The QFC Law provides for a broad range of activities (Permitted Activities) to be conducted in or from the QFC. These activities are most commonly recognised as either constituting financial services (Regulated Activities), or professional services such as legal or accounting services found in support of financial services businesses and related corporate entities such as holding companies (Non-Regulated Activities).

Within the range of Permitted Activities are two sub-classifications: Non-Regulated Activities which, as the name suggests do not require extensive supervision, and Regulated Activities which are those financial services (such as banking, insurance or securities businesses) that require close and continuing scrutiny to ensure prudential soundness and the proper conduct of those businesses.

The conducting of any Permitted Activities in or from the QFC can only be carried on by entities with a legal presence in the QFC and legal presence can only be established by incorporating an Limited Liability Company or Limited Liability Partnership with the Companies Registration Office (CRO), or by registering a branch of a non-QFC legal entity with the CRO.

Further, Permitted Activities can only be conducted if a Licence is granted for those activities by the QFCA. The licensing process is intended to ensure that only entities likely to contribute to the achievement of the QFC objectives are given the opportunity to operate within the QFC.

Finally, entities wanting to conduct Regulated Activities will also require Authorisation by the QFC Regulatory Authority.