Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is an autonomous free zone Set up in 2004. It is a globally operating financial hub for the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, bridging regional markets to the economies of the Americas, Europe and Asia. It is situated halfway between London in the west and Singapore in the east, equidistant from two global financial centres. DIFC is home to several financial institutions as well as multinational corporations, residences and recreational venues. DIFC has its own judicial system and regulatory body, financial exchange and legal structure. It is home to several financial institutions, investors and endowment funds, in addition to amenities such as restaurants, hotels, residential areas, points of sale and exhibition galleries.
The managing body of the DIFC is the DIFC Authority. Financial services in the DIFC are regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which oversees the nature of financial services to and from the DIFC. The DIFC laws differ from those of the United Arab Emirates, which are written in English, and use English law to resolve disputes. The DIFC has independent jurisdiction in matters relating to trade, securities, corporations or civil systems.
Business advantages of setting up a company in DIFC:
- 100 percent foreign ownership.
- Zero percent tax rate on income and profits for a period of 50 years from the date of incorporation.
- Possible access to the wide network of UAE double taxation treaties.
- Freedom to repatriate capital and profits – without restrictions.
- A world-class independent regulatory body working with other financial regulators in key countries around the world.
- International legal system based on the common law of England and Wales (the only common law jurisdiction in the region).
- A fully transparent operating environment that complies with global best practices and internationally recognised laws and regulatory procedures.
- An international exchange with primary and secondary listings of debt and equity instruments.
- A variety of legal instruments that can be established with flexibility in capital structuring.
- A pool of professionals based in Dubai and the region.
- A modern transport, communications and internet infrastructure.
- A responsive one-stop shop service for visas, work permits and other related requirements.
Documents for The Establishment of a Company in DIFC
- Proof of reservation of the trade name
- Proof of initial authorisation of business activity
- Passport copies for the shareholders
- Copy of passport and curriculum vitae of the manager
- Personal information sheet for each shareholder and manager
- Detailed business plan
- Information about operating system and controls
- The organisational structure of the proposed business
- Information on the Institute’s internal audit functions and compliance system
- Procedures to combat money laundering
- The history of the applicant organisation and its financial situation
- Detailed information on the most important shareholders and employees
- ownership information from shareholders to verify their suitability and appropriateness for conducting the business
- Rental agreement [in the United Arab Emirates it is mandatory to have a physical address for your own office.
- If applicable, approval by third parties / authorities for activities
Main focus sectors
- Banking and brokerage services
- Wealth & Assets Management
- Reinsurance and Captive Insurance
- Islamic Finance
- Auxiliary services
- Capital markets
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