DIFC Company Set Up Cost

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Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of 30+ Dubai Free Zones that is strategically located between the East and West. DIFC provides 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 range of DIFC’s independent regulation, common law framework, supportive infrastructure and its tax-friendly regime make it the perfect base to take advantage of the region’s rapidly growing demand for financial and business services. DIFC is unique in that it has a legislative system consistent with English Common law.

Core Sectors: DIFC hosts a range of financial and non-financial firms from across the globe. The areas of business within the Centre include banking, professional services, global corporations, insurance, wealth management and access to capital markets.

Recommended for: Professional and financial services companies and business activities. DIFC is a regional headquarters for many well-known international banks, insurance companies and law firms.

DIFC Advantages
  • 100 percent foreign ownership
  • Zero percent tax rate on income and profits for a period of 40 years from inception
  • Potential access to the UAE’s wide network of double taxation treaties
  • Freedom to repatriate capital and profits without any restrictions
  • A world-class, independent, regulatory agency working alongside other financial regulatory agencies located in major global jurisdictions
  • International legal system based on English Common Law
  • Skilled professionals residing in Dubai and the UAE
  • A wholly transparent operating environment, complying with global best practices and internationally accepted laws and regulatory processes
  • An international stock exchange with primary and secondary listings of debt and equity instruments
  • A range of legal vehicles that may be established with capital structuring flexibility
  • Modern transport, communications and internet infrastructure
Types of Licenses
  • Professional services
  • Regulated / non-regulated business
  • Proprietary investment
  • Holding / regional headquarters
  • Commercial retail spaces
  • Offices shell and core options
  • Serviced offices
Legal Entity Types
DIFC presents a range of suitable structure types that are attractive to an individual or corporate investor. A DIFC entity can be registered as any of the following:

  • Under the Companies Law, the company structure options include
    • Company limited by shares (LTD)
    • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
    • Branch of an existing foreign company (Branch of a Foreign Company)
    • Representative Office of a pre-existing foreign company (Representative Office)
    • A party may also seek to transfer the incorporation of an existing company to DIFC from another jurisdiction (Continued Company)
  • Under the Limited Liability Partnership Law, the company structure options include
    • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
    • Branch of a pre-existing foreign Limited Liability Partnership (RLLP)
  • Under the General Partnership Law, the company structure options include
    • General Partnership (GP)
    • Branch of a pre-existing foreign general partnership (RP)
  • Under the Limited Partnership Law, the company structure options include
    • Limited Partnership (LP)
    • Branch of a pre-existing limited partnership (RLP)
    • A party may also seek to transfer the existing limited partnership into DIFC from another jurisdiction (Continued Limited Partnership/Foreign Limited Partnership)
Documents Required
  • Detailed business plan
  • Details of key controllers, major shareholders having above 5% shares and key staff certificate confirming the company’s ability to conduct business
  • Proposed applicants’ organizational chart
  • Detailed information on operating systems and controls
  • Company processes on internal audits and compliance systems
  • Audited account report for shareholders of the last 3 years
  • Anti-money laundering completed application form
  • If the applicant is a branch, company financial position and regulatory history profile


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