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How to Setup Business in DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre)


Dubai International Financial Centre, which is also known as DIFC, is among the topmost financial centres in the region of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. DIFC is a free zone conceived by the Government of Dubai as the first economic zone of the United Arab Emirates. This zone is the leading financial hub of all business setup services in the UAE. 

Currently, the area is being fully functional in the UAE. The key feature of this area is its legal system, which is based on English common law compared to civil or commercial law in the UAE. DIFC also comes with its own court, and the main currency within the DIFC is the US dollar. Hence, all the payments of management fees are accepted in the currency of the US dollar.  However, you should remember one thing here Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) regulates all activities and grants licenses in this free zone. 

You can avail numerous advantages by business setup in DIFC. If you want to know what kind of benefits you can get by setting up your business in DIFC and how to set up your company in this zone, you should read this article.


In this article, we will provide an in-depth guide to business setup in DIFC. Furthermore, we will discuss some basic information to help you set up your business in DIFC.


Benefits of Business Setup in DIFC

There are countless people who want to start their business in DIFC. The primary reason people want a business setup in DIFC is its attractive benefits for businesses. The following are the top benefits that you can get by starting your businesses in DIFC:


  • A range of legal vehicles that may be developed with capital structuring flexibility
  • Modern transport, communications, and Internet infrastructure
  • A world-class, independent regulatory agency working with other financial regulatory agencies situated in major global jurisdictions
  • International legal system on the basis of English Common Law
  • A wholly clear operating environment, complying with global best practices and internationally accepted laws and regulatory processes
  • An international stock exchange along with primary and secondary listings of debt and equity instruments
  • 100 percent foreign ownership
  • 0 percent income tax rate
  • Freedom to value capital and profits without 0 restrictions
  • Skilled professionals living in Dubai and the UAE
  • 0 percent of Corporate Tax given they comply with all regulatory requirements
  • Potential access to the UAE’s vast network of double taxation treaties


We are sure that the desperation to begin your business in this free zone might be increased by knowing the benefits of company formation in DIFC. If so, you should keep reading this article to know the exact steps you should follow to set up a company in DIFC.

how to setup in DIFC

Business rules in DIFC

The company formation in DIFC includes compliance with specific rules of businesses. It is perfect to know that companies in this free zone must have a registered office along with at least two directors who can be of any country. 

When it comes to documents regarding company setup in DIFC, businesses must keep a record for at least ten years and take it into annual audits. All these aspects and rules related to company setup in DIFC that you must follow in foreign entrepreneurship can be explained by Flying Colour agents.

Documents required to set up business in DIFC

There are a few documents that you should gather for business setup in DIFC. Without these documents, the chance of starting a business in Dubai international financial centre. The following is the list of the documents that are required to set up a business in DIFC:


  • Detailed plan for business
  • Details of key controls: Major shareholders come with 5 percent shares and a key certificate confirming the ability of the company to conduct business.
  • Anti-money laundering completed application form
  • If the applicant is a branch, then he or she should gather the company’s financial position and regulatory history profile.
  • Proposed applicants’ organizational chart
  • Detailed information on operating systems and controls
  • Company operation on internal audits and compliance systems
  • Audited account report for shareholders of the last three years


Gathering these documents will enhance the chances of conducting and starting a business in the Dubai international financial centre or DIFC. 

Steps to Begin Your Businesses in DIFC

Indeed, conducting business in Dubai’s international financial centre can provide uncountable benefits. However, a single mistake in the company setup in DIFC may decrease the chance of business success in this free zone. Hence, it is crucial to follow the right path to set up your business in DIFC. The following is the list of steps that you should follow to start your business in DIFC:


➡️Define business activities

Prior to stepping out into the process of company setup in DIFC, you must be clear about what kind of activities you want to conduct in your business. Regardless of the activities you decide to conduct in your business,  your business activities should be aligned with the permitted activities in DIFCs for your corporations.


➡️Choose a legal structure.

After defining the business activities for your business to company formation in DIFC, you must choose a legal structure.  The Dubai International Financial Centre offers various legal structures, like  Limited Liability Companies, Partnership Firms, and more. You must select the suitable structure that suits your business’s needs. We recommend you consult Flying Colour because we have experts to help you decide the appropriate business structure for your business. 


➡️Submit initial approval

After selecting the legal structure with the help of Flying Colour, you must fill out and submit the initial application and non-refundable application fees to the DIFC Registrar of Companies.


➡️Submit the legal documentation. 

Depending on your chosen business structure, you must prepare and submit certain legal documents. You must select the documents that we have mentioned above in this article.


➡️Lease an office

After submitting your legal documents, you should lease a physical office because companies registered in DIFC must lease a physical office within the centre. The size and type of the office depend on the nature and size of the company. 


➡️Pay registration and license fees.

After the approval of your document,  you must pay the registration fee and license fee to get the license. After getting the license, you will be allowed to do business setup in DIFC

How can Flying Colour help you?

Flying Colour comes with the ability to provide valuable assistance in setting up a business in DIFC. We can also help you deal with several complex steps to set up your business in DIFC. 

To learn more about How to set up a Business in DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre), book a free consultation with one of Flyingcolour team advisors, simply call +971 50 5585305 or send WhatsApp messages to +971 4 4542366. you can also drop an email to info (at) flyingcolour (dot) com.

*Please note that this article was published on 26/12/2023 by the federal policies and updates at the time of writing. For the latest info please talk to our consultant.




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