Cost of setting up a regulated firm in the DIFC

  • 09-04-2019

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

The DIFC has announced a full waiver of registration and license fees for new companies. Those looking at establishing ANY LICENSE (regulated or non-regulated) in the DIFC, will have to pay ZERO license and registration fees*, with deferred rental payments for upto 6 months**!

Forming your DIFC company has never been more cost effective. Take advantage of this limited time offer - GET IN TOUCH TODAY!

Note: *DFSA fees not included in the offer   **for DIFC-managed buildings only

DIFC is one of the world’s top ten onshore financial centers and offers a secure and efficient platform for businesses and financial institutions to reach into and out of the emerging markets of the region. The quality and independence of DIFC’s regulator, the prevailing common law framework, excellent infrastructure and tax efficiencies make it the perfect base to take advantage of the rapidly growing demand for financial and business services in the MENASA region.

DIFC fills the time-zone gap for a global financial centre between the leading financial centres of London and New York in the West and Hong Kong and Tokyo in the East.

Why setup a financial services firm in the DIFC?

The DIFC is a leading financial hub in the region. Besides offering a wide range of financial service activities, the centre also provides an integrated environment and world-class standard of living. It is well regarded in the international community as well.

There exist opportunities for startups as well. The recent focus on fintech led to the DIFC Fintech Hive initiative, that serves as an accelerator for fintech firms to test their products and pitch it to prospective investors. Sarwa is one such success story.

Specific Advantages

Here are some specific advantages of establishing in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

FRAMEWORK

  • The legal framework supports cross-border activities
  • 100% foreign ownership permitted, no restrictions on capital repatriation
  • No restriction on foreign employees

TAX EFFICIENCIES

  • Zero tax for 50 years on profits, capital or assets
  • Zero tax on personal income

CONFIDENCE

  • Highly regarded, independent regulator
  • Independent, English-speaking, common law judicial system
  • Distinct from the UAE civil courts 
  • Risk-based regulatory approach

ECOSYSTEM

  • High prominence in deal making in the region
  • Concentration of international financial institutions
  • World-class regional and international professional services
  • The leading fund domicile in the region

GEOGRAPHIC EPICENTRE

  • GCC Management offices, holding companies and family offices are located closer to the assets they own or manage
  • The UAE plays a central role in growing global trade, between Asia and Africa on one side and the West on the other
  • Well-positioned to harness the potential of emerging markets.

 

Costs

Setting up a DIFC Regulated Firm involves the following interactions:

Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)

The DFSA is responsible for reviewing and approving all applications for financial services. Costs depend on the activities applied for, which puts the applicant in one of five categories.

Generally, there are two components of DFSA fees. One – an application processing fee, and the other, an annual licensing fee.

Application fee: starts from US$ 15,000 for a Category 4 license application.

License fee: starts from US$ 15,000 for a Category 4 license.

Special provisions have been made for Fund Management (starts from US$ 5,000) and Crowdfunding (US$ 10,000) activities.

Registrar of Companies (DIFC ROC)

The ROC helps to set up the legal structure of the DIFC Regulated Firm. Shareholders can be individual, or corporate. There are many options available, such as ‘Private Company Limited by Shares’ and ‘Limited Liability Partnerships’. In case of Private Company Limited by Shares, the costs for setting up include:

Application for reserving a name (2 working days): US$ 800

Application for Incorporation of a Private Company Limited by Shares (5 working days): US$ 8,000

Commercial License on Incorporation (5 working days): US$ 12,000 (annual fee)

Data Protection

The data protection notification is part of the process of registering a new entity in the DIFC. The costs involved are as follows:

Registration - US$ 500

Annual renewal – US$ 250

Office spaces

Every entity registered in the DIFC is required to lease a physical office. You can choose from the Gate and surrounding buildings, or other buildings within the DIFC, such as Emirates Financial Towers, Central Park, Park Avenue, Burj Daman and Currency House.

Prices vary, depending on the space availed and the building. Here is an indication of the prevailing rates:

DIFC Business Centre – from a two-desk office at US$ 35,000.

DIFC Fitted Offices – from US$ 55 per square foot.

Other buildings – from US$ 32,000 per annum

Visas

Establishment Card Application – US$ 630

PSA Deposit – US$ 682

Visas (per visa) – from US$ 1,500

PSA Deposit (per visa) – US$ 682

Costs Summary

Private Company Limited by Shares

US$

DFSA Application Fee (from)

US$ 15,000

DFSA License Fee (from)

US$ 15,000

Application for reserving a name

800

Application for Incorporation

8,000

Commercial License

12,000

Data Protection Registration

1,000

Office spaces (business center), from

27,000

Fitted Offices, from

32,000

Establishment Card application

630

PSA Deposit

682

 
 
 
For more details about DIFC Services, Please Contact Us

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