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Cryptocurrency exchange license in the UAE

Support in the issuance of UAE crypto license with a guarantee of a turnkey contract

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Blockchain technology is rapidly developing in the global economic sector and has enormous potential for international trade. The Emirati government has thoroughly decided to consolidate its status as a global leader and gain the primacy of economic development in innovation and technology by introducing a promising regulation of cryptocurrency activities. The UAE is considered one of the most promising countries in the world for cryptocurrency initiatives

If you want to get a crypto license in the UAE, it is necessary to understand the peculiarities of business regulation in this jurisdiction. We will take a look at all the requirements and key points of cryptocurrency licensing in the UAE

License for crypto related activity in DMCC free zone in Dubai

  • BASIC

    Registration of the Virtual Asset Service Provider under the minimum regulatory requirements

    € 14 000

    Initial set up

    € 13 000

    annually

    • Full turnkey company formation
    • Assistance of acquisition of crypto suitable trading license
    • Basic Corporate Documents
    • Templated draft of AML Policy
    Order now
  • Advanced

    Exhaustive set up of company infrastructure for the start of operational activity

    € 17 500

    Initial set up

    € 13 000

    annually

    • Full turnkey company formation
    • Assistance of acquisition of crypto suitable trading license
    • Basic Corporate Documents
    • Templated draft of AML Policy
    • Set of legalized corporate documents with translation into English language
    • Individual AML/KYC Policy
    Order now
  • Full

    Full set up of the VASP business with all the necessary infrastructure, connection to KYC providers, local substance and Accounting services

    € 20 500

    Initial set up

    € 13 000

    annually

    • Full turnkey company formation
    • Assistance of acquisition of crypto suitable trading license
    • Basic Corporate Documents
    • Templated draft of AML Policy
    • Set of legalized corporate documents with translation into English language
    • Individual AML/KYC Policy
    • Assistance with corporate account opening
    • Legal Opinion for Operating Activity
    Order now
Fintech lawyers in UAE
Laura Puidokienė

Laura Puidokienė

Associate, Lawyer

Vladimiras Kokorevas

Vladimiras Kokorevas

Senior Associate, Lawyer

Requirements to obtain a cryptocurrency license in UAE

To obtain a cryptocurrency license in Dubai you need:

  • Obtain and fill out the license form from the Department of Economic Development in Dubai
  • Provide all certified copies of the founders passports
  • Provide a clean cryptocurrency wallet record with no suspicious transactions
  • The capital resource of the business must cover all expenses for six months
  • You must register all crypto-assets with the Department of Free Financial Zones and get government approval
  • Make a detailed business plan
  • Comply with KYC and AML policies
  • Comply with anti-money laundering regulations
  • Ensure the protection of clients financial information
  • Have a share capital of €15,000
  • Provide data on the structure and projected profits of the company
  • Provide data on the origin of funds at the request of the regulator

Process and timeline for obtaining a crypto licence in UAE

Stage 1

Collection of preliminary documents

clock1-2 days

Documents required:

a. Preferred company name

b. Passport copies from all shareholders and directors

c. Utility bills from all shareholders and directors

d. CVs of shareholders and directors

e. A business model of the company (brief description 1-2 A4 pages)

Stage 2

Registration and licensing process

clock3-4 weeks

a. Determination of suitable license type

b. Submission of application to DMCC

c. Company registration

d. License approval

e. Preparation of corporate documents

Stage 3

Corporate account opening

clock3-6 weeks

  • 1.Analysis of the most suitable Banks/EMIs, comparison of the risk appetite of the Bank in relation to the risk appetite of the Client based on previously prepared AML policies
  • 2.Collection of necessary documents from the Client side to initiate the process (flow of funds, source of wealth, description of the purpose of opening an account, key partners, company website, utility bill, etc.)
  • 3.Initiation of the onboarding procedure simultaneously in 2-3 crypto friendly Payment Institutions
  • 4.Guiding the Client's company through the entire process of opening an account
  • 5.Acquiring connection (if necessary)

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Laura Puidokienė

Laura Puidokienė

Associate, Lawyer

Vladimiras Kokorevas

Vladimiras Kokorevas

Senior Associate, Lawyer

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TESTIMONIALS

  • logo
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    Gofaizen & Sherle has successfully implemented all the tasks related to the settlement of legal part (company formation and VASP license application) of our exchange whitebit.com.
    Vladimir Nosov
    CEO
    Whitebit
  • logo
    quotes
    Payeer OÜ is grateful to Gofaizen & Sherle team for their professional personalized approach. We were presented with quick results and efficient replies. For us it was easy and pleasantly to work with the specialists of G&S and we hope for fruitful continuous cooperation.
    Liubov S
    CEO
    Payeer OÜ
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    quotes
    Working with Gofaizen & Sherle team was a real pleasure. Their high level of professionalism and expertise made our journey through the process of establishing and licensing of our company really easy and time efficient. G&S is a trusted partner for us in any topics related to FinTech business.
    Edward Kost
    CEO
    VULTURE OÜ
  • logo
    quotes
    We are very pleased with the proficiency, expertise and efficiency that the team of Gofaizen & Sherle showed while delivering our project. Their commitment and approach determine the high quality of services they provide. The competence of the legal advisors in the team of G&S made them a trusted long term partner for us.
    Bar El
    CEO
    UAB GetCoins
  • logo
    quotes
    Gofaizen & Sherle has proven itself as a reliable business partner and highly qualified legal advisor. Our cooperation with Gofaizen & Sherle on many projects has been professional and effective. Extensive expertise, meeting deadlines, being responsive and attentive to every issue distinguish the Gofaizen & Sherle team from other firms. We look forward to working with Gofaizen & Sherle again in the future.
    Nikita Tepikin
    Managing Partner
    Legal Kornet
  • logo
    quotes
    The Manimama OU team would like to thank Gofaizen & Sherle for their professionalism and the quality of the work. Gofaizen & Sherle team has provided us with clear and practical legal advice on various issues including creating of the VASPs in Baltic states and other legal advices. Gofaizen & Sherle's knowledge and expertise base are very deep and they understand the complexities and nuances of many really difficult cases. We strongly recommend their services
    Ganna Voievodina
    CEO
    Manimama OÜ
  • logo
    quotes
    At Pilsenga since the very beginning we counted with Gofaizen & Sherle to build our financial institution in 21 days, we started our operations in record time thanks to them, it’s been pleasant to work with them through the rush of building a Financial Institution in record time. They for real understand compliance and crypto businesses!
    Victor Romero
    CEO
    UAB Pilsenga
  • logo
    quotes
    Excellent service! The communication is fast and friendly, we are very satisfied with received comprehensive package of services such as legal consulting, full turnkey crypto company formation in Lithuania, assistance in bank account opening for ’’high risk” business, human resources acquisition etc. Highly recommended!
    Roman Potemkin
    Founder & CEO
    TRASTRA
  • logo
    quotes
    Gofaizen & Sherle are true professionals, everything related local incorporation, business management and financial licenses I know I can trust getting always 100% service, knowledge and value. Good prices and highly valuable service this what makes them as a solid partner.
    Ben Richter
    CEO
    Ventures X
  • logo
    quotes
    Great service and support, and very efficient communication with Maksim and the team. Our company has been successfully created with all the necessary licenses. Highly recommended.
    Thomas Zelias
    CEO
    UAB TalentChain

Cryptocurrency license in UAE Dubai is gaining popularity

Cryptocurrency exchange registration in the UAE is becoming an affordable and popular option due to the large number of free zones that allow businesses to trade and store cryptocurrency, process crypto assets, and engage in related activities. Any type of cryptocurrency is available for trading on crypto exchanges in Dubai.

The UAE's 2021 blockchain strategy calls for 50 percent of all government transactions to be hosted on blockchain platforms. This confirms the government's intention to emphasize adaptation to future technologies and cement the UAE's status as the most advanced economy among the world's developed nations

The world's largest exchanges like Binance will soon establish a presence in Dubai. Eventually, it will be the first global cryptocurrency exchange in the UAE. It is becoming clear that the Emirates will become one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges serving the entire region

Types of crypto licenses in the UAE

Types of crypto licenses in the UAE

The current government provides for regulated and unregulated activities of crypto companies

The license requirements, conditions, and possibilities depend on the chosen economic zone. After registering a license, you will be able to issue digital currencies, make exchanges, manage your assets, register a cryptocurrency exchange, and conduct brokerage activities

You can get a crypto license in UAE in the following zones: DMCC, DAFZA, ADGM, DWTC

Let's take a closer look at opening each type of crypto company in the UAE

Crypto license at DMCC

Crypto license at DMCC

DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Center) is a free economic zone and one of the most popular cryptocurrency businesses in the UAE. Getting a cryptocurrency license in Dubai is available at DMCC and guarantees the legality of your business. The first company to open this license and provide cold storage services for cryptocurrencies is Regal Assets

To register a crypto-exchange, it is necessary to register a company with the Dubai Multi Commodities Center. With this license, it is possible to carry out various cryptocurrency services for customers: management, storage, trading, software applications, crypto exchange, and other services. In the long run, this license will become the main category for businesses

Two types of licenses are available to entrepreneurs at DMCC:

  • Cryptocurrency trading. You will be able to trade (buy and sell) digital assets that were created based on distributed registry technology. Note that this license does not include providing services as a cryptocurrency exchange, brokerage, financial and banking operations, payment processing, or holding currencies from third parties
  • Distributed registry license. You will have access to database management, and additional services based on distributed registry technologies, such as a meta-universe service provider or e-commerce provider
Cryptocurrency license at DAFZA

Cryptocurrency license at DAFZA

DAFZA is the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority. To support trading related to the commercial activities of cryptocurrency assets, DAFZA and SCA (Dubai Securities Authority) have signed an agreement. According to this, businesses are allowed to trade cryptocurrencies and provide services to customers

DAFZA intends to integrate the issuance of cryptocurrency licenses with the rest of the global services for investors. Flexible legislative support and regulatory framework from DAFZA are provided for the smooth functioning of business operations. The development of cryptocurrency companies in the UAE is aimed at stimulating the growth of trade and the entire sector in the region

There is currently 1 type of cryptologic license available for own cryptocurrency trading. This license is regulated by the SCA, and under its control are offerings, issuance, asset trading, and related financial activities

Crypto license in ADGM

Crypto license in ADGM

ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Markets) is an Abu Dhabi financial-free zone that is supervised by regulators. They established rules for cryptocurrency activities back in 2018. ADGM aims to connect the Emirates to the cross-national markets of the Middle East, South and East Asia, and Africa to diversify the UAE economy

It is the first jurisdiction in the world that has created a comprehensive regulatory framework for cryptocurrency transactions. The comprehensive framework makes it easier for the leading players in this industry to operate in a business-friendly environment. It covers the full range of different risks associated with financial crime, financial laundering, customer protection, cryptocurrency exchange, and storage operations, and technology management

Obtaining a license in the ADGM zone allows you to cover the full range of activities that are associated with crypto assets: a license for a cryptocurrency exchange in the UAE; storage of cryptocurrency; buying and selling; management of crypto assets of third parties; marketing of cryptocurrency

Cryptologic license at DWTC

Cryptologic license at DWTC

DWTC (Dubai World Trade Center) is a free zone established in 2015, which is designed to operate and serve innovative industries in the field of virtual assets, cryptocurrency, blockchain, etc

This zone is closely cooperating and also coordinating with VARA (Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority) to approve the status of the newly designated zone for regulated crypto companies. All actions and approval processes for cryptocurrencies are coordinated with VARA

In addition, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance signed an exclusive memorandum of cooperation with DWTC, which will help make the zone a cryptocurrency hub for the region

DWTC reports that it will be one of the first zones to allow crypto licensing in the UAE under the supervision of the Securities and Commodities Authority

In addition:

  • the ability to provide financial advice
  • manage crypto assets
  • brokerage activities
Informational services on the balance

Informational services on the balance

VASP has the authority to manage and safeguard cryptocurrency depository wallets belonging to clients, and store and provide clients with information services on balances, and incoming and outgoing transactions. Clients may request up-to-date information regarding their accounts.

Please note that this information may be requested by regulators under KYC guidelines. Therefore, it is important to maintain ongoing analysis and reporting.

Advantages of crypto business in UAE

Advantages of crypto business in UAE

Get significant advantages when registering a crypto-business in UAE compared to crypto licenses in other jurisdictions, thanks to the loyalty of the Emirati government, investor support, and the rapid development of UAE cryptocurrency. You can protect your privacy and get enhanced security from blockchain technology in Dubai

Key Benefits:

  • The Fintech field is supported at the state level
  • Absolute foreign ownership of a local enterprise without involving resident partners is allowed
  • All individual income from international activities is tax-free
  • The most loyal taxation is 0% on income up to 50 years of business activity
  • There are no currency restrictions and no import and export tax rates
  • No restrictions on the employment of foreign employees in the company
  • Profit can be withdrawn to foreign accounts
  • Increased confidentiality of personal data and transactions
  • Agreements are available for the avoidance of double taxation
  • The stable banking system and economy
  • Full legalization of cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency rules in the UAE and the risks of crypto assets

Cryptocurrency rules in the UAE and the risks of crypto assets

Regulations

The main regulatory body that implements all the regulations and rules for cryptocurrency business in the UAE is the SCA (Securities and Commodities Authority). Their regulations apply to many forms of cryptocurrency-related activities

Payment tokens (stable coins) and stored value funds are regulated by the UAE Central Bank

Crypto Licenses from DAFZA are also regulated by the SCA. It oversees the offerings, issuance, and trading of crypto-assets

The ADGM Free Zone has its own Cryptocurrency Operations Manual, but it was drafted according to SCA regulations. In addition, the FSRA (Financial Services Regulatory Authority) directly regulates ADGM and requires them to follow their own set of rules and guidelines

In addition, the Authority monitors businesses that provide services related to cryptocurrency and blockchain to ensure the prevention of money laundering and other illegal activities. This is currently the only guidance for cryptocurrency operations in the UAE at ADGM

Risks of crypto-assets

The UAE government recognizes all the risks that are associated with crypto-assets:

  • financial laundering
  • sponsorship of terrorism

Every crypto business is required to develop corporate and customer-oriented rules based on:

  • UAE anti-financial laundering and sponsorship of terrorism laws
  • Rules and guidelines from the ADGM on anti-financial laundering and countering the sponsorship of terrorism
  • FATF international best practices
  • Сompliance with global risk mitigation and transparency standards

Principles that should be framed in the management of every enterprise:

  • Business risk analysis
  • Implementation of QAS, AML, and system controls
  • Control of management and enterprise systems
  • Mandatory reporting
  • Record keeping

If you want to stay within the right field, you have to follow these standards.

Taxation

The UAE is a very attractive country for cryptocurrency businesses on the tax side: the federal income and corporate tax rates are 0%. This applies to companies that use cryptocurrency solely for trading or receive it as a salary.

But we should pay attention to the value-added tax. Since the beginning of 2018, the government introduced new rules but put a low tax rate of 5%. Your company can be set up on a zero-tax basis, but ordinary transactions will be subject to VAT at 5%

If you want to find out if your activity is tax-exempt, Gofaizen-Sherle can consult you on this issue

FAQ about crypto license in UAE

How can I get a cryptocurrency license in the UAE?

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You can get a cryptocurrency license in the UAE from the regulatory authorities of the country where you plan to set up a company. It is also possible to get your crypto license in Dubai. To do this, contact Gofaizen-Sherle for assistance, our team will provide advice and help in setting up the company.

Do you need a license to trade cryptocurrency in the UAE?

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If you want to conduct legal and transparent activities related to cryptocurrency, you need to get a license.

How much does a crypto license cost in Dubai?

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To work with UAE cryptocurrency, you need not only to get a license but also to comply with all the requirements of the regulator. Consequently, to calculate the final cost, it is necessary to take into account every point.

Approximate figures for the DCMM zone:

Cost
Cryptolicense From $15,000
Contribution of share capital From $14,000
Annual office rent from $1,500
Amount From $30,500

If you need two licenses, each will be charged separately. In addition, there may be additional costs. License renewal starts from $16,500

To calculate the exact cost of opening a license for a cryptocurrency company - contact our lawyers.

Is there any tax on cryptocurrency in the UAE?

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If you use cryptocurrency for trading or receive it as a salary, the federal income, and the corporate tax rate is 0%. Value Added Tax (VAT) is 5%.

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