How to get crypto license in Dubai, UAE?

How to get crypto license in Dubai, UAE?

The UAE cryptocurrency license is becoming more and more popular due to a large number of free zones…

The UAE cryptocurrency license is becoming more and more popular due to a large number of free zones allowing companies to trade and exchange cryptocurrencies, process digital assets, and execute related activities. In Dubai, cryptocurrency is gaining popularity, and you now have a great chance to explore the various directions of crypto trade, exchange, and transactions and take advantage of new business opportunities. To operate in the cryptocurrency sector in the UAE, a company must obtain a cryptocurrency permit in one of the emirates. Today, the Dubai Emirate offers one of the most advanced cryptocurrency legislations.  

Conditions for crypto businesses in the UAE

Fintech is the priority direction in the UAE. The region has implemented various blockchain-connected initiatives, a lot of which have taken place in cooperation with other jurisdictions. In 2018, the country published an extensive rulebook regulating the crypto sphere, whereas, on November 01, 2020, the local regulator, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), issued its Regulation for Issuing and Offering Crypto-Assets (the ICARs). As per these documents, local and foreign companies can get a UAE crypto license in:

  • The Emirates on-shore zone;
  • Dubai;
  • Abu Dhabi.

On March 9, 2022, Dubai adopted the first act regulating cryptocurrency activities and formed the regulatory authority managing the sphere – the Virtual Assets Regulatory Activity (VARA). The new law is to come into force throughout the emirate except for the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) which is a special economic zone governed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). Today, more than 400 crypto companies are operating in the UAE, and it is expected that by the end of 2022 their number will have increased up to 1000. 

In 2021, the UAE presented its “Blockchain Strategy 2021” which aimed to assist international entrepreneurs in commercial activities in this area. It means that it has been announced at the national level that the local authorities are going to support crypto businesses in every possible way. As a result, we can see rapid growth in the number of crypto companies. 

However, this is not the only good news for those wishing to launch their crypto startups. It is worth paying attention to the following points as well:

  • The loyal attitude of the Dubai and Abu Dhabi free zones encourages businesses in crypto exchange registration by setting fair trade and consumer protection rules.
  • The DMCC crypto center, launched in May 2021, is actively promoting cryptographic and blockchain technologies in Dubai.
  • The jurisdiction provides favorable conditions that encourage digital asset trade and fuels interest in this sphere.

Advantages of the UAE crypto license

We would like to point out such advantages of crypto permits in this jurisdiction as:

  • Possibility of 100% foreign ownership without the compulsory engagement of local partners;
  • The revenues from the international activity of individuals are not subject to taxation in the UAE;
  • The revenues can be transferred to foreign bank accounts;
  • Confidentiality of personal data, business details, and financial transactions.;
  • Access to double taxation agreements;
  • No import or export taxes;
  • No currency control;
  • No restrictions on the involvement of foreign employees in a crypto business entity;
  • Simple company registration procedure;
  • Stable banking system;
  • Cryptocurrency legality.

Having confirmed its economic presence, each company holding a Dubai crypto license is entitled to tax and other incentives. 

Types of the UAE crypto licenses

Regulators work with two types of cryptocurrency license applications:

  1. Controlled (regulated);
  2. Non-controlled (non-regulated).

Controlled license

To operate a legal cryptocurrency business controlled by the UAE state regulators, companies need to obtain a controlled license. Here are the activities that are subject to a regulated license:

  • Crypto fund – public, qualified players’, hedge, or closed-end fund;
  • Digital assets management for third parties;
  • Cryptocurrency exchange and trade (crypto trading platform, crypto exchange);
  • Crypto wallet (cryptocurrency storage);
  • Crypto asset emission.

Non-controlled license

If you want to give the crypto business a try and have chosen the UAE for your company, you might want to start working in a niche that is not controlled by the legislation and is subject to non-regulated licensing, such as:

  • Venture investments;
  • Mining and other operations promoting the crypto business development in Dubai;
  • Crypto startup advertising;
  • Cryptocurrency cybersecurity;
  • Proprietary trading without the involvement of brokers or trading platforms;
  • Goods and services for the crypto business.

How to get a crypto license in the UAE

To get a crypto license in this jurisdiction you need to:

  • Register your residence;
  • Open a bank account;
  • Register a company;
  • Select the economic zone;
  • Draft a business plan;
  • Open a local business and hire the personnel;
  • Implement the AML policy;
  • Confirm your economic presence;
  • Execute internal and external audits.

The requirements for license candidates are as follows: 

  • Provide financial guarantees;
  • Register in the mainland part of the UAE or within one of the free economic zones;
  • Authorized capital (the amount depends on the selected activity type);
  • Business plan for the next three years;
  • Information on the company structure;
  • Information on the expected revenues;
  • Experienced personnel and proof of their qualifications;
  • Implementation of the KYC, CDD, and AML policies.

We need to point out that the candidates hold criminal liability for the accuracy and authenticity of the information they have provided. 

Prices for the UAE crypto licenses

To find out the cost of cryptocurrency registration in the UAE or another jurisdiction, please, contact our lawyers. You can do this by phoning the numbers quoted in the “Contacts” section, or via our website chat. We will carry out a full project analysis and calculate the cost of your application. 

How to book the UAE cryptocurrency application 

SBSB legal firm provides turn-key services on applications for cryptocurrency licenses in the UAE and other jurisdictions. We will help you draft a business plan compliant with the regulator’s requirements, select a suitable economic zone, etc. The company experts will also assist in crypto company registration and preparation of the necessary paperwork with further submission to the regulator. You are guaranteed full legal support throughout the application process and up to the moment of the license issuance. Just text us, and we will answer all your questions. 

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