How to Start a Law Firm in DIFC?
05 April 2023
The rise in businesses, population growth, and ever-changing landscape, have fueled a demand for law firms to ensure national and international compliance with laws. With thriving global business activities and UAE’s strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, it has become a hub of international commerce and legal services.
As such, investors from around the world are flocking to take part in this growing economy which promises unparalleled protection of assets amongst other benefits. In addition, to keep confidentiality protocols necessary when setting up a legal enterprise, specialized zones, and regulatory measures have been put in place to build investor and entrepreneur confidence.
Why start in DIFC?
Located at the heart of Dubai, Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) is a global financial hub that connects businesses from over 190 countries with the MEASA region (Middle East & Africa and South Asia). With more than 50% of GCC Fintechs based here, DIFC is home to top banks, leading law firms, insurers, and asset managers. It has an internationally recognized independent regulator which offers companies protection along with access to some of the most diverse talent around making it a key player across multiple markets globally.
How to open a law firm in DIFC?
To start your own law firm in the DIFC, you can take part in the application and incorporation process. This guide provides a simple overview of all that’s required.
1. Obtain The Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department’s approval
- When launching your law firm, the first step is to obtain approval from the Legal Affairs Department which is outside the scope of DIFC.
2. Register as a designated Non-Financial Business or Profession (DNFBP) by contacting Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)
- If you want to register as a Designated Non-Financial Business or Profession then get in touch with Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
- Review the DFSA Rulebook and its many sections. This comprehensive resource contains essential information such as an AML Module, AFN-DNF1 Form, DNFBP Application form, Leaflet, and others – all designed to ensure your application runs smoothly.
3. With DFSA’s approval, the next step is to get in touch with the DIFC Registrar of Companies (ROC) and officially set up your legal entity.
- The DIFC website can provide you with more information about the updated ROC Client Handbook, the fees, checklists, templates, and other necessary documents.
How much does it cost?
Setting up a law firm in the DIFC comes with its own set of costs. From one-off fees to annual charges, it is important to take note of the key expenses:
1. Initial Fees for Registration (DIFC Registrar of Companies):
- Application for Registration/incorporation of Company: Up to USD 8,000.
- Commercial License: Annual fee of USD 12,000
2. Data Protection Fee:
- Registration Fee: USD 750
- Renewal: USD 500
3. For LAD and DFSA fees, it is advisable to contact DIFC directly or your designated business setup consultant can help you.
4. Office Location:
- It is mandatory to have an office at the DIFC or the third-party-owned buildings by the DIFC.
- For a list of Real Estate contacts and office options, a DIFC leasing team can help you for the smooth incorporation of your law firm.
How can EZONE help you?
The city’s rapid economic growth, high demand for legal services, business-friendly environment, Expo 2020 boom, and extensive networking opportunities create a fertile ground for the growth and success of law firms.
Unlock the potential of your law firm in DIFC today and get to know more about how it can be done. Contact us at 800-EZONEUAE or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a hassle-free experience.