DIFC REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE | REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE SET UP IN DIFC
DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTER [DIFC] is a broadly based recognized and renowned international financial center serving local, regional, and international institutions, and serves in the obtainment of Financial Licenses and in Representative Offices Set up in DIFC.
A DIFC Representative Office is an Authorised Firm and is regulated by the DFSA. However, it is not included in the above Authorised Firms categorisation table because it does not have any capital requirements as per the DFSA PIB Module. This is because a DIFC Representative Office can only be set up as a branch of an already established firm.
Any firm in a financial services sector can apply to be a Representative Office in DIFC but they must be regulated in an acceptable home jurisdiction (other than the DIFC). A representative office’s activities are confined to the general marketing of financial services and financial products already being offered from a location outside the DIFC by its head office or a member of its group.
WHAT CAN A DIFC REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE DO?
- A Representative Office is only allowed to promote financial products and services offered by its parent company and by other group financial services providers(if any).
- A DIFC Representative Office is a branch of its foreign parent company.
- A DIFC Representative Office can make introductions/referrals to the parent entity.
- A DIFC Representative Office can distribute marketing material (including fund prospectuses).
- A DIFC Representative Office can distribute investment research.
- A DIFC Representative Office can provide information on the products and services of the parent entity.
- The activity of the DIFC Representative Office can be changed after 1 year of operation and it can be upgraded to a financial license, however, it will always remain a branch of the foreign company.
WHAT YOU CANNOT DO WITH A REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE SET UP IN DIFC?
- A Representative Office set up in DIFC is not allowed to advise on products or arrange deals in investment.
- A Representative Office set up in DIFC cannot provide opinions, recommendations, or specific investment advice.
- A Representative Office set up in DIFC cannot receive or transmit orders.
- A Representative Office set up in DIFC cannot market funds that do not meet the stipulated criteria.
- A Representative Office set up in DIFC cannot invoice clients for services.
A DIFC Representative Office has no regulatory capital requirements and has also no share capital (being a branch of a foreign company).
WINCORE WILL ASSIST YOU IN THE FOLLOWING:
- Regulatory Applications for the entity and for the authorized individuals (Principal Representative, MLRO, Directors)
- Preparation of policies and manuals
- Compliance Manual (including Policy of Independence, Outside Business Interests Policy, Personal Account Dealing Policy, Code of Ethics, and template forms and registers)
- Anti-Money Laundering Policy and Procedures
- Risk Management Policy and Register
- Corporate Governance Framework and Terms of Reference
- Conflict of Interests Policy and Register
- Remuneration Policy
- Business Continuity Plan
- Compliance Monitoring Program
- Submission of Regulatory Application
- Provision of full-time/part-time functions
- ED/NED – Executive Director/Non-Executive Director
- PR- Principal Representative
- MLRO – Money Laundering Reporting Officer
- Office lease assistance
- Introduction to the UAE Bank for opening an Account
- Liaison with the Regulator to address the queries and project management until the in-principle approval is obtained from the Regulator
- Liaison with the Regulator until Issuance of Regulator’s financial services license