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DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE (DIFC)

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) stands as a prominent global financial hub, ranking among the top ten worldwide. It houses an internationally recognized, independent regulator and operates under a proven judicial system based on English common law. 

Over its 15-year history, DIFC has played a crucial role in facilitating trade and investment flows across the MEASA region, connecting rapidly growing markets with those in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. With more than 25,600 professionals and over 2,500 active registered companies, DIFC boasts the region’s largest and most diverse pool of industry talent. Beyond its financial ecosystem, DIFC envisions driving the future of finance, offering comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, innovative accelerator programs, and funding for growth-stage start-ups.

DIFC not only serves as a business powerhouse but also as a vibrant lifestyle destination. Its diverse offerings include renowned retail and dining venues, a dynamic art and culture scene, residential apartments, hotels, and public spaces. As one of Dubai’s most sought-after destinations, DIFC continues to blend business and lifestyle seamlessly.

DIFC
DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE
License Starting from zero visa package
28,800/- AED
* Terms & Conditions Applied

DIFC PROPOSED LICENSES

  1. Professional License: For companies providing consulting and different type of services.
  2. Commercial License: For companies engaged in import/export of different goods.
  3. Retail License: For companies setting retail shop in DIFC area.
  4. Foundation: Foundation is suitable for family businesses and asset protection.

Wide Range Of Activities Offered By DIFC Free Zone

DIFC offers a diverse array of business activities, with a specialization in financial services. Notably, a single license allows for the inclusion of up to three business activities within the same business line. DIFC provides business activities across various categories, catering to a broad spectrum of industries and sectors.

  1. Consulting
  2. Service
  3. Retail
  4. Foundation

Lease Facilities Offered By DIFC:

DIFC, located in a prime Dubai area, offers prestigious office spaces within buildings owned by DIFC Investments Ltd. This provides businesses with a premium address and access to a high-quality business environment.

  • The Gate Building
  • Gate district buildings 2, 3, 4 and 5
  • Gate Village buildings 1, 2, 3 ,4 ,5 ,6 ,7 ,8 ,10 and 11
  • The Coffee Zone
  • The Gate Avenue
  • Pavilion:

Private office rent prices start from 300 AED per SQ/FT.

DIFC Company Registration Process:

Stage 1: Provide DIFC with letter of Intent

Stage 2: Provide Business plan

Stage 3:  Submit Application documents to DFSA (Required for financial activities)

Stage 4: DFSA issues in-principal approval

Stage 5: Registration and Incorporation with registrar of companies

Stage 6: DSFA final Inspection and authorization

DIFC Company Setup Cost:

DIFC License fees starts from USD 12,000 and the cost if renewal will be same as the first-year license fees:

Particular Fees
License fees
USD 12,000
Application
USD 500
Registrations fees
USD 8,000
Data Protection
USD 2,000

Office rental (Private or Co-working) to be added to the above fees.

The time frame of the company registration is between 3 to 5 Weeks and the process could be done remotely so the presence of the shareholders is not required.

Several items to be considered with the above packages such as:

  1. DIFC Establishment Card fee: 1st year AED 2,000 | Renewal fee: AED 2,200
  2. DIFC Residence Visa fee: AED 3,750 per applicant
  3. Medical checkup: VIP process AED 850 | Normal Process AED 450
  4. Emirates ID application fee: AED 390

After obtaining the residency, the applicant can sponsor family members and secure dependent residence for them.

FOUNDATION

Establishing a foundation offers various advantages, including precise asset distribution according to the founder’s wishes, effective family succession planning, and potential tax benefits based on the jurisdiction. Foundations also provide asset protection against legal liabilities and creditor claims, with flexible corporate structuring options to meet specific goals. Additionally, foundations can serve public interest purposes, excluding charities, without the same level of ongoing operational requirements. It’s crucial to consider jurisdiction-specific regulations and consult legal and financial professionals for optimal structuring and compliance.

To establish an entity as a Foundation in the DIFC, the following criteria must be met:

  • A minimum of one (1) founder is required.
  • A minimum of two (2) council members must be appointed.
  • The Foundation must maintain a registered office in the DIFC at all times. This condition can be fulfilled by either leasing an office within the DIFC, sharing an office with an affiliated entity already present in the DIFC, or by designating a Registered Agent.
  • The Foundation is prohibited from engaging in any commercial activities, except those that are essential for, and related or incidental to, its defined objectives.
  • If a Foundation is established with a charitable or specified non-charitable objective, a Guardian must be appointed
Initial Cost Fee (USD)
Application Fees
$1,000
License fees
$200
Data Protection Fee (if applicable)
$750

DIFC Innovation License

The DIFC Innovation License presents a Commercial License featuring a subsidized fee structure (90% subsidy, reduced visa expenses, and an augmented visa quota) for all technology and innovation start-ups. This provides a chance to participate in the Innovation ecosystem and facilitate continued development and expansion. It is important to emphasize that this is a non-regulated license, and no financial services can be provided under its purview.

Open to all Technology and Innovation startups, regardless of sector:

  1. Commercial Licensing at a subsidized rate of USD 1,500 (annual fee) plus a one-time registration fee of USD 1000.
  2. Availability of co-working space with a flexible desk at USD 500 (+VAT) per month.
  3. Allocation of up to 4 visas for the initial desk, along with discounted visa costs up to 50%.
  4. Swift registration process and immediate access to the DIFC Ecosystem

Seeking Expert Guidance for Launching Your Business in Dubai:

Are you in search of a reliable business setup consultancy? Aura Vision Advisors, specializes in Dubai company formation. Our platform facilitates business owners in registering, renewing company licenses, and obtaining support with visas and banking needs.

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