When choosing a company registration option in the UAE, entrepreneurs often pay attention to free zones. UAE free zones provide foreign businessmen with such advantages as the ability to fully own their firm, a zero tax rate on personal and corporate income, unlimited ability to withdraw capital and profits, the absence of currency restrictions, and the absence of import and export duties.
There are many other advantages, since each specific free zone offers its own unique conditions for business. Some free zones are better suited for companies working in the field of import and export, while others are perfect for industries such as finance.
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a free economic zone specialized in financial operations, private banks and asset management. DIFC Freezone was founded in September 2004 and currently houses 2,000 of different companies, including world’s biggest banks, as well as insurance, asset management, commercial, long-term lease, consulting, audit, arbitration, legal, companies and others.
DIFC is an ideal hub for companies wishing to participate in the rapidly growing financial markets of the Middle East and Africa. Independent regulation, international recognition and favorable conditions of DIFC provide one of the least complex development paths for companies in tightly regulated financial markets.
Get business started!
Freezone DIFC: key features, advantages and company types
The key feature of DIFC, the only fully operational financial zone in the UAE, is its legal system based on English common law. The zone has its own court as well as the US dollar as the primary currency used for any payments and transactions.
DIFC Dubai is suitable for creating companies from the regulated financial sectors of the banking industry and capital management (17 of the 20 largest banks in the world are presented in this free zone) and for companies from non-regulated sectors. This free zone will be a perfect choice for brokers, consultants, for providing services in such areas as HR, fitness and health care, etc.
The following DIFC-companies can be opened in the free zone:
- companies (LLC), partnerships (LLP) and limited partnerships (LP) with limited liability;
- unlimited liability partnerships (GP);
- investment companies (IC);
- foreign company branch (FCB).
- The primary advantages of freezone DIFC are:
- full company ownership for foreign citizens;
- exemption from profit and income taxes;
- highly-developed local infrastructure offering all kinds of operations support and modern information and communication service;
- a wide range of activities for DIFC companies: from financial operations to retail;
- no restrictions on operations with any foreign currency;
- unobstructed and unlimited withdrawal of assets and income.
Dubai International Financial Centre company’s registration process
The main reason why Dubai International Financial Centre is considered one of the most prestigious free zones in the UAE are strict requirements for the company registration process.
Founders of regulated companies has first to submit a letter of intent to DIFC. Then they need to attend a meeting with representatives of Dubai International Financial Centre Authority and Dubai Financial Services Authority. As soon as the appeal will be considered informally, the entrepreneur will be able to submit his full application. In addition to the completed application form, you will also need to provide the usual documents for opening a company. This is the UAE visa, a copy of a passport, a formal business plan and a three-year financial forecast.
Then the entrepreneur will receive an official approval from the DFSA and will have to provide confirmation of the company's registration to DIFC authority, open a corporate bank account and provide confirmation of the availability of office space for doing business. Only after that the entrepreneur will receive a license for the company.
For unregulated companies of DIFC Freezone, the process is less stringent, although specific requirements depend on the nature of the proposed business.
The strict audit and accounting requirements are another reason why DIFC is one of the most respected free zones in the region. However, although the rules may be hard, this does not mean that they are too complex. Dubai International Financial Centre companies just need to keep updated accounting books and submit an annual report for which a fee of $800 is paid. At first glance, the rules of this zone may seem too complicated, but there is a way to simplify your life. If you decide to get all the benefits DIFC company formation, you should definitely contact professional consultancy agency.
The free zone attracts increasingly more companies each year. A charter capital of USD 50,000-10 million is required to register a company depending on activity. Contact Dubai-based company Brahma Business Consultancy if you want to start your business in Freezone DIFC. Our experts will help save your time and avoid unnecessary problems.