Set out here are the preliminary notes relating to the form; click here to download the full form in PDFPDF format.
Purpose of this form
This form must be submitted by any Person wishing to apply for a Licence to carry on
one or more Financial Services, as defined in the GEN module of the DFSARulebook, in
or from the DIFC.
An Authorised Firm wishing to change the scope of its current Licence need not
complete this form but should submit a written request for amendment of its Licence to
the relevant contact in the DFSA's Supervision Department.
This form is designed to assist applicants in providing information about the Financial Services
for which a Licence is sought and to assist the DFSA in understanding how applicants intend to
carry on those activities. Applicants will need to satisfy the DFSA that they have sufficient
financial resources, appropriate personnel, and adequate systems and internal controls in
relation to the proposed Financial Services to be carried on.
This form AUT–CORE provides only the core information on the applicant and must be
accompanied by the additional AUT forms appropriate to the business it proposes to
conduct and separate AUT–IND1 forms for all individuals for which Authorised Individual status is being sought.
• Applicants seeking authorisation to Operate a Collective Investment Fund
must, at the same time as the submission of their own applications for authorisation, either
• complete Form CIR F1
"Registration of a Public Fund
” if they are proposing to
a Public Fund
• complete the Operating a Collective Investment Fund
section in form AUT–INV
(questions 3.23 to 3.46) if they are proposing to Operate
a Private Fund
• An applicant seeking authorisation to Operate a Collective Investment Fund
, provided it has ticked the “Fund Administration” box in the Financial Services matrix on page 12 of
Form AUT–CORE, is not required to complete Form AUT–FAD
The DFSA may require additional information or clarification in order to complete the
consideration of an application. In this respect the DFSA will correspond with the
applicant’s contact person, as detailed in section 1 of this form.
||High level summary of contents
||This section seeks general high level
background information on:
• The nature of the applicant entity
• Relevant contact details
• Trading names and places of business
• Controllers and Close Links
• The applicant’s personnel and Licensed Functions
• The proposed Financial Services
||This section seeks general high level financial
• Financial projections and details of capital
• The financial reporting function
||Systems and Controls
||This section seeks information on key
systems and controls including:
• Governance arrangements
• Internal audit/risk management
||This sections requests details of the
applicant’s compliance arrangements
• Key personnel
• Relevant policies and procedures
||Anti Money Laundering
||This sections requests details of the
applicant’s anti Money Laundering
• Key personnel
• Relevant policies and procedures
||This section requests an overview of the IT
systems environment of the applicant and any
key systems dependencies.
||Details of the DFSA account and instructions
for paying the application fee
||Checklist of Attachments
||This section should be completed by the
applicant to ensure it has enclosed all the
relevant attachments. The application may be
delayed if key documentation is omitted.
||This section contains the relevant declarations
to be made by the applicant and requires an
authorised signature of the applicant to
endorse or sign the application.
Notes for completing this form
• The term “applicant” refers to the entity for which a Licence is being sought to
conduct Financial Services in or from the DIFC. In all instances where this
application form requests details to be supplied in relation to the applicant,
responses should be provided in relation to the applicant entity wanting to establish
within the DIFC.
• Defined terms are identified throughout this application form by the capitalisation of
the initial letter of a word or phrase and are defined in the Glossary module (GLO) of
the DFSA’s Rulebook.
• All financial information must be given in US dollars, together with a statement of the
original currency used (if relevant) and the exchange rate applied for conversion.
• Questions must be answered fully and the use of abbreviations or acronyms should
be avoided or defined.
• Do not leave any questions blank. If a question is not applicable this should be
indicated in the response section. Failure to answer questions or provide full
responses may delay the progress of the application.
• Prior to completion of this form, the applicants are strongly urged to read the AUT
module of the DFSARulebook to ensure appropriate information is provided to the
• Various sections of these forms refer to specific modules and Rules within the DFSARulebook and applicants are urged to familiarise themselves with the relevant Rules
prior to completing the application forms.
• Applicants may find it useful to refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Booklets available on the DFSA website www.dfsa.ae.
• Answers must be typed in electronic format and the form must be signed by a
Director/Partner of the applicant or, in the event that, for example, the applicant has
yet to be incorporated, the Director who will be authorised in due course to sign on
behalf of the applicant. Versions of this form on the DFSA’s website are in PDF
format. Editable Microsoft Word versions can be obtained from the DFSA.
• Where the term Client appears in this form, applicant Insurers may construe this as
A statement about Branches
Applicants wishing to apply to the DFSA to be an Authorised Firm will generally fall into
two high level categories: DIFC entities and non-DIFC entities (or Branches).
DIFC entities are entities that have been created under DIFC legislation governing their
creation (such as DIFCCompany Law or DIFC General Partnership Law).
In the case of non-DIFC entities, by definition, these will be entities that have been
created outside of the DIFC under the laws of another jurisdiction, but who wish to
establish a place of business in the DIFC. Accordingly, such entities are commonly
referred to as Branch offices, although legally, the Branch is not a separate legal person
to the entity itself.
For an applicant to apply to the DFSA to establish a Branch office in the DIFC for the
purposes of carrying on Financial Services, the DFSA would generally expect:
• that the entity is subject to regulatory standards in its home jurisdiction that are
broadly equivalent to those of the DFSA; and
• that the DFSA is satisfied, in its sole discretion, that the applicant’s home Regulator
has adopted supervisory criteria closely based on those recommended by leading
international organisations such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision,
the International Association of Insurance Supervisors or the International
Organisation of Securities Commissions.
For prospective applicants wishing to understand more about the above criteria that the
DFSA will take into account (including criteria in relation to the prevention of Money
laundering) these can be viewed through the following web-sites:
|Basel Core Principles:
|Insurance Core Principles
|IOSCO Principles of Securities Regulation
|Financial Action Task Force recommendations
Whether to permit an applicant to establish a Branch office in the DIFC will be at the sole
discretion of the DFSA. Prospective applicants should discuss with the DFSA at the
earliest possible stage if they are contemplating such an application.
In addition to the above, all Authorised Firms (be they DIFC or non-DIFC entities) are
automatically subject to the DFSA’s capital adequacy Rules. In the majority of cases,
DFSA would expect a Branch office applicant to apply for a waiver of the DFSA’s capital
adequacy Rules in favour of those of the applicant’s home supervisor, provided these
can be shown to be broadly equivalent (or superequivalent) to the DFSA’s. It will be at
the DFSA’s sole discretion as to whether the applicant has demonstrated this. In this
respect, applicants may need to obtain copies of relevant legislation, Regulations or Rules in English as part of any waiver submission, particularly where the relevant
legislation and Rules are not readily available from public sources.
If the capital adequacy standards or the regulatory standards referred to earlier appear
to significantly and negatively diverge from those of the DFSA’s, applicants should
discuss this with the DFSA at an early stage and may wish to consider establishing a
subsidiary entity in the DIFC as an alternative to a Branch office. In very limited
circumstances in certain industry sectors, “whole firm” supervision of non-DIFC entities
may be possible, subject to prior consultation with the DFSA. However, this is only likely
to be acceptable in a small number of exceptional cases.
Applications for waivers or modifications of the applicable prudential Rules may be made
using form SUP2 which is contained in the Prescribed Forms and Notices module of the
DFSA’s Rulebook, with electronic versions available directly from the DFSA. Previous
waivers granted to existing Authorised Firms are published on the DFSA’s website. Potential applicants may wish to review the DFSA’s web-site (www.dfsa.ae and search
for “waivers”) to check if any relevant precedents have already been set.
Please note that only waivers of specific sections of the prudential Rules may need to be
applied for, rather than the whole PIB or PIN Module. This is because not all of the
Rules in each Module will apply in all circumstances, particularly if the firm is conducting
a narrower range of Financial Services than the Module covers in its entirety. Conditions
may also be attached to the granting of such waivers depending on the particular
circumstances in each case; these can also generally be viewed on the DFSA’s website.
Financial reporting to the DFSA by successful applicants will be at the “whole firm” level
for DIFC entities or, in the case of Branches with prudential waivers, be at the Branch
office level (with any exceptions as noted above). The ongoing financial reporting is
summarised in Appendix 7 of the PIB Module (for Banks and Investment firms), or
section 6 of the PIN Module (for Insurers).
In submitting financial forecasts, projected balance sheets, profit and loss statements
and forecasted regulatory returns, should be based on whole firm reports for DIFC
entities, or Branch returns, which are similar in format to a balance sheet.
Your auditors should then complete their sign-off on the basis of the forecasted figures
and statements submitted.
Note for start up entities
Start up entities are either:
• new Financial Services businesses; or
• existing Financial Services businesses which have never been subject to Financial Services regulation, for whatever reason.
Start up entity applicants should read DFSA's
[Policy on Start Up Entities], available on
the DFSA website www.dfsa.ae, prior to completing and submitting an application.