Here are the timelines for Dubai International Financial Center Company Formation(DIFC)
Day 1 - Application submission
Day 2 - Reservation of name
Day 3 - Submit documents to DIFC
Day 6 - Trade license is issued
About Dubai International Financial Centre Company Formation
The Dubai International Finance Centre Company Formation is considered one of the most advanced financial centers in the world. Furthermore, it is the leading international financial hub for Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. These continents comprise 72 countries and an approximate population of 3 billion. The Dubai International Financial Centre Freezone specializes in financial operations, private banks, and asset management and was founded in 2004.
DIFC houses thousands of different companies. This includes the world’s biggest banks and insurance, asset management, commercial, long-term lease, consulting, audit, arbitration, legal, companies, etc.
Furthermore, this Freezone is the only Freezone in the UAE that has an independent, internationally recognized financial regulator. Moreover, it also has a proven judicial system with a common-law English framework. Other Freezones have civil law and commercial.
Lastly, entrepreneurs consider Dubai International Financial Centre company formation as one of the most prestigious company formation processes in all the UAE. This is because of the strict requirements for the DIFC company registration process. Nevertheless, it still has a clear vision to drive the future of finance as we know it.
3.1 Key features and benefits of Dubai International Financial Centre Company Formation
The Dubai International Finance Centre´s key feature is its English common law-based legal system. Furthermore, it has its own court as well as the US Dollar ($) as a primary currency that people use for any payments and transactions.
Additionally, Dubai International Financial Centre company formation is suitable for any investors looking forward to setting up companies from the regulated financial sectors of the banking industry. It also is suitable for setting up companies from non-regulated sectors. Simply put, this free zone is perfect for brokers, consultants, and for providing services such as HR, Fitness and Health, etc.
3.3.1 Legal and Regulatory Framework
- The legal framework supports most types of cross-border activities.
- There are no restrictions on capital repatriation.
- Furthermore, there is not any restriction on foreign talent/employees.
- Lastly, it also allows for 100% foreign ownership.
3.3.2 Tax-related benefits
- Mainly, there is not any tax on employee income.
- Similarly, there is not any taxation for 50 years of profits, capital, or assets.
3.3.3 Counterparty confidence
- As mentioned before, there is an independent, English-speaking, common law judicial system.
- Additionally, it has a risk-based regulatory approach.
- Moreover, it has a highly-regarded, independent regulator.
- Lastly, the DIFC Freezone is distinct from the UAE-legal system.
3.3.4 Diverse ecosystem
- Firstly, central to regional deal-making
- Secondly, the Freezone has a high concentration of international firms, wealth management firms, financial institutions, banks, and investment funds.
- Thirdly, the Dubai International Finance Centre has the largest fund domicile in the region.
- Lastly, it has word-class regional and international law and auditing firms. Moreover, Freezone also offers and provides other professional services.
3.3.5 Geographic epicenter
- Firstly, in this Freezone, you can locate management offices, holding companies, and family offices next to assets owned by the same owners of these businesses.
- Furthermore, the Freezone is well-positioned to harness the emerging markets´ potential
- Moreover, the MEASA, also known as Middle East, Africa, and South Asia is (increasingly) the center of gravity for the global economy.
- Lastly, since it is the UAE, Dubai plays a central role in the (growing) South-South trade. Principally, it helps in the trades between Asia and Africa
We work closely with the following banks for opening bank accounts for our clients.
Types of DIFC licenses and companies
In the DIFC Freezone, there are many companies investors that opt for Dubai International Financial Centre Company Formation. The following types of DIFC-companies can be opened in this Freezone:
- Firstly, companies (LLC) and partnerships (LLP). These include limited partnerships with limited liability.
- Investment companies (IC)
- Foreign company branch (FCB)
- Unlimited liability companies (GP)
4.2 Licenses and Activities
In this Freezone, the licenses are classified into categories, each one with its own types of activities available. The licenses are categorized as the following: category 1, 2, 3A, 3B, 3C, 4, and 5.
Nevertheless, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) requires from all companies the following:
- Board of directors
- SEO (Senior Executive Officer)
- FO (Finance Officer)
- Chief risk officer
- CO (Compliance Officer)
- Money-laundering reporting officer
- Internal auditor.
4.2.1 Category 1 Activities
Firstly, for category 1 activities, companies need a base capital of 10 million USD ($). As for activities, a license of this category allows companies to specialize in accepting deposits and unrestricted profit-sharing account management. Furthermore, category 1 firms are mainly banks.
4.2.2 Category 2 Activities
Secondly, for category 2 activities, companies need a base capital of 2 million USD ($). Activity-wise companies can specialize in dealing in investments as principal, providing credit. Category 2 activities can also be considered high-risk activities.
4.2.3 Category 3A Activities
Thirdly, for category 3A activities, companies need a base capital of 500.000 USD ($). The main activity of this license is dealing in investments as matched principal and as an agent.
4.2.4 Category 3B Activities
Fourthly, for category 3B activities, companies need a base capital of 4 million USD ($).The main activities of this license are providing custody (only for funds), acting as a trustee for a fund, operating Employee Money Purchase schemes, and acting as the administration of it.
4.2.5 Category 3C Activities
Fifthly, for category 3C activities, companies need a base capital of 500.000 USD ($).The main activities of this license are managing assets and collective investment funds, providing custody and trust services as a trustee, and providing money services.
4.2.6 Category 4 Activities
Sixthly, for category 4 activities, companies need a base capital of 10.000 USD ($). The main activities of this license are:
- Arranging investment deals and credit
- Advising on credit and financial products
- Arranging custody
- Insurance intermediation
- Insurance management
- Operating an ATS
- Providing fund administration and trust services
- Operating a crowdfunding platform
4.2.7 Category 5 Activities
Seventhly, for category 5 activities, companies need a base capital of 10 million USD ($). The main activity of this license is just operating an Islamic business.
Dubai International Financial Centre Company Formation
As previously mentioned, Company Formation in DIFC is considered one of the most prestigious company formation processes. Firstly, the business owner must submit a letter of intent to the DIFC. Afterwards, they will need to attend a meeting with the DIFC´s authority and the DFSA. Once the appeal is considered informally, then the entrepreneur will be able to submit the full application.
In addition to this application form, the entrepreneur needs to provide usual documentation for opening a company. In this case, the documentation includes a UAE visa, a copy of a passport, a formal business plan, and a 3-year financial forecast. Once this process is done, the DFSA will issue an official approval to the entrepreneur and provide confirmation of the company’s registration to the DIFC Authority.
Furthermore, the DFSA will have to open a corporate bank account and give confirmation of the office space´s availability. Only after all we previously mentioned has been completed, the entrepreneur will receive their business license. Nevertheless, the requirements are less strict for unregulated companies, with the process being less stringent but more specific based on the nature of the proposed business.
Lastly, entrepreneurs need to have a base capital of USD 50.000-10 million (depending on the type of license) to register a company. Even though the rules of this Freezone may seem hard, they are not complex. Connect Zone is a professional consultancy agency that helps you start your business in the Dubai International Financial Center without any hassle. Experts at our company will ensure you do not run into any unnecessary problems.
Optional Office Space Solutions
Flexi desk +
12 month price
1,400 (per square meter)
- Conference rooms can be used based on usage with Flexi desks and Flexi desks+
- DIFCO Box cost: USD #Cost# / year
- Call handling charges: USD #Cost# / month
- In the case of private and personalized offices, an additional utility fee is payable at 6% of the office rent
- Additional phone line: USD #Cost# / month per connection
- Additional workstation: USD #Cost# / month
- Small meeting room: USD #Cost# / hour (during office hours) or AED #Cost# / hour (outside office hours)
- Conference room: AED #Cost# / hour (during office hours) or AED #Cost# / hour (outside office hours)
- Printing; AED #Cost# for 100 pages
- Parking space for Flexi desk and Flexi desk+: AED #Cost# / month
- Outgoing calls: Call + 10% (deposit of AED #Cost# required for any individual office lines or any international call forwarding requirement)
- In the case of dedicated, private, and personalized offices one (1) month of rent is required to be deposited as security
6.1 Flexi desk
Firstly, a Flexi desk can be categorized into 2 types, a normal Flexi desk, and a Flexi Desk+. A normal Flexi desk consists of just a desk and a chair typically located in the Free zone’s business center. Furthermore, it can share other office facilities that include fax, a phone, a P.O box, and Internet.
Secondly, the Flexi Desk+ is a desk located in the free zone. However, unlike the normal Flexi Desk, it does not have a time restriction on its usage.
6.2 Dedicated office
Additionally, Connect Zone offers many types of office spaces. A dedicated office refers to office space of 9 sq. meters in a shared space. Furthermore, this space is compromised by:
- 1 workstation with access to Wi-Fi
- Meeting rooms (for 5 hours monthly)
- A conference room (for 1 hour monthly)
- 1 parking space.
6.3 Private office
A private office consists of 12 square meters with:
- 1 executive desk or 2 workstations
- Availability to be used for 24 hours
- Wi-Fi connection
- Meeting rooms (For 7 hours monthly)
- Conference (For 5 hours monthly)
- 1 parking space
6.4 Personalized office
Lastly, Connect Zone offers a personalized office consisting of an unfurnished 20 sq. meters with:
- A personalized office
- Access to Wi-Fi connection
- Availability to be used for 24 hours
- Meeting rooms (For 7 hours monthly)
- Conference (For 5 hours monthly)
- 2 parking spaces
Documents Required for an Dubai International Financial Centre Company Formation
As previously mentioned, you need to submit the required documentation for the DIFC company register. Mainly, for the company, you will need a UAE visa, a copy of a passport, a formal business plan, and a 3-year financial forecast. Nevertheless, for some cases, you will need:
- Colored passport copy.
- Colored entry stamp copy
- Copy of tourist visa (only if applicable)
- Address proof in the owner´s home country.
Furthermore, the authorities can require additional documentation may be needed at any point during the incorporation process. This is at the discretion of the authority issuing the license.
Here are the key features of IFZA
Dubai International Financial Centre Free Zone Authority Dubai
International Free Zone Authority Dubai is the one of the most promising upcoming free zones in the UAE.
Type of Company
Limited liability company in free zone with minimum of one (1) shareholder.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to some of the most common questions related to International Free Zone, Dubai, UAE.
We can help you with the processes in the following government departments.
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804, City Tower 2, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai