Before you start working on authorisation, please read the brochure on the Authorisation process in the AIFC and FAQs on Authorisation issues.
AFSA Brochure on Authorisation
How to apply:
1. Contact AIFC Business Connect team of the AIFC
We strongly recommend that firms, in the first instance, engage with the Business Connect unit of the AIFC. They will help you understand the value proposition of the AIFC to assist your evaluation of whether a presence here will make business sense for your firm.
Please contact Business Connect team by emailing [email protected].
2. Prepare to apply
Some firms go straight to attempting to complete the application forms. This often results in a poor application and can lengthen the application process. Here are some recommended preparation steps:
• Decide what type of business you want to carry out and check which Regulated, Market or Ancillary Services you will need to apply for.
• Determine who will be part of the senior management and who will be in the mandatory positions. Prepare to complete the necessary individual application forms.
• Develop a comprehensive regulatory business plan that sets out your proposed activities, 3-year financial projections and budget, resources such as human, systems and financial. This can be shared with the AFSA Authorisation team who will be happy to comment on your proposal.
• Familiarise yourself with the applicable AIFC Rules and Regulations and be prepared to show how you will comply with them. This might include providing a compliance manual, a compliance monitoring programme, and risk management policies. The AIFC Rules and Regulations can be found on our website at the Legal Framework section.
• Determine your minimum regulatory capital requirements, with which you will need to comply at all times. This should be included in your 3-year financial projections.
3. Complete the Application forms
It is vital that you supply all relevant information. Openness and honesty are essential. Should we need to examine your application more closely because of any disclosures you make, this will not necessarily count against you. However, deliberately withholding information or providing false or misleading information will adversely impact the success of your application.
You should also start the registration process with the AIFC Registrar of Companies at the same time as you submit your AFSA application. This will help you to avoid delays at the end of the authorisation process.
For your convenience, we have launched the online submission of Ancillary Services application via our Self-service Portal.
To start using the portal all you need is to follow these 4 steps:
1. Open the Portal;
2. Register on the portal using a valid email address, upon provision of necessary information, please verify your account by clicking the link sent to the provided email address;
3. Login to the portal and click the "New application" button;
4. Choose ‘Authorisation’ in the menu and within it choose ‘Ancillary Services’ application.
Once an application is ready (all sections will be colored in Green), you can submit it to AFSA via the Self-service portal.
Ancillary Services application fee - $2000
4. Application processing
A successful application will result in the AFSA issuing you an in-principle letter which will allow you to complete the registration process. We will then issue you with your AFSA Licence once you can demonstrate that you have successfully registered with the Registrar of Companies, have sufficiently capitalised the firm and have met any other outstanding matters.
We endeavor to process all licence applications promptly, however, the actual process times depend on the complexity of the applicant’s proposed operations and the quality of the application itself. Average application processing time, from the time the AFSA receives a materially complete application, is around two to three months. This does not include anytime the AFSA is awaiting information or a response from the applicant.
While members of the AFSA Authorisation team might be able to assist applicants regarding the application process and AFSA’s requirements relating to the application, the AIFC’s Business Development team can provide more hands-on assistance. Applicants are therefore urged to speak to a Business Development Officer prior to submitting an application. Alternatively, there are a number of AFSA authorised Consultants listed on the AFSA’s Public Register that can provide a service.
5. How to contact us:
Please feel free to contact us at any time by clicking here.
Email: [email protected]
For technical queries of AIFC Self-service Portal please contact us through the following email: [email protected] or send us a message in Live chat of AIFC Self-service Portal.