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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;
  • Dealers in in any saleable item of a price equal to or greater than $15,000;
  • 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. Some sections of the AML Module do not apply, or only partially apply, to a DNFBP who is a dealer in precious metals or precious stones, or a dealer in any saleable item or a price equal to or greater than $15000, referred to as a “Dealer”. Below is an overview of some of the requirements and obligations of a DNFBP contained in the AML Module. Please note that you should read the AML Module of the DFSA Rulebook to fully understand your obligations and the requirements.

 

A DNFBP who is not a Dealer​​

Senior Management Responsibility: The senior management of a DNFBP is ultimately 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 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.

Risk Assessments and Customer Due Diligence: A DNFBP must conduct risk assessments of their business and customers.  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 DNFBP is required to submit an Annual AML return to the DFSA.  This return covers how the DNFBP has complied with its AML Module obligations and is due 4 months after the end of the DNFBP financial year end, (Single Family Offices are not required to submit an Annual AML return).

 

A DNFBP who is a Dealer

The application of the AML Module to Dealers differs from that of other classes of DNFBP.  Certain provisions of the AML Module do not apply to Dealers, or may apply only under certain circumstances.

It is important for Dealers to be familiar with which parts of the AML Module apply to them. The obligations for Dealers are summarised below:

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

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

Risk Assessments and Customer Due Diligence: Dealers are required to undertake customer risk assessments and conduct Customer Due Diligence (CDD) in circumstances where they are engaged in a cash or cash equivalent transaction with a customer equal to or above $15000.

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

Fees

A DNFBP who is a:

  • law firm, notary firm or other independent legal business;
  • accounting, audit or insolvency firm; or
  • company service providers,

must pay the DFSA an annual fee of $3000.

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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