Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a leading financial hub that offers a range of licenses to cater to the diverse needs of businesses operating within its premises. Each license category is designed to accommodate specific types of financial and non-financial activities. In this article, we will explore the categories of DIFC license and the activities they encompass.
Full-Service designated activity company (DAC):
The Full-Service DAC license is the most comprehensive license category in DIFC. It allows businesses to conduct a wide range of financial and non-financial activities, including banking, insurance, asset management, wealth management, advisory services, and more. This license is suitable for large financial institutions, including banks, insurance companies, and investment firms.
Restricted service designated activity company (DAC):
The Restricted Service DAC license is similar to the Full-Service DAC license but with some limitations on the range of activities that can be undertaken. Businesses with a Restricted Service DAC license can engage in specific financial activities, such as insurance brokerage, asset management, and advisory services.
Non-regulated designated activity company (DAC):
The Non-Regulated DAC license is designed for businesses that operate within the DIFC but do not require regulatory oversight. This includes companies engaged in activities such as holding investments, property holding, and intellectual property management. Non-Regulated DAC license holders enjoy the benefits of being located within the DIFC but are not subject to the regulatory requirements of regulated financial activities.
Special purpose company (SPC):
The Special purpose company license is suitable for businesses that require a legal entity to fulfill a specific purpose, such as holding assets, issuing securities, or conducting special projects. SPCs are subject to specific regulatory requirements and are commonly used for structured finance transactions, securitization, and investment holding purposes.
Intermediate special purpose vehicle (ISPV):
The Intermediate special purpose vehicle license is designed for entities involved in securitization transactions and structured finance activities. ISPVs are used as vehicles to hold and manage the underlying assets of securitization transactions and issue securities to investors. This license category enables businesses to participate in specialized financial activities within a regulated framework.
The Foundation license allows for the establishment of a DIFC Foundation, which is a legal entity designed to hold and manage assets for the benefit of beneficiaries. Foundations can be used for purposes such as estate planning, wealth management, and charitable activities. This license category provides a flexible and efficient structure for asset protection and succession planning.