How to get Investment and Finance Business License in the UAE

22Nov, 21

How to get Investment and Finance Business License in the UAE

Starting an investment and finance business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is exciting, given the region's growing economy and strong financial sector. A flourishing financial and investment environment has come from favourable legislation, state assistance, and the population's purchasing power. They have made the UAE one of the most secure countries in the world regarding financial dangers. You can issue loans, manage and advise, and collect commissions and rewards while managing securities and finances in the UAE and overseas without paying taxes or sharing tax information if you have a license and tax resident status. However, it's crucial to understand the difficulties of acquiring the proper licenses to operate legally. In this guide, we'll explore obtaining an Investment and Finance Business License in the UAE, focusing on the SCA License Dubai.

Investment Business License in UAE

Investments in durable products, real estate in the service sector, investments in manufacturing factories, product development, and R&D are a few examples of how money is distributed with the hope of a future profit. However, this article's primary focus is on financial asset investing. In finance, the gain on an investment is referred to as a return. The return could be a gain from selling real estate or an investment, investment income like dividends, interest, rental income, or a mix of the two. The predicted economic return is the anticipated financial returns' correctly discounted value. Investors claim that riskier investments often have higher returns. Typically, a low-risk investment produces a meagre return. Investors, particularly newcomers, are regularly urged to diversify their holdings and choose a particular investment approach. This country draws businesses and investors from many other countries. The UAE's flexibility to register several business types with the option of tax exemptions is one advantage. If investments are linked to foreign investments or if a firm intends to become a shareholder of a UAE mainland company, the ideal option would be a company created for international commerce and assets registered in the free trade zone of the IFZA. 

Types of Investment and Finance Business Licenses in the UAE

Before diving into the specifics of acquiring an Investment and Finance Business License in the UAE, knowing the types of licenses available for businesses in this sector is essential. The key licenses include:

  1. Financial Services License: This license is necessary for companies offering financial advisory, investment management, and related services.

  2. Asset Management License: An asset management license is required for businesses specializing in asset management. It allows you to manage assets, portfolios, and investment funds.

  3. Brokerage License: Companies involved in securities brokerage, trading, and related activities must obtain a license.

  4. SCA License Dubai: The Dubai Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) is the regulatory authority overseeing the financial sector in Dubai. Obtaining an SCA license is mandatory for businesses in this sector.

Understanding the Role of the Dubai Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA)

The Dubai Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) plays a pivotal role in regulating financial markets in the UAE. While it doesn't issue general business licenses, it oversees securities and commodities trading activities. You need an SCA license in Dubai if your business involves securities brokerage, fund management, or other financial services. Dhanguard can assist you in navigating the complex regulatory landscape to obtain this license seamlessly.

The SCA License in Dubai:

  1. Eligibility: To apply for an SCA license, your business must meet specific criteria, including financial requirements and compliance with regulatory standards.

  2. Application Process: Obtaining an SCA license involves a detailed application process, including submission of required documents, financial statements, and business plans.

  3. Regulatory Compliance: SCA license holders are subject to stringent regulatory compliance, including periodic audits and reporting.

Critical Steps to Obtaining an Investment and Finance Business License in the UAE 

Following are the steps to obtain an Investment and Finance Business Licence in the UAE:

  1. Business Setup: Begin by setting up your business entity in the UAE. Choose an appropriate legal structure based on your business needs, such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a Freezone Company.

  2. License Application: Identify the specific type of license your business requires and submit a comprehensive license application to the relevant authorities. For SCA License Dubai, Dhanguard can assist you in preparing a thorough application.

  3. Compliance Requirements: Ensure that your business complies with all regulatory requirements, including capital requirements, financial statements, and adherence to SCA regulations.

  4. Documentation: Compile all necessary documents, including business plans, financial projections, and corporate documents, to support your license application.

  5. SCA License Dubai: If your business involves securities and commodities trading, apply for the SCA License Dubai, which is essential for conducting financial services within the emirate.

What are some jurisdictions in the UAE where financial services can be conducted?

Choosing the right Freezone is crucial for an investment firm in Dubai. Two of the best freezones for Individuals and organizations specializing in providing financial services to professionals are the DIFC and ADGM; both cater to financial and investment industries and have many benefits to offer.

The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC)

The DIFC is a well-known financial centre for its advanced infrastructure, supportive regulatory environment, and robust legal system. It offers various financial services, such as wealth management, asset management, and private equity. A business-friendly environment provided by the DIFC draws top financial institutions and experts from around the globe.

Abu Dhabi Global Market

The ADGM, another well-known free zone with a suitable environment for investment firms, is in the UAE's capital city. It has particular expertise in several financial activities, including fund management, asset servicing, financial advisory, and fintech. The ADGM is famous for its creative strategy, regulatory openness, and access to a worldwide investment network.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a well-liked location for financial and investment ventures. The nation has several benefits, such as a strong economy, a talented workforce, and an advantageous position.

Activities Covered by DIFC and ADGM: 

For investment businesses, a long list of approved activities is provided by both the DIFC and ADGM. These actions could involve:

  • Asset administration

  • Money management

  • Investment guidance Fund administration

  • Equity private

  • Venture funding

  • Trading in securities

  • Financial advisory

  • Services in Islamic finance

  • Innovation in the financial technology sector, among other things

Investment and Financial Licenses in the United Arab Emirates: Differences and Peculiarities

Mainland Incorporation

  • Local (MAINLAND) businesses may be eligible. Domestically conduct business while also giving an entry point into the UAE market the chance to represent one's interests and have a presence in international markets.

  • Because of the firm's presence in This solution, it caters to the local market. He has prestige and trustworthiness among banks and counterparties. In the international arena, he has a lot of clout. It's got a convoluted structure.

Financial Centres 

  • In specialized FTZs and foreign markets, licenses enable the right to permanently conduct financial and investment business transactions.

  • A license in the DIFC and ADGM, the UAE's key financial centres, ensures the company's high standing and respect. 100% foreign ownership is permitted, although there is a lengthy registration process.

  • Companies registered in some FTZs are utilized to conduct business outside the UAE and execute financial and investment transactions.

  • It prevents you from freely operating in the domestic market. Local banks and counterparties are taking a cautious approach.

  • Allows for 100% foreign ownership.

How Can Dhanguard Facilitate Your Journey?

At Dhanguard, we understand the norms of establishing and running investment and finance businesses in the UAE. Our team of experts specializes in assisting companies in acquiring Investment and Finance Business Licenses, including the SCA License Dubai. Here's how we can help:

Expert Guidance: Benefit from our expert guidance in selecting the appropriate license and navigating the regulatory landscape.

Document Preparation: We assist you in preparing all necessary documents and applications, ensuring compliance with SCA regulations.

Compliance Management: Dhanguard provides ongoing support to ensure your business complies with all regulatory requirements, including SCA regulations.

License Maintenance: We can assist with renewals and amendments to adapt to your business's evolving needs.


Acquiring an Investment and Finance Business License in the UAE, especially the SCA License Dubai, can be complex. However, with Dhanguard's expertise and support, you can streamline the journey and focus on growing your investment and finance business in this thriving market. Contact us today to embark on your path to success in the UAE's financial sector.