Streamlined Business Setup in Dubai's Financial Center: DIFC

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is an independent free zone established in 2004. It is a global financial nucleus for Middle East, South Asia and Africa, connecting the regional markets with the economies of Americas, Europe and Asia. It is located midway between London in the west and Singapore in the east, i.e., equidistant from two global financial hubs. DIFC is home to several financial institutions, in addition to multinational companies, residences and places of recreation. DIFC has its own independent judicial system and regulatory body, financial exchange, and law framework. It is home to several financial institutions, investors and wealth funds, in addition to amenities like eateries, hotels, residential zones, retail outlets and exhibition galleries.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a regulatory and jurisdictional ecosystem that offers broad-based international financial services within a secure, efficient, and business-friendly environment. The DIFC has most of its clients in the UAE, but it also attracts international clients, who find it both an attractive place to do business and a gateway to the region.

Dubai International Financial Centre is the premier free zone in the Middle East. It differentiated itself through its investment-friendly legislation, a wide range of free zone options, and the ability to cater to small and large enterprises.

Advantages of Starting a Business in Dubai International Financial Centre

DIFC offers some extraordinary benefits to entrepreneurs and investors. Some of the benefits are as follows. 

  • 100% ownership
  • A huge cosmopolitan business environment
  • No limit on capital repatriation
  • An independent regulatory environment
  • Transparent operating environment
  • Availability of competent professionals

Business Activities Allowed by Dubai International Financial Centre Authority

One of the most frequent questions every investor and business-like has been about Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) activities. The following tabular column provides a list of commercial activities that are allowed in the DIFC.  

Business Activities Allowed in DIFC

Accepting deposits and providing credit facility


BPO services


Managing profit-sharing investments


Asset management and fund registration


Dealing in investment as agent or as principal


Advising on financial products



Types of Legal Entities Permitted in DIFC Free Zone

Dubai International Financial Centre gives an individual or corporation the freedom to start their business in any of the following legal types.

  • Company Limited by Shares
  • General Partnership
  • Limited Liability Partnership
  • Limited Partnership
  • Trust
  • Association

How to Start Up a Business in DIFC Free Zone?

DIFC comprises top-class infrastructure, restaurants, and event spaces with enough space for any occasion. To promote the expansion of other enterprises, DIFC established non-financial operations in the area of company creation. An individual or corporate entity needs to have a commercial license to launch a business in the DIFC.

Below is the procedure to obtain a commercial license in DIFC.

Find a Business Activity

The first step is to find a suitable activity for your business. Then, depending upon the chosen activity, you can get complete market research. Finally, your market research would qualify whether it would be suitable for your business or not.

Choose a Business Entity

The next choice is to find the business structure that shapes your business. After selecting your business structure, you can proceed with the following steps.

Finalize a Strategic Location

Once you are finalized with your business entity and the business activity, the next choice is to find a strategic location. Your business location defines your business needs. If you are confused about selecting a business location, you can get assistance from business experts.

Obtain a Business License

After finalizing the location, you should initiate obtaining a business license. A business license cannot be obtained easily. It should take time, and it can be getting assistance from professional experts. If you get help from the experts, you can finish your work within a few days. Also, have an in-depth understanding of the business license in Dubai-UAE.

Open a Bank Account

The last step to incorporating your business into Dubai International Financial center is to open a corporate bank account. Opening a business account can be done easier if you consult a professional expert.

Moreover, knowing the importance of opening a corporate bank in Dubai will help you go through the entire process easier.

Documents Required to Start a Business in DIFC

The following are the documents one should submit to the respective e DIFC free zone authority for starting a business.

  • Proof of trade name reservation
  • Proof of initial approval for business activities
  • Passport copies for the shareholders
  • Passport copy and CV of the manager
  • Detailed plan of business activity
  • Information on operating system and controls
  • Detailed information on key shareholders and staff
  • Third-party/authority approval for activities, where applicable

As a tax-free business environment, the DIFC is well-positioned to offer investors an attractive environment where they can grow a business with minimal government interference. Whether you are a small or large business, their flexible approach to taxation and zoning makes them an attractive option for growth. Moreover, if you desire to start a business in Dubai, know about the company formation in Dubai.

Why Choose Us

Business Setup Worldwide helps you save time by handling time-consuming procedures and guiding you through each process step. To establish a business in the DIFC and make company incorporation a simple process, Business Setup Worldwide assists you in understanding and adhering to the legal requirements and business incorporation procedures. Contact us for more information, and our team of company advisors will be happy to assist you.


Who issues a license in Dubai International Financial Centre?

The license is issued by the respective authority in Dubai International Financial Centre.

How many days does obtaining a license in Dubai International Financial Centre take?

It takes around 4-8 weeks to obtain a license in Dubai International Financial center.

Is DIFC a free zone?

Yes, Dubai International Financial Centre is a free zone.

Is DIFC a government entity?

The DIFC is an independent jurisdiction under the Constitution of the United Arab Emirates.