DIFC FinTech Licence

DIFC FinTech Licence

DIFC offers a dedicated commercial license specifically developed for FinTech, RegTech and InsurTech firms, allowing them to operate within the heart of Dubai. This cost-effective scheme allows budding start-ups from the world of financial technology (and related industries) to benefit from the Centre’s ecosystem at a reduced licensing cost. The Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region is full of opportunity for FinTech firms, and the infrastructure to support this fast-growing industry is being developed to accommodate the growing potential. By creating this bespoke licensing scheme, DIFC FinTech firms can easily operate from the Centre and be part of the financial community. In addition, firms holding this license will gain access to the DIFC FinTech Hive, a dedicated and collaborative co-working space.

DIFC have also launched a framework for FinTech firms to apply for a class of financial services licence referred to as an Innovation Testing Licence (ITL). This initiative signals the next phase of the DFSA’s regulatory roadmap to foster innovation in Dubai. The restricted financial services licence will allow qualifying FinTech firms to develop and test innovative concepts from within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), without being subject to all the regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms. The DFSA will work with applicants to understand the business proposal and establish the appropriate controls for the safety of any customers involved, on a case-by-case basis.

Standard process for setting up a DIFC FinTech Company

Step 1

Consultation with Alpha Management; we have the experience and the insight to determine whether the FinTech Licence is best suited for your company.

Step 2

We will work together to prepare and submit a clearly defined Business Plan with details of the proposed structure, along with the necessary application to obtain provisional approval from DIFC.

Step 3

Once we have provisional approval, we will prepare the full company application and arrange portal access. We will also arrange for the Articles of Association to be signed and witnessed by DIFC, as is mandatory. Then all of these will be submitted to DIFC.

Step 4

Once we the application has been processed and approved, we will receive the COI and Licence, and the company is formed.

Features and Advantages of a DIFC FinTech Company

  • 100% Foreign Ownership
  • 100% Capital Repatriation
  • 100% Corporate Tax Exemption
  • Office space available in the FinTech Hub
  • Benefit of DIFC Common Law Courts
  • Full operational commercial license
  • Reduced licence fees for two years
  • Option for employee visas
  • No share capital requirements
  • DIFC is very FinTech friendly

Regulations and Features for DIFC FinTech Companies

Each license is valid for one year, and can be renewed for up to two years, after which companies may be converted to a full DIFC Non-Regulated Activity License.

INNOVATION TESTING LICENSE

DIFC have also launched a framework for FinTech firms to apply for a class of financial services licence referred to as an Innovation Testing Licence (ITL). This initiative signals the next phase of the DFSA’s regulatory roadmap to foster innovation in Dubai. The restricted financial services licence will allow qualifying FinTech firms to develop and test innovative concepts from within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), without being subject to all the regulatory requirements that normally apply to regulated firms. The DFSA will work with applicants to understand the business proposal and establish the appropriate controls for the safety of any customers involved, on a case-by-case basis.

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