ABU DHABI GLOBAL MARKETS (ADGM)

ABU DHABI GLOBAL MARKETS (ADGM)

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Launched 2015, Abu Dhabi Global Market is an international financial centre in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. A financial free zone, ADGM is an Independent jurisdiction encompassing rules and regulations aligned with international best practice. Companies have access to a growing ecosystem of finance, services and talent. It is home to the world’s leading professional advisory firms

ADGM’s three independent authorities (Registration Authority, Financial Services Regulatory Authority and the ADGM Courts) provide a holistic environment enabling registered companies to conduct business and operate with confidence as well being recognized by major financial centres across the world.

Core Sectors: Themed free zone with core focus on financial services, holding companies and Special Purpose Vehicles

  • 0% tax
  • No withholding of taxes or VAT
  • No restrictions on repatriation of profits
  • Growing number of double tax treaties
  • Modern infrastructure
  • Common law jurisdiction
  • Wide range of available licenses
  • High credibility vis-à-vis with banks
  • Independent ADGM courts
  • Best-in-class independent regulatory framework
  • Variety of legal structures available
  • Fast setup process
  • Central location in Abu Dhabi
  • No office requirement if agent appointed
  • Sophisticated back office that are able to handle sophisticated structures
  • Pragmatic immigration
  • Professional services (regulated / non-regulated)
  • Retail
  • Other – SFO
  • Retail spaces
  • Serviced offices
  • Offices fitted and shell and core options

SPEAK TO OUR EXPERTS TODAY

Abu Dhabi Global Markets
  • ABU DHABI GLOBAL MARKETS (ADGM)
  • Authorities Building, ADGM Square
  • 0% tax, No withholding of taxes or VAT
  • From USD 50,000 (depending on the activity) SPV’s do not require any share capital.
  • Regulated 4-6 months, non-regulated 6-8 weeks and SPV 2-3 days
  • Tax and duty exemption
  • Required annually, exemptions for SME’s and SPV – proper books of accounts must be maintained.

WHY CHOOSE ADGM

Unparalleled Access To World-Class Business Services

Abu Dhabi Global Markets

0% PERSONAL AND CORPORATE INCOME TAX

Abu Dhabi Global Markets

STRATEGIC LOCATION

Abu Dhabi Global Markets

100% BUSINESS OWNERSHIP & CAPITAL REPATRIATION

Abu Dhabi Global Markets

LIVE AND WORK IN ONE VIBRANT COMMUNITY

Abu Dhabi Global Markets

THRIVING BUSINESS CENTRE

Abu Dhabi Global Markets

QUICK EFFICIENT SETUP PROCESS

ADGM FAQS

The cost to setup a company in ADGM free zone will vary depending on the company structure, business activity, requirements, and office premises.

Below is an overview of the different company types and fees starting from:

  • Retail Company
    • Registration Cost – USD $1,500
    • Commercial License Cost – USD $4,000
    • Data Protection – USD $300
    • E-Channel and Establishment Card – USD $1,400
  • Non- Financial Company
    • Business Application – USD $300
    • Registration Cost – USD $1,500
    • Commercial License Cost – USD $4,000
    • Business Activity Cost – USD $4,000
    • Data Protection – USD $300
    • E-Channel and Establishment Card – USD $1,400
  • Financial Services Company 
    • Registration Cost – USD $1,500
    • Commercial License Cost – USD $4,000
    • Business Activity Cost – USD $9,000
    • Data Protection – USD $300
    • E-Channel and Establishment Card – USD $1,400

Contact Creation Business Consultants for your free ADGM company setup consultation email info@creationbc.com or call +971 4 878 6240.

ADGM provides business facilities and great office spaces (conventional and serviced), access to government services (for visas and other company support services), access to corporate and auditory services, support for financial and cybercrime prevention and data protection, etc.

The timeframe to setup an ADGM company includes 5-7 working days to secure the Initial approval for license activity. Following on, an additional 15-20 working days is required to secure a license from ADGM (including the signing of lease and witnessing of shareholder documents). It takes an estimated 5-7 working days to secure the company establishment card and e-channel registration. Following on, the company can start to apply for a UAE residency visa.

AGDM visas are issued to the ADGM license holders and employees of the company. Once the company establishment card and e-channel registrations are complete, the residence permits can be applied depending on the number of allotted residences permits that are attached to the office size. The employee/shareholder documents are submitted, and the payment is made to start the process and issuance of an employment permit. 

After the employment permit is issued, the applicant can travel to the UAE (applies for visa applicants outside of the UAE) or apply for change status (applies for visa applicants inside the country – UAE). A mandatory UAE medical fitness certificate and Emirates ID biometrics must be completed for the visa applicant. Once finalized all visa applicants’ documents are resubmitted to the ADGM for the issuance of visa. The original passport of the visa applicant must be submitted to the authorities for visa stamping and 5-7 business days later the Emirates ID card is ready.

There are several license types available within ADGM free zone and these include:

  • Financial Services
    • Category 1 applies to banks
    • Category 2 applies to businesses engaged in providing credit like investment banks, etc.
    • Category 3 is divided into 3 subgroups: A, B and C and are for businesses providing brokerage, custody services and asset management respectively
    • Category 4 is for Investment Advisors, etc.
    • Category 5 applies to Islamic banking businesses
    • Virtual asset businesses
  • Non-Financial Businesses
    • DNFBP like law firms and accounting firms
    • Corporate structures like Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV), holding companies, LLPs, etc.
    • Family Offices
    • Corporate functions like company headquarters and management offices, etc.
  • All retail business types
  • Fintech Reglab designed as a sandbox for fintech companies

Contact Creation Business Consultants to discuss the correct license type for your ADGM free zone company setup consultation email info@creationbc.com or call +971 4 878 6240.

ADGM free zone is situated at Al Muryah Island and provides access to business facilities including residential properties, commercial properties, hotels, clinics, dining, and retail amenities.

The business activities in ADGM free zone are divided into 3 groups: 

  • Financial services activities – banking, financial brokerage, financial consultancy, fund management, money services etc. 
  • Non-Financial activities – which include Designated Non-Financial Businesses or Professionals (DNFBP) such as law firms, auditing firms and consulting firms, and ancillary services providers to financial services, HR, and IT etc. 
  • Retail Services – includes printing services, restaurants, tailors, clothing stores, etc.

The investment to renew an ADGM free zone company will vary depending on the structure, business activity, and office premises etc. Government fees for ADGM license renewal are starting from: 

  • Retail Company
    • Commercial License Cost – USD $4,000
    • Data Protection – USD $100
    • E-Channel and Establishment Card – USD $700
  • Non- Financial Company
    • Commercial License Cost – USD $4,000
    • Business Activity Cost – USD $4,000
    • Data Protection – USD $100
    • E-Channel and Establishment Card – USD $700
  • Financial Services Company 
    • Commercial License Cost – USD $4,000
    • Business Activity Cost – USD $9,000
    • Data Protection – USD $100
    • E-Channel and Establishment Card – USD $700

Contact Creation Business Consultants for your ADGM free zone company license renewal consultation email info@creationbc.com or call +971 4 878 6240.

ADGM free zone offers company amendments that is subject to approval from the authorities. Changes of company ownership and management structure, merger of companies, changes of business activities of the company and redomicile of a company into ADGM free zone are also available. Contact Creation Business Consultants for your free consultation to discuss ADGM company amendment or if you are considering relocating your company to ADGM free zone email info@creationbc.com or call +971 4 878 6240.

An overview of the ADGM company liquidation requirements are: 

  • Resolution to dissolve the company 
  • Appointment of liquidator 
  • Appointment of auditor 
  • Liquidation report 
  • Audited financial statements 
  • Newspaper advertisement 
  • ROC Approval

For those looking to formally close a ADGM free zone company, contact Creation Business Consultants for your free consultation to discuss the company liquidation process. Email info@creationbc.com or call +971 4 878 6240

The cost of residency visa application in ADGM free zone starts from:

  • USD $1,500 (inside country applicant with medical test and Emirates ID) 
  • USD $1,000 (outside country applicant with medical test and Emirates ID)

Note additional insurance and service fees will apply to complete the full ADGM free zone visa application. Contact Creation Business Consultants for a quotation for ADGM visa processing via email info@creationbc.com or call +971 4 878 6240.

Yes, ADGM is a free zone and provides a variety of business activities to those companies looking to setup a business in ADGM or expand their business to Abu Dhabi. 

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has its own courts and follows English Common Law jurisdiction. 

Yes, however, it is an independent jurisdiction with its own laws and regulations. Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority services (FSRA) are the regulatory bodies.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) are quite similar when it comes to the structure, the governing bodies, and the supervision models. There are a few distinctions between the two:

  • The DIFC’s applicable law is codified Common Law which does not follow the precedents set by the English Courts whereas the ADGM applies the English Common Law.
  • The cost of operation in ADGM is relatively lower compared to DIFC with more flexibility.
  • DIFC has around 18 years of precedence and has developed a great ecosystem of businesses by attracting the biggest names in the financial industry and a large diversity of finance professionals. ADGM, on the other hand, has a great advantage of learning from others and adapting to new trends and requirements of the changing financial world.
  • DIFC has strong initiatives like the Fintech Hive and the Crowdfunding licenses while the ADGM benefits from its FinTech RegLab initiative, Virtual Assets Exchanges and its flexible SPV regime positioning itself as a pro-business jurisdiction.

All financial services companies can apply for a license through ADGM free zone.

  • Companies dealing in Virtual Assets and Virtual Assets exchanges
  • Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions (DNFBPs)
  • Retail businesses such as supermarkets, clothing stores, etc.
  • For Retail and Non-Financial Businesses
    • Business application is prepared and submitted to ADGM 
    • ADGM will issue a Provisional Approval
    • A lease agreement is signed in Al Maryah Island and submitted. Applicants can choose from serviced offices to conventional offices
    • Signature and ID Verification of the shareholders/responsible persons is completed
    • Company registration documents are issued
    • Company Establishment Card is applied and secured
  • For Financial Services Companies
    • After the Provisional Approval from ADGM is secured, the application is sent across to FSRA for their Provisional Approval
    • Provisional Approval at the ADGM requires the complete business application, regulated business plan and profiles of key responsible persons
    • After the Provisional Approval from FSRA is received, the company can proceed with the rest of the incorporation and thereafter structure the organisation as detailed in the business plan.
    • FSRA grants the license, and the company can start to onboard clients.

No, like all free zones in the UAE, companies established in a free zone can only conduct business activities within the free zone. Companies require a license issued by the competent authority to operate in Abu Dhabi mainland. However, ADGM companies have the provision to apply for a dual license with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) allowing ADGM companies to service clients in Abu Dhabi without having a physical office in Abu Dhabi mainland.

  • Retail and non-financial services companies are regulated by the ADGM
  • All ADGM companies are required to be compliant with the Data Protection
  • Financial Services companies are regulated and supervised by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA)
  • Designated Non-Financial Businesses or Professions (DNFBP) are required to submit Annual Anti Money Laundering (AML) Return in accordance with the FSRA rules and guidance.
  • The ADGM offers a Tech Startup License to companies that are technology-driven startups that can contribute to the local economy
  • The benefits are available to companies that either are at the prototype stage or at least have started building traction with their offerings
  • The type of license is divided into ‘Seed’ and ‘Emergent’ and the price range of the license is US$ 700 per annum and US$ 4,000 per annum respectively
  • Office space is required for Tech Startup businesses within the Al Maryah Island

If the existing company name is owned by the same set of shareholders, then ownership is possible.

No, ADGM is a free zone company situated in Abu Dhabi.  

No, like all free zones in the UAE, companies established in a free zone can only conduct business activities within the free zone. Companies require a license issued by the competent authority to operate in Abu Dhabi mainland. However, ADGM companies have the provision to apply for a dual license with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) allowing ADGM companies to service clients in Abu Dhabi without having a physical office in Abu Dhabi mainland.

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