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DIFC expands companies criteria

Aims to attract more categories of businesses

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The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region, has expanded the applicant criteria for its Prescribed Companies regime.

The expanded Prescribed Company regime is expected to attract companies to establish structures at DIFC that align with international best practice.

DIFC initially introduced a Prescribed Company regime in 2019, providing cost effective options for firms seeking to use structures from the DIFC, backed by the region’s leading legal and regulatory frameworks. They have been available to companies ranging from family offices to fintech entities to government bodies as well as regulated financial firms.

The Prescribed Company regime has been used for structured financing, aviation financing, crowd funding, and to hold and manage assets.

The expanded regime is open to all DIFC non-retail companies, along with their shareholders, UBOs (Ultimate Beneficiary Owners) and affiliates. It can now also be used by family businesses with a large presence in the UAE.

Prescribed Companies benefit from having flexible office options and can choose from using co-working space or to share offices with a DIFC registered affiliate or Corporate Service Provider. Prescribed Companies also benefit from lower incorporation and annual license fees, and reduced compliance obligations, whereby they are not required to have their accounts audited or filed with the DIFC Registrar of Companies. In addition, prescribed companies are eligible to hire staff and issue visas.