Crypto license in UAE

Obtaining crypto licenses, white label consulting,
ICO/STO, supporting NFT marketplaces, drafting policies
for crypto projects, DAOs, and gamify projects

Today, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands as a hub for financial innovation and technological development in the Gulf region. It is one of the most desired jurisdictions for obtaining crypto licenses in the world. Thanks to favorable conditions for investors in the established free economic zones and the cryptocurrency legal framework in UAE, many entrepreneurs choose this country to register their projects. Experts from SBSB Fintech Lawyers recommend this jurisdiction for obtaining a Dubai crypto exchange license or other crypto-related business and its further development.

Status and Cryptocurrency Regulation in UAE

Flexibility, understanding the needs of the crypto community, and the progressive approach of the government towards regulating cryptocurrencies have created a favorable landscape for attracting foreign investments, obtaining a crypto license in UAE, and launching startups. Free economic zones (FEZs) have been established in each emirate where foreigners can register a company. The state actively promotes these ecosystems (ADGM, DAFZA, DMCC, DWTC, and IFZA) internationally as financial centers with transparent regulatory frameworks, welcoming fintech innovations, and providing all conditions for digital currency authorization in Dubai.

In Dubai, virtual assets are defined as “digital representations of value.” They are allowed to be used for exchange or payment, as well as for investment purposes. The Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) oversees crypto businesses in the free zones of the Dubai emirate. This city is the center of the Dubai International Financial Centre, where the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority is responsible for licensing procedures. Various regulatory acts, Dubai Blockchain Laws, and Crypto Trading Regulations in Dubai outline sets of rules and requirements for VASP licensing, KYC/AML policies. Various types of penalties are provided for violations of Dubai Cryptocurrency Compliance, ranging from fines to criminal liability.

Advantages of Dubai Crypto License

Many fintech and crypto projects choose the Emirates because of its stable economic and political situation. A wide range of business services in the free zones provides a comfortable environment for activities and opportunities for further development. A crypto license in Dubai has key advantages for companies:

  • Strategic location of the jurisdiction. The eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula with favorable geographical distances and time differences provides convenient access to financial markets in different regions of the world.
  • Legal status of crypto assets. The government welcomes innovation, hence favorable conditions for the development of crypto businesses and blockchain projects have been created.
  • Attractive tax regime. There is no corporate income tax in the country, and agreements on the avoidance of double taxation are in force.
  • Simple and fast licensing process. Part of the registration procedures for obtaining a crypto exchange license UAE or for another crypto project can be completed online. Residency of licensees is not a mandatory requirement.
  • Convenient company registration procedure. Part of the registration procedures can be completed online, and residency of licensees is not a mandatory requirement.
  • Loyal atmosphere for foreign investors. Since there is no need to attract local partners, foreigners are ensured 100% ownership of the company. Foreigners can invite individuals from abroad to the organization without limitations.

Which Projects Can Benefit From Crypto License UAE

Experts from SBSB recommend choosing this jurisdiction if you plan to create cryptocurrency exchanges, funds, and exchangers, platforms for conducting ICOs. A Digital Asset License in Dubai is also necessary for companies specializing in services related to cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. Therefore, two types of UAE crypto license are issued here:

  • crypto asset licenses can be obtained by institutions whose activities will be related to crypto funds, exchange or trading of cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency wallets for storing virtual currencies, and issuance of crypto assets;
  • licenses for ancillary activities related to crypto assets are issued to organizations whose activities are not subject to crypto regulation. For example, mining operations, venture investments, advertising of crypto startups, cybersecurity of cryptocurrencies, and service services for crypto businesses. 

How to Obtain Cryptocurrency License in Dubai

Before launching your project, it is important to thoroughly prepare the necessary documents. The process of obtaining a crypto exchange license Dubai or for other types of crypto activities differs in Free Economic Zones (FEZ). If we outline the general rules, the following steps are necessary:

  • choose the type of license and develop a list of services;
  • compile a business plan for the next 3 years;
  • collect data on key personnel and the organizational structure of the future organization;
  • register the company in the chosen free zone;
  • prepare internal policies;
  • submit an application to the relevant regulatory body;
  • if necessary, fulfill additional requirements at the request of the regulator, e.g. make a security deposit for a specified amount;
  • launch the project after a positive decision.

Requirements for Obtaining Cryptocurrency License Dubai

To successfully complete the blockchain licensing in UAE, it is necessary to comply with the mandatory regulations of the regulators:

  • open a bank account to pay the share capital (its size depends on the chosen sphere of activity);
  • provide evidence of the availability of funds to support the project’s activities;
  • develop and implement KYC, CDD, and AML policies;
  • open an office or representation. A legal address is required to confirm presence in the UAE;
  • hire qualified personnel with relevant work experience and education.

SBSB lawyers draw your attention to the fact that requirements may vary at the regional level. If you encounter difficulties with registration or obtaining the UAE Digital Currency License, contact the SBSB team! Our experts will advise you on all stages of licensing.

Cost of Obtaining Cryptocurrency License in UAE

The price of the licensing document for each project varies and depends on the type of license, the business model of your company, the list of provided operations, the size of the share capital, office space rental, and other aspects. For an accurate assessment of a crypto license Dubai, contact SBSB specialists!

Why SBSB Fintech Lawyers Choose Dubai Cryptocurrency License

SBSB has been involved in fintech and crypto projects since 2013. We help clients successfully launch their businesses and take care of solving all legal and bureaucratic problems. Our lawyers provide comprehensive project support — from document preparation and internal policy development to opening a corporate account and launching a business in a new jurisdiction.

If you are interested in obtaining a crypto licence Dubai or want to learn more about UAE Crypto Regulations, contact SBSB lawyers! We will help you understand the regulatory requirements, choose the optimal free zone for registration, and obtain a license “turnkey.”

If you have any questions, contact our specialists and receive a free consultation!

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Ivan Nevzorov

Head of Fintech Department

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