How to start an asset management company in Dubai

asset management

Starting an asset management company in Dubai is a thrilling venture into the heart of one of the world’s most dynamic financial landscapes. Known for its cutting-edge business infrastructure and investor-friendly climate, Dubai offers unparalleled opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors alike.

In this comprehensive guide, we will navigate through the essential steps to establish your asset management company in Dubai, shedding light on the city’s strategic advantages. From understanding the legal framework and obtaining the necessary trade licenses to tapping into the local market, leveraging Dubai’s global connectivity, and exploring the cost considerations, this article will equip you with the knowledge and insights needed to successfully launch and grow your asset management firm.

Understanding the asset management industry in Dubai

Dubai is a role model of economic growth and innovation, offering a fertile ground for the asset management industry. This section delves into why setting up an asset management company in Dubai is not just an opportunity but a strategic advantage in today’s global market.

Firstly, Dubai’s vital geographic location bridges the East and West, providing asset managers with access to emerging and established markets. This unique position enables companies to operate across multiple time zones, offering services to a global clientele. Furthermore, Dubai’s robust regulatory framework, spearheaded by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), ensures a transparent and secure environment for investors and businesses alike. The DFSA’s regulations are designed to meet international standards, which helps build investor confidence and attract global talent.

Dubai’s commitment to innovation and technology is evident in its smart city initiatives and the adoption of financial technologies (fintech), which are reshaping the asset management landscape. The city’s infrastructure, including world-class business parks and economic Free Zones such as the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), offers a conducive ecosystem for asset management firms. These Free Zones not only provide tax benefits and full foreign ownership but also access to a network of financial institutions and services.

Moreover, the United Arab Emirates economy is characterised by its diversity, stability, and continuous growth, supported by proactive government policies aimed at encouraging investment and entrepreneurship. This economic climate fosters a dynamic market for asset managers, with opportunities spanning various sectors such as real estate, technology, healthcare, and renewable energy.

In essence, Dubai presents an unparalleled platform for an asset management company to thrive. By setting up here, businesses can leverage the city’s strategic advantages, including its regulatory environment, technological prowess, and economic vitality, to achieve global success.

How to start an asset management company in Dubai, UAE: Step-by-step

The five steps to start an asset management company in Dubai are:

Step 1: Partner with Trade License Zone

Step 2: Registering your asset management company

Step 3: Selecting your office location

Step 4: Applying for initial approval

Step 5: Securing your asset management trade license

Step 1: Partner with Trade License Zone

Trade License Zone streamlines the establishment of businesses, including asset management firms, in Dubai, offering a seamless and effective setup process. Our skilled professionals excel in deciphering and manoeuvring through the intricacies of UAE government regulations. Providing specialised advice, we guarantee your enterprise is appropriately licensed, registered, and adheres to all regulations. Our profound understanding of legal and administrative demands ensures we’re committed to facilitating your business setup accurately and swiftly.

Step 2: Registering your asset management company

To register an asset management company in Dubai, you must follow a systematic procedure. Begin by selecting a trade name in line with the UAE Registry Office’s rules, submitting three preferred names, and securing a reservation certificate once approved.

Then, decide on your company’s legal structure – sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC), according to your business objectives and needs. It’s also vital to choose the right location for your operation, considering Dubai’s Mainland or one of the over 40 Free Zones, each offering unique advantages regarding ownership, tax policies, and operational scope.

Completing the process involves precisely defining your asset management firm’s business activities. This step is crucial for procuring the correct trade license, complying with regulations, and establishing a solid foundation for your company’s operational strategy.

Step 3: Selecting your office location

Selecting the right office location in Dubai is pivotal for the success of your asset management company. The city’s Free Zones, especially those designed for financial services, offer compelling benefits. These include complete foreign ownership and tax benefits, making them an ideal choice for businesses like asset management firms.

Dubai’s Mainland also offers a variety of office locations, enabling access to a broader market. Both the Free Zones and Mainland provide unique advantages that support the strategic placement of your business in a competitive environment. It’s essential to weigh these options thoughtfully, choosing a location that complements your business strategy and aspirations for growth.

Step 4: Applying for initial approval

Gaining initial approval is an essential milestone in acquiring a trade license for your asset management company in Dubai. This step requires applying either the relevant Free Zone authority or the Department of Economy & Tourism (DET), based on your business structure choice. The application packet must include key documents such as a comprehensive business plan, a lease agreement, copies of the passports and visas of directors and shareholders, and your trade name reservation certificate. These documents are then meticulously reviewed. The issuance of an initial approval certificate signifies a crucial advancement in your endeavour to establish your asset management firm in Dubai.

Step 5: Securing your asset management trade license

After receiving your initial approval certificate, the next move is to apply for your asset management trade license. This entails the submission of a dossier of necessary paperwork to the relevant regulatory body. The documents generally include the initial approval certificate, a lease agreement for your office space, and identification of the company’s directors and shareholders. After a thorough review of your application and the settlement of required fees, your trade license will be granted.

This license is fundamental, authorising your business activities in Dubai and facilitating essential operations such as opening a corporate bank account. In addition to obtaining a trade license, asset management firms may need to apply for additional licenses depending on the services they plan to offer.

Leveraging the expertise of a dedicated service like Trade License Zone can significantly streamline this phase. Our specialised guidance and comprehensive support simplify the process from your initial application to obtaining your trade licenses, ensuring a smooth kickoff to your venture in Dubai’s thriving asset management sector.

Cost of starting an asset management company in Dubai

The cost of starting an asset management company in Dubai is between AED21,000 to AED 350,000. The costs vary significantly based on several critical factors, such as the scale of the business, the chosen jurisdiction (Mainland or Free Zone), and the specific operational needs. To provide a clearer understanding of the financial commitment required, here is a breakdown of the potential costs involved in launching an asset management firm in this dynamic city:

Initial Investment Costs:

  1. Licensing and registration: The cornerstone of setting up any business in Dubai, obtaining the necessary trade license for an asset management company is paramount. Costs vary depending on the type of license and whether the company is set up in a free zone or on the mainland. Typically, licensing fees can range from AED 10,000 to AED 60,000.
  2. Premises: Having a physical office space is a requirement in some jurisdictions in Dubai. The cost is influenced by the location and size of the office. For a modest-sized office in a business-friendly area, annual rent can start from AED 30,000.
  3. Legal and consultancy fees: Engaging with professionals for legal advice and business setup consultancy is highly recommended. Depending on the services required, these fees can vary between AED 15,000 and AED 40,000.

Ongoing Operational Costs:

  1. Staffing: An asset management company’s success hinges on its team’s expertise. The costs here depend on the size and experience of the staff. For a foundational team, annual expenses can start at AED 250,000.
  2. Utilities and maintenance: Monthly costs for utilities, including internet and electricity, are expected to be around AED 3,000 to AED 6,000, varying with office size and usage. Maintenance fees will also depend on the premises’ specifics.
  3. Technology and equipment: Asset management firms require a solid IT infrastructure to operate efficiently, encompassing software for asset management, cybersecurity measures, and reliable hardware. Initial investments in this area can range from AED 30,000 to AED 150,000.

The financial outlay for establishing an asset management company in Dubai is considerable, reflecting the city’s position as a leading global financial hub. However, Dubai’s supportive regulatory environment, its strategic geographical location, and its status as a gateway to emerging markets offer significant growth and profit potential for asset management firms. Trade License Zone can provide detailed financial planning assistance, ensuring that entrepreneurs are well-informed and prepared for their venture into Dubai’s asset management sector.

Why Work with Trade License Zone

Venturing into the asset management sector in Dubai, with its complex legal and licensing requirements, can be overwhelming. Trade License Zone simplifies this journey. As a premier consultancy in Dubai and the UAE, we specialise in demystifying the business setup process for entrepreneurs eager to enter the asset management field. Our in-depth knowledge of Dubai’s regulatory environment and strong connections with governmental bodies enable us to efficiently secure the necessary trade licenses, ensuring full compliance with legal and financial standards.

We offer a tailored approach, starting from understanding your business goals to delivering custom solutions that cover company registration, appropriate trade licensing, and support with banking and visa processes. This comprehensive assistance is invaluable, especially for those new to the region or industry, allowing you to concentrate on your business rather than bureaucratic challenges.

Our commitment to speed and efficiency ensures your asset management company is operational as quickly as possible. Working with Trade License Zone means gaining a strategic ally committed to your success, providing continuous guidance through Dubai’s vibrant economic scene. We help you spot opportunities, grasp market dynamics, and broaden your network, making the establishment of your asset management firm in Dubai a smoother and more efficient process. Choose Trade License Zone for a partnership that propels your venture forward in the Dubai asset management industry.

Contact us to get a personalized quotation based on your business activity