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Dubai International Financial Center

Dubai International Financial Center Business SetupCompany Formation in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)

Setup Your Company in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) with Connect Middle East

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) launched in 2004 is one of the Dubai’s independent free-zones. Dubai International Financial Centre is a top ten global financial centre and the leading financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. DIFC has its own independent, internationally regulated regulator and judicial system, common law framework, global financial exchange, tax-friendly regime, and a large business community. Located at the heart of Dubai, DIFC is an independently regulated special economic zone. This autonomy continues to attract premium companies from across the globe such as corporations from the banking services, capital markets, asset management and fund registration sectors, as well as hosting insurance and reinsurance firms, Islamic financial entities, and professional services firms. DIFC was ranked the eighth most prestigious financial centre in the world, with the best services benefitting the companies operating within DIFC.

Connect Middle East is a trusted business advisor who guides entrepreneurs and businessmen on Business Setup in Dubai Mainland, UAE. We help you to understand and guide regarding the licenses and permits based on your services and business activities.

The given points are the advantages of DIFC Company Formation Services-

  • Dubai International Financial Centre Authority.
  • Complete confidentiality.
  • No corporate taxes are needed.
  • 100% overseas ownership.
  • A large range of business automobiles are included.
  • A group of expert professionals staying in Dubai and other districts.

Surrounded by a region that is fast developing and rich in natural resources and petro dollars, and combined with a tax friendly authority and laissez-faire attitude towards capital repatriation and movement of funds, DIFC offers an ideal financial destination and powerhouse that is incomparable.

Setup Your Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) with Connect Middle East. We are the experienced professional business advisors to ensure fast and efficient company formation all over in the UAE.


Benefits of
Mainland Business Setup

If you decide to set up your company in Dubai Mainland, you can get several benefits, including the following ones:

  • You can get a significant corporate tax exemption if you own a mainland company., which is something you cannot have in other countries.
  • Mainland companies enjoy the benefit of office space, which means they can do business anywhere in the UAE. And besides, there are no restrictions of any kind when it comes to carrying out their activities.
  • Dubai serves as a gateway to the Middle East. Therefore, investors can diversify their businesses in other GCC countries.
  • This emirate also offers many capital incentives for investors through concessions and flexible rules.
  • There are no currency exchange restrictions for mainland companies in Dubai and the UAE.
  • You can reach international markets and clients.
Tax Exemption
Office Space
No currency exchange restrictions
International exposure
Best Location
Reach international Markets
Business Setup in Saudi Arabia

Business setup in DIFC Free zone

The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) is known as the financial hub in the Middle East. Companies that work in the finance sector can establish their presence in this region and enjoy from the many benefits and development this Free Zone has to offer.

Foreign investors that want to enter financial international markets can find in DIFC a key location to conduct their operations. Thanks to its tax-friendly benefits, investor-friendly legal framework and simple business setup process, business owners should carry out the Company Formation in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Forming a company in DIFC

The Business Setup in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a pretty straightforward process. Since the DIFC is a leading financial center in the UAE and one of the top financial hubs in the world, it offers innovative financial services that business can take advantage of to boost their operations.

Incorporating a company in DIFC only involves following three steps. First, you need to submit your application, then once you’ve received the approval, you can continue with the registration process. Lastly, you can collect your license once you have make the payments.

The documents you’ll need for incorporating a company in DIFC are the following:

  • Passport copy for each shareholder
  • Copy of entry stamp
  • Business plan
  • Financial Projection

The DIFC company register (ROC) is in charge of reviewing the documentation and applications to approve them or reject them.

DIFC Business Activities

Establishing a DIFC company means that you’ll have to select among the business activities allowed by the DIFC Authority. Since this Free Zone offers more options compared to other Free Zones, it’s important to choose the best business activities for your business as well as the proper business license.

In DIFC, the activities are divided in Financial Business and Non-Financial Business, and are as follows:

  • Financial business: Financial technology, banking, private banking, investment banking, brokerage, capital markets, innovation, insurance, fund management, asset management, wealth management, and private equity.
  • Non-financial business: consultancy, service providers, and product providers.

Among the service providers we can find sectors such as advertisement, arts, education, fashion designing, hotel management, and many more. And regarding product providers, business can engage in trading and other commercial activities as per the DIFC regulations.

Business Licenses for DIFC

To operate legally in DIFC you must have a valid business license. In this regard, it’s important to learn about the DIFC license categories. Since this Free Zone welcomes companies that work in financial and non-financial sector, there are several business licenses that can be issued by the authorities.

The first step is to select your business activity and determine if it’s related or not to the financial sector. In this regard, in DIFC we can find divide the business licenses into two categories:

  • Non-regulated license: this license is for businesses that are not related to the Finance and Banking sector. Some of these may be professional or personal services, specialized establishments, restaurants, cafes, art galleries, academic institutions and more.
  • Regulated license: Businesses that carry out activities related to Banking and Finance should get a regulated license.

Among the regulated licenses we can find the following categories:

  • Category 1: Accepting Deposits
  • Category 2: Principal Investor
  • Category 3: Dealing in investment (3A), Providing custody (3B) and manage collective investment fund (3C)
  • Category 4: Arranging Credit or Deals and Advising
  • Category 5: Islamic Financial Institution

Benefits of doing business in DIFC

  • DIFC companies law is friendly with foreign investment
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • No income and profits tax
  • There are no controls regarding exchange
  • It has double taxation treaties
  • Laws and regulations are strong but simple
  • State-of-the-art infrastructure on telecommunications and internet
  • It provides many investment opportunities
  • Common Law framework

Business entities in DIFC

To Start your Business in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) you should select one of the legal structures available for your business. Unlike other Free Zones, in DIFC you have a several options so you can choose the best one for your business.

Some of the corporate structures you can find in DIFC are the following:

  • LTD Company (limited by shares) and LLC (Limited Liability Company): these can be formed with one or more shareholders, either individuals or corporate.
  • LLP (Limited Liability Partnership), Limited (LP) and General Partnership (GP): these can be formed with two or more shareholders
  • Investment Company
  • Protected Cell Company (PCC)
  • Branch office: of a foreign company, of an existing foreign LLP, an existing LP, an existing foreign general partnership.
  • A Continued Company (transfer company)

DIFC License costs

Opening a company in DIFC means that you need to have an authorized capital and pay the required fees for the DIFC license cost.

However, the final cost varies depending on the type of office you choose. Some of the expenses that you’ll have to incur are the following:

  • Registration fee: starts from AED 29,000
  • License fee: starts from AED 44,000
  • Office rent: the rent will depend on the size of the physical space, and this can start from AED 23,000
  • Share capital: the minimum share capital to incorporate a company in DIFC is of AED 183,650 or USD50,000

DIFC Innovative Facilities

Investors and business owners that want to carry out the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Setup can select from a vast range of facilities offered by the DIFC. From residential to business facilities, there are many options that can suit your business needs.

Some of the most notable facilities you can find in DIFC are the following:

  • Offices: in DIFC there is an Office Zone where you can choose among closed or open office spaces for your business. Here you can find core and shell offices, modern designs, IT solutions, conference facilities, and much more.
  • Serviced Office Space: investors can select a fully furnished office from where they can carry out their operations in DIFC. It’s a great option for small businesses and startups.
  • Data Center Co-Location: the DIFC’s 4 modern data center provide dedicated BMS facilities, hosting services, back up UPS System and much more.
  • Residential Zone: investors can find modern and high-quality apartments, schools, restaurants, healthcare facilities and landscaped surroundings for having an outstanding quality of life in DIFC.

Types of LicenseTypes of Business License
in Dubai Mainland

You can find four major business licenses that the DED issues for companies in Dubai Mainland. Let’s take a look at them:

Commercial license

Under this license, mainland companies can undertake activities like buying and selling products. And after getting this license, traders can also obtain a general trading license, which allows them to trade more products. And these two licenses are among the most common ones in Dubai and the rest of the UAE.

Industrial license

: this other license allows companies to carry out manufacturing activities. Therefore, this is the most suitable license for factories and industries to perform these types of activities. Nonetheless, it is possible to require approval from other authorities to get this license, such as External Ministries.

Professional license

As for this business license, it’s special for individuals and companies that look forward to providing professional services. For example, service-oriented activities like business consultancy and accounting services are some of the allowed ones. And some others could be related to education, management, healthcare, advertising, and many others.

Tourism license

Since the tourism sector is among the most important industries in Dubai, there is a special license for tourism-related businesses.
You can find it in Dubai North, sharing the border with Sharjah. It is a perfect location for setting up small and medium businesses, shops, or enterprises.
Business Bay
This is one of the favorite locations of most investors because is probably the most advanced area. And the hospitality sector is the most prosperous industry in this location due to the benefit it gets here. You can find this place between Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai Creek.
Al Qusais
This other one is located close to the Dubai International Airport. And this location is the ideal one for carrying out industrial activities. However, it is also perfect for educational institutes and commercial establishments.
Al Quoz
You can find this other location in the South-West area of Dubai, and just like the previous one, Al Quoz is ideal for industrial activities. Most investors decide to set up warehouses and industrial businesses.
This other one is on the west coast. And Jumeirah dedicates its spaces and services mostly to tourism-related companies and also real estate businesses. Here you will find many resorts and restaurant that attracts many tourists from many different countries.

From your problem
To real solution

How can you complete the Mainland company setup process in Dubai Mainland?

STEP 1Assign a Local Sponsor

Assign a reliable UAE local sponsor for your company. It is important to sign an agreement with your chosen agent in which the official responsibilities are specified. Besides, it is also necessary the local agent’s NOC to set up your business, along with other essential documents.

STEP 2Obtain the initial approval from the DED

You must obtain the initial approval from the DED, but you can let a consultant get this step done for you.

STEP 3Select & Register a Trade Name

Select & Register a trade name for your business. And then, you must select and register a trade name for your business by following certain rules. Once you have done this, you need to get your office space ready and apply for a license.

STEP 4Pay Fees & Submit Documents

Pay your license fee and submit all required documents in order to get your license from the DED. After completing all these steps, you will be able to start operating your company in Dubai Mainland.

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