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Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Business Setup - Setup Zone

Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC)



Dubai International Financial Center or DIFC is a global financial center strategically located between the East and West, providing a stable and secure platform for businesses and financial institutions to tap into the emerging markets of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The Centre’s internationally recognized and independent regulation, common law framework, tax-friendly regime, and enabling environment make the ideal hub to access the region’s rapidly growing demand for financial and business services. DIFC fills the time-zone gap between the leading financial centers of London and New York in the West and Hong Kong and Tokyo in the East. Guided by its core values of integrity, transparency and efficiency, the Centre continues to play a pivotal role in meeting the growing financial needs of the region.


Setup Zone can assist in setting up business in DIFC Free Zone. We can aid in all types of company registrations out here, we make it easy for you to start your company. The incorporation of a free zone business is not always as you think. Setup Zone specializes in taking care of the legal and document clearing side of the process.




DIFC Business Setup: It has two sectors of licenses as follows


    Non regulated DIFC business registration is simply anything not related to Banking and Finance. Examples include personal services such as tailors, salons and fitness gyms; retail shops offering jewellery, electronics and apparel; and a wide range of restaurants and cafes, from quick casual to fine dining. Non-financial activities also extend to specialized establishments such as hotels and academic institutions that further extend the breadth of opportunities on offer to professionals working at DIFC.


  • REGULATED License

    Banking & Finance related Business Activities supported by an enabling and evolving financial regulatory ecosystem, regulated entities make up most of DIFC’s client portfolio.




0% Tax

DIFC provides a 50-year guarantee of zero taxes on corporate income and profits, enhanced by the UAE’s wide network of double taxation avoidance treaties with more than 50 countries.

No Restriction on Capital Repatriation

DIFC-based companies face no restrictions or constrains on capital or profit flows, and there are no currency exchange controls in this US dollar-denominated jurisdiction.

Full Foreign Ownership

Within DIFC, subsidiaries and other incorporated entities enjoy 100% foreign ownership, as well as a flexible, world-class regulatory environment that allows for a wide range of options for structuring legal entities. It also offers a specific option for a representative office license.

Common Law Framework

DIFC’s legal system and courts follow a Common Law framework that is administered by an independent and highly regarded regulator and adjudicated on by an equally respected court system. Distinct from the UAE legal system, laws and regulations are issued in English.

Work Class Regulator

One of the principal factors behind the success of DIFC is its independent risk-based regulator, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). The DFSA grants licenses and regulates the activities of financial services conducted through DIFC. The DFSA is recognized by UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA), the US Federal Reserve and is a member of the International Organizations of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). Moreover, the DFSA has established more than 90 MOUs with regulators and central banks across the globe.


  • Application for Company Registration Form
  • Business Plan. It should elaborate the company’s strategic fit with the DIFC objectives and it should indicate the value that the company will add to our existing community by being in the DIFC.
  • Financial projection (3 years)
  • Annual accounts (2 years) – for a startup company you can provide financials of the source of fund.
  • Management team biography and passport copies.


The Requirements above will be reviewed by the Business Entities Unit and will be forwarded to the Registration Review Committee for their approval. The decision is made after evaluating a number of criteria which include:

  • Reputability
  • Centre/Cluster Building
  • Financial wherewithal
  • Business Risk
  • Employee Suitability
  • Business Implementation
  • Contribution to Dubai GDP

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