • A wholly transparent operating environment
  • A wide range of legal vehicles that may be established with capital structuring flexibility
  • The skills of a large pool of skilled professionals living in Dubai and the surrounding regions
  • A modern transport, communications, and internet infrastructure
  • A single location for visa, work permit, and other related requirements
  • An independent judicial system

Documents Required to Register Company in Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC

Following documents must be submitted during the process of company formation in Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC:

  • An application form for business setup in DIFC Authorities
  • Passport copies of Shareholders, managers and secretary
  • A description of the company’s activities
  • A list of people who own more than 5 percent of the business, a description of their responsibilities.
  • The company’s articles of association and Memorandum of Association
  • Business Plan
  • Board resolution
  • Manager’s specimen signature

Steps to be followed on registering the company in Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC

Here are the steps you must take to establish a business in Dubai International Financial Centre: Decide on a company name.

  • Obtain a license from the DIFC List.
  • Lease a contract from an authorised person.
  • Submit the application form for the required trade licence to DIFC in Dubai.
  • Pay the fee and submit the required documents.
  • Sign and attest the Article of Association (AoA), Memorandum of Association (MoA) and leasing agreement by all shareholders.
  • The UAE Residence Visa can then be obtained.
  • After receiving the licence, a bank account must be opened.

Cost of setting up a company in Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC

The Dubai International Financial Centre DIFC licence fee may range from around 15,000 USD however, it may depend on other requirement such as your location, business activities, company size, operational costs and the package you select for your company formation.


To make it easier, once you have your business plan ready in your hand, you can always take help from the expert business setup consultants in Dubai UAE, who will help you with every step of the process, from choosing a business activity and company name to registering with the relevant authorities, easily opening corporate bank accounts and processing visa applications.

Deena

Human Resource professional and writer.

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