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How To Obtain A Financial Advisory License in Dubai – DIFC

How To Obtain A Financial Advisory License in Dubai – DIFC

There are so many types of financial licenses that individuals and firms can obtain in Dubai, especially in the DIFC; which includes a Financial Advisory License otherwise known as the Investment Advisory License. The DIFC (Dubai International Financial Center) is a broadly based recognized and renowned international financial center serving local, regional, and international institutions, and serves in the obtainment of Financial License Categories 4, 1, 2, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, & 5. The DIFC Financial License Category 4 permits Authorised Firms to conduct the financial activities of Financial Advisory or Investment Advisory.

As a general matter, Authorised Firms in this category 4 can do one or more of the following: Arranging Deals in Investments, Advising on Financial Products, Arranging Custody, Insurance Intermediation, Insurance Management, Operating an Alternative Trading System, Providing Fund Administration, Arranging Credit and Advising on Credit, Operating a Crowdfunding Platform and/or Providing Trust Services (other than as a trustee of an express trust). In Category 4, Authorised Firms may apply to conduct their business in a wholly Sharia Compliant manner or through an Islamic Window.

What are the capital requirements when obtaining a DIFC Financial Advisory License?

  • Base Capital – US$ 10,000
  • Operating a crowdfunding platform while holding client money –$140,000
  • Expenditure-based capital requirement of 6/52 of annual operating expenditure (18/52 if will holding or controlling Client Money).

Note that additional capital requirements may be imposed by DFSA on the review of the application. 

What are the required appointments when obtaining a DIFC Investment Advisory License?

  • Directors (at least 2, preferably 3-4) – can be outsourced (NEDs).
  • Senior Executive Officer (SEO) – In-house, UAE resident (can be a Director).
  • Risk Officer (RO) – can be outsourced.
  • Finance Officer (FO) – can be outsourced (can also be an Executive Director/Senior Manager).
  • Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) – can be outsourced, UAE resident (can be a CO).
  • Compliance Officer (CO) – can be outsourced, UAE resident (can be an MLRO).

 How can Wincore Advisory Group Assist You in Obtaining a Financial Advisory License?

  • Preliminary Consultation and Assessment with the Wincore Financial Licensing Specialists
  • Introduction to the Regulator
  • Draft of Regulatory Business Plan (RBP) (Application Forms, Business flow processes & charts)
  • Preparation of Financial model for 3 years and draft of ICAAP and IRAP report.
  • Preparation of policies and manuals (Compliance, AML, Risk Management, Remuneration, Governance, Conflicts of Interests, Business Continuity Plan etc.)
  • AUT – CORE this form must be submitted by all applicants applying for a license to carry out one or more financial services in or from DIFC. It covers information on the applicant, its activities, prospective clients and controllers;
  • AUT – IND this form must be submitted by the individuals holding a mandatory function including directors, senior executive officer, finance officer, compliance officer and money laundering reporting officer; and
  • AUT-AMS this form must be submitted by applicants applying to conduct financial services relating to arranging credit or deals in investment. The applicant will be required to submit this form as one of the Proposed Activities of DIFC CO includes arranging credits and deals in investment.
  • Draft of regulatory application for the company and individuals
  • Submission of Regulatory Application (with Policies and appointment of SEO, FO, MLRO, RO, CO)
  • Provision of full-time functions:

SEO – Senior Executive Officer

FO – Finance Officer

RO – Risk Officer

MLRO – Money Laundering Reporting Officer

CO – Compliance Officer Initiation of the entity incorporation process

  • Office lease
  • Introduction to the UAE Bank for opening an Account
  • Issuance of Regulator’s financial services license

Contact Us

Wincore Advisory Group helps businesses to articulate their objectives and aspirations to set up DIFC Category Financial Advisory Firm. Contact us at  

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Mohammad Rahali

Managing Partner


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How To Obtain A Financial Advisory License in Dubai – DIFC

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