About Registration
Registered Auditors

About registration

Firms and businesses that carry out the following specific businesses or professions need to register with the DFSA.

Registered auditors

The role and duty of a Registered Auditor is intended to enhance investor confidence, ensuring the financial statements in the DIFC comply with the required financial reporting standards and give a true and fair view of the financial position of the entity being audited.

Public Listed Companies, Domestic Authorised Firms, Authorised Market Institutions and Domestic Funds are required to appoint an auditor which is registered with the DFSA.

Refer to the Public Register for a list of the Registered Auditors and Audit Principals or get in touch with the DFSA if you have any queries. Also refer to the Auditor (AUD) Module of the DFSA Rulebook and the Regulatory Policy and Process Sourcebook.

Designated Non-Financial Business or Profession (DNFBP)

A business or profession, who is not an Authorised Person or an Auditor, and is carrying on the below business or profession in or from the DIFC is a Designated Non-Financial Business or Profession (DNFBP);

  • Real estate developers or agents which carry out transactions with a customer involvingthe buying or selling of real property
  • Dealers in precious metals or precious stones;
  • Law firms, notary firms, or other independent legal businesses;
  • Accounting, audit, or insolvency firms;
  • Single Family Offices;
  • Company service providers, who are not otherwise a DNFBP. A company service provider is a person that, by way of business, provides any of the following  services to a customer:
    1. Acting as a formation agent of legal persons
    2. Acting as (or arranging for another person to act as) a director or secretary of a company, a partner of a partnership, or a similar position in relation to other legal persons;
    3. Providing a registered office, business address or accommodation, correspondence or administrative address for a company, a partnership or any other legal person or arrangement;
    4. Acting as (or arranging for another person to act as) a nominee shareholder for another person.


The AML Module of the DFSA Rulebook contains the Rules applicable to a DNFBP.


Tips for becoming registered as a DNFBP

A Designated Non-Financial Business or Profession (DNFBP) must register with the DFSA by completing and submitting the DNF1 Form contained in the AFN Module of the DFSA Sourcebook.

Before you submit your DNFBP1 Form with us, please consider the following matters:

  1. We strongly recommend you engage with the Business Development unit of the DIFCA and the DIFC Registrar of Companies. They will help you understand the value proposition of the DIFC to assist your evaluation of whether a presence here will make business sense for your business.
  2. Ensure that your business or profession falls within the definition of a DNFBP.
  3. If you intend to carry on a business or profession as a law firm, notary firm or independent legal business, we recommend you engage with the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department to help you understand any relevant approvals required for the provision of legal services in or from the DIFC.
  4. Read the AML Module of the DFSA Rulebook as well as the notes contained in the DNF1 Form.
  5. Ensure you will be able to comply with relevant Rules applicable to you in the AML Module of the DFSA Rulebook upon registration. For example, ensure your proposed anti-money laundering policies and procedures reflect the requirements of the AML Module of the DFSA Rulebook and if relevant, you have identified an appropriate individual to act as the Money Laundering Reporting Officer.


Completing the DNFBP1 Form

Be as comprehensive as possible in completing the DNF1 Form. It is vital that you supply all relevant information. Openness and honesty are essential.

The DFSA may also need to make further inquiries or seek clarification from you regarding the information provided.

Review your DNF1 Form before submission, particularly when using consultants or legal advisers. You are the one who knows your business best and you are also responsible for any information contained in the DNF1 Form.

Make sure your DNF1 Form is signed and that you have provided the required attachments.


Registration Timeline

If your DNF1 Form is complete the DFSA will typically process your registration within 14 calendar days of receipt. This timing is indicative only and may be impacted by the completeness of your DNF1 Form and the timely submission of information and responses to any requests made by the DFSA.

Once we have finished processing your DNF1 Form, and provided you have obtained all the relevant permissions and approvals to conduct business in or from the DIFC, the DFSA will register you.

Your Obligations as a DNFBP

​ ​The AML Module of the DFSA Rulebook contains the Rules applicable to a DNFBP.

A DNFBP should be aware of its obligations which are contained in the AML Module of the DFSA Rulebook. It is important for a DNFBP to be familiar with which parts of the AML Module apply to them. Please read the AML Module of the DFSA Rulebook to ensure you fully understand your obligations and the requirements. ​​

Senior Management Responsibility: The senior management of a DNFBP is responsible for compliance with the AML Module. In carrying out their responsibilities every member of a DNFBP senior management must exercise due skill, care and diligence.

Anti-Money Laundering Policies and Procedures: A DNFBP must establish and maintain effective Anti-Money Laundering policies, procedures, systems and controls designed to detect and prevent opportunities for money laundering in relation to its activities.

Money Laundering Reporting Officer: A DNFBP must nominate a person as the Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO). This person must be an individual who is ordinarily resident in the United Arab Emirates and must have direct access to senior management, sufficient resources, a level of seniority and independence to carry out their appointed function, and, timely and unrestricted access to information sufficient to enable them to carry out their responsibilities.

Risk Assessments and Customer Due Diligence: A DNFBP must conduct risk assessments of their business and customers. A risk-based assessment should be a dynamic process and involving regular review, and the use of these reviews to establish the appropriate processes to match the levels of risk. The findings of these assessments should be used to determine the level of Customer Due Diligence (CDD) that should be undertaken.  Generally, CDD is information and documents obtained about a customer and may assist a DNFBP to mitigate any AML risks identified with undertaking business with a customer.  

AML Training and Awareness: A DNFBP must provide AML training to all relevant employees at appropriate and regular intervals. This training should be tailored to the level of exposure and risk faced by the DNFBP to AML issues.

Reporting Requirements to the DFSA: A person who is a DNFBP in one of the following classes:

(i) a real estate developer or agency which carries out transactions with a customer involving the buying or selling of real property;
(ii) a law firm, notary firm, or other independent legal business;
(iii) an accounting firm, audit firm or insolvency firm; or
(iv) a company service provider,

must complete the AML Return form online and submit it to the DFSA via the DFSA ePortal by the end of September each year. The annual AML Return must cover the period from 1 August of the previous year to 31 July of the reporting year. 

DNFBPs should also ensure they are familiar with any applicable requirements under Federal AML laws and regulations, including but not limited to filing AML reports with relevant Federal AML authorities.


A DNFBP must pay the DFSA an annual fee of USD 6000.

Please refer to the FER Module for information on the manner and timing of the payment of fees.

Getting Help

DFSA Rulebook: The AML Module of the DFSA Rulebook contains the Rules that apply to a DNFBP. The AML Module has been designed to provide a single reference point for all persons and entities supervised by the DFSA for Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorist Financing and Sanctions Compliance.

Registration Enquiries: You can direct your questions regarding our regulatory regime or registration process to Authorisation Enquiries.

DIFCA Business Development Manager: For advice on the commercial aspects of setting up in the DIFC and for copies of the application forms.
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