Dubai International Financial Centre Introduces New Licenses And Cuts Fees

by Zaara 13, Dec 2019

Dubai caters to financial markets from a global perspective. The DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre) has introduced new categories of licenses to attract more investors. This means that those looking set up an auditing company in the UAE will have more business to take care of in the following months. In addition, the DIFC has revamped its fee structure and reduced the fees to make sure establishing finance-related enterprises like accounting and auditing firms in Dubai easier and affordable.

This is big news for the finance industry. Dubai can expect a lot more businessmen to come set up centres in the DIFC. With respect to the new licenses issued, there have been four new categories of licenses introduced. These include restricted licenses, short-term licenses, dual licenses and commercial permissions.

The DIFC has further stated that all these new licenses come with increased flexibility and significantly reduced license fees. This, in turn, will allow more firms to operate from the world-renowned financial hub.  The DIFC added stating the new improvements were in response to the needs of the market, particularly the financial sector.

  • Short Term License- This new short term license has been introduced to target retail businesses as well as other non-finance businesses, enabling them to operate their business from the DIFC over shorter time frames with flexible rates. The registration fee is 100 USD, and the license fee ranges from 300 to 5000 USD depending on the duration.
  • Restricted License- This restricted license has been introduced to enterprises interested in testing or developing innovative or new products and services in Dubai’s DIFC. The same registration fee of 100 USD applies to the restricted license as well. However, for annual licenses, the price ranges from around 1000 USD to 4000 USD.
  • Commercial Permissions-    This allows both DIFC as well as Non-DIFC enterprises such as retail outlets, event management companies, educational services, training providers to conduct essential business activities, functions within the Financial centre itself. The fee ranges from 100-2000 USD depending on the duration and nature of the activity.
  • Dual License – Dual Licensing is for DED licensed non-retail entities and non –financial entities affiliated with the DIFC to carry out activities and operate from the centre.

The dual license is a huge boon for non-financial firms looking to operate in the DIFC. For these companies, trying to find good auditing companies in the UAE will not be a tedious task as they can have that access in the DIFC itself. It is a well-known fact that auditing, bookkeeping in the UAE are integral functions of firms operating in the country. DIFC has already established itself as one of the finest places to work in the UAE. Many top audit firms in the UAE already have establishments in the DIFC.

What is the DIFC?

The DIFC or Dubai International Financial Centre is one of the finest independent free zones in Dubai. It is a special economic zone and serves as a financial hub for Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African markets. The attractive part about DIFC is the fact that it offers full or 100 per cent ownership. This means unlike conventional Dubai businesses, there is no requirement for a local UAE resident to be part of any business.  For example, if someone wants to start a firm specialising in auditing services in the UAE, they usually have to have a local sponsor who owns at least 51 per cent of the business. But in DIFC, one can have 100 per cent ownership without the need for involving any other third party.

Dubai has a growing demand for auditors. The Emirate’s auditors have great potential with the introduction of these new licenses. This means that all auditing functions of non- financial as good firms can be done at the centre itself. Another big advantage of running an enterprise in a free zone like the DIFC is that the tax benefits are like no other. Free zones in Dubai impose no tax, which means any business can be conducted without paying any tax. Moreover, the repatriation benefits are also as good because DIFC offers 100 per cent repatriation for foreigners. This is a huge advantage to bookkeeping and auditing firms in Dubai.

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