Obtaining a Dubai Financial Services Authority licence

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The DIFC has developed into a leading financial services centre and is home to a number of global and local financial institutions. Since there are 23 recognised financial services activities, applicants will need to make sure that they are applying for the appropriate category of licence. Providing money services 4. Dealing in investments as principal 5.

Dealing in investments as agent 6. Arranging credit or deals in investments 7. Advising on financial products or credit 9.

Managing a collective investment fund Effecting contracts of insurance Carrying out contracts of insurance Operating an exchange Operating a clearing house Managing a profit-sharing investment account Operating an alternative trading system Providing Trust services Providing fund administration Acting as the trustee of a fund Operating a representative office.

There are also five different categories of licence. Both the types of activities and category of licence have implications for the initial application process including the obligation to prepare and agree a business plan with the DFSA in certain circumstances and for ongoing compliance requirements.

In an effort to improve the efficiency of the application process, the DFSA is giving greater focus to the pre-application phase. It has stressed the importance of engaging with the DFSA at the earliest opportunity after meeting with the BDD and has also clarified the pre-application steps that an applicant should follow discussed in more detail below. On a practical note, applicants should always obtain application forms direct from the DFSA as the documents available for download from the website may not always be up to date.

Such a branch could apply for any DFSA licence category and the DFSA would waive the prudential requirements for that foreign company, if it were subject to the financial regulations of the home jurisdiction.

However, it would still have the discretion to require the applicant to establish a new legal entity in the DIFC if it considered this necessary. The DFSA has recently clarified that each applicant should undertake the following pre-application steps:.

The DFSA should respond within two working days of the submission meeting to confirm whether the application meets the regulatory requirements and is materially complete. The DIFC generates its application forms from the initial information provided by the applicant. While there is clearly a point at which a company will be operating outside the scope of its licence, this is often seen as a risk assessment point or management issue.

DIFC firms have addressed these risks in a variety of ways, by:. We recommend that some form of risk investment appraisal is carried out before applying for a financial services licence from the DFSA.

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The 23 activities are: The DFSA has recently clarified that each applicant should undertake the following pre-application steps: DIFC firms have addressed these risks in a variety of ways, by: Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest legal news, information and events

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