Gatestone Group

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a prominent financial hub in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) providing world-class facilities and infrastructure for businesses.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a renowned financial hub offering a world-class ecosystem for businesses. DIFC provides a platform for companies to operate regionally and globally, fostering innovation and growth. With a commitment to excellence and transparency, DIFC is an ideal choice for those seeking a dynamic business environment in the heart of Dubai. Key features include an independent legal and regulatory framework based on English common law, a robust infrastructure, and a tax-friendly environment. Businesses benefit from a strategic location, access to a skilled workforce, and a wide range of financial and professional services.

Unique Features of DIFC

  • DIFC is an international financial center for banks, financial institutions and other businesses worldwide
  • It is located at the center of the financial district in the UAE offering a strategic link and easy access to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia markets
  • It follows an independent legal structure that complies with the English common law, enabling a well-regulated environment for businesses
  • It offers a variety of legal structures such as Free Zone Company (FZCO), Branch of a Foreign Company, and Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • DIFC offers modern offices, conference spaces and other innovative and advanced infrastructure
  • Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) oversees the regulatory framework in DIFC
  • DIFC offers a variety of dining options, recreational facilities, cultural events etc.

Types of licenses available in DIFC

  • Category 1 activities – Banks
  • Category 2 – Market maker, provider of credit
  • Category 3A – Brokerage
  • Category 3B – Custodian and Employee Money Purchase Schemes
  • Category 3C – Asset Manager, Fund Manager, Issuer of Stored Value
  • Category 3D – Money Service Businesses

Benefits of setting up a business in DIFC

  • 0% corporate tax on Qualifying Income
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • No currency restrictions
  • Strategic location
  • World-class infrastructure and facilities
  • Access to a network of business support services
  • Access to DIFC co-working facilities and modern amenities
  • Access to a Global Fintech Hub

The specific document requirements for company formation in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) may vary based on the type of business entity and its activities. However, generally, the following documents are commonly required:

  • Application Form
  • Business Plan
  • Financial Projection
  • Passport copies of shareholders, directors, and appointed legal representatives.
  • Proof of Address for shareholders, directors, and legal representatives.
  • Bank Reference Letter
  • CV/Resume
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association (MoA and AoA)
  • Corporate Structure
  • If the applicant is a branch, company financial position and regulatory history profile

Under the Companies Law, a prospective registrant may seek to establish the following companies limited by shares:

  • A Public Company (PLC)
  • A Private Company (LTD)
  • A branch office of a pre-existing foreign company
  • 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, a prospective registrant may seek to establish:

  • A Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
  • A branch of a pre-existing foreign Limited Liability Partnership (RLLP)

Under the General Partnership Law, a prospective registrant may seek to establish:

  • A General Partnership (GP)
  • A Branch of a pre-existing foreign general partnership (RP)

Under the Limited Partnership Law, a prospective registrant may seek to establish:

  • A Limited Partnership (LP)
  • A Branch of pre-existing limited partnership (RLP)
  • A party may also seek to transfer the existing limited partnership into DIFC from another jurisdiction (Continued LP)

The costs of setting up a company in DIFC will vary depending on the type of license you require and the complexity of your business operations. Contact Gatestone Group for more information via [email protected] or call +971 4 451 1023.

No, you do not need a local partner to set up a company in DIFC. Foreign investors are allowed to own 100% of their businesses in the free zone. For seamless company formation and expert guidance in DIFC, reach out to Gatestone Group today via [email protected] or call +971 4 451 1023.

Operating within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) comes with its own set of regulatory requirements, designed to maintain a high standard of financial conduct and attract reputable businesses. These requirements cover various aspects of your business operations, from company formation to ongoing financial reporting. DIFC has several regulations that businesses must comply with. The main laws governing the DIFC are:

  • Federal Law No. 8 of 2004
  • Federal Decree No. 35 of 2004
  • Dubai Law No. 5 of 2021
  • Cabinet Resolution No. 28 of 2007

These regulations cover areas such as company formation legislations, taxation, labour law, audits, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC), Economic Substance Regulations, data protection etc. Unleash the potential of your business in DIFC with Gatestone Group’s comprehensive company formation and post-incorporation services via [email protected] or call +971 4 451 1023.

Non-compliance with DIFC regulations can result in various penalties, including fines, surcharges, license revocation, cost of remediation, public reprimands, activity restrictions, travel restrictions, legal action, damage to investor confidence. Early self-disclosure and cooperation with the DIFC Authority can mitigate penalties. A proactive compliance approach is essential. To ensure your company is compliant with DIFC regulations, contact the legal advisors at Gatestone Group via [email protected] or call +971 4 451 1023.


  • Office 1416, The Binary by Omniyat Marasi Drive Street, Business Bay, Dubai
  • +971 4 450 1023
    +971 52 410 0849

Get in touch