Getting Started

service
Who can apply for a licence at ADGM?

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ADGM is now receiving applications from organisations that wish to undertake Financial and Non-financial Business Activities.

Companies who wish to be registered as a financial service provider will need to first contact the FSRA to start the application process. The team can be contacted at authorisation@adgm.com where companies can arrange for a meeting and will receive guidance through the application process. Once they have gained approval from the FSRA, and then can apply to register the company with the Registration Authority.

Companies who wish to undertake Non-Financial (professional services etc.) and Retail business activities can contact the Business Development team of the Registration Authority.
What are the permitted business activities?

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For a detailed description of the permitted Non-Financial and Retail activities within ADGM, please click on the relevant document below.

For permitted Financial Services activities, please refer to the FSRA rulebook.
What are the steps involved in the registration and incorporation process?

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ADGM has a transparent and business-friendly 4-step registration process.

4-step registration process

For more information on the Online Registry Solution, please view our Video Tutorials.

For more information on the application process for the FSRA, please view the 3-step application guide book.

How do I submit an application?

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The three ways to submit an application to register a company are as follows:

1. ONLINE APPLICATION - Online is the preferred registration method of ADGM. To view ADGM’S Online Registry Solution, please click here.

2. PAPER-BASED APPLICATION - Paper based applications are available for an additional processing fee. Should you wish to submit a paper form instead of an online form, please contact the Registration Authority to request them. Please note that filing of forms and supporting documents is accepted by the office of the Registration Authority in good faith without any need for the Registrar to inquire into the veracity and accuracy of every filing received by this office. For further information, please refer to ADGM Companies Regulations (Paper Form) Rules 2015.

3. USING A SERVICE PROVIDER - Applicants will be able to complete the registration process by using third party service providers. Service providers will be tasked with representing their clients and will be able to complete registration via the same channels mentioned above.

How much is it going to cost?

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The Registration Authority operates a clear and transparent pricing system with no hidden costs. ADGM applies a business activity based methodology for registration and incorporation cost and charges a fee for initial registration and annual fee for renewal.

The fees comprise of several components including a one off fee for name reservation (compulsory) and application for registration of legal entity and a recurring variable fee for application for commercial license which is determined by number of business activities and business activities type.

For the list of fees, please view Schedule of Fees.
How do I reserve a name?

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An application to reserve a company name must be submitted to the Registrar along with relevant requirements and fee. Reserved name must be used to incorporate a new company within 30 days from the date of reservation. Reservation can be extended for a further period of 30 days upon submission of name reservation extension form and fee, however reservation can only be extended twice after the initial reservation. Further extension of name reservation will require Registrar’s consent.

In the future, after the legal entity is established, if you wish to change the name of your company, you may also apply to reserve the new company name.

Choosing a company name

KEY STEPS AND APPROACH:

Check availability of the proposed name

Begin by checking that your company name can be reserved. For example, the name you choose cannot be identical or almost identical or too similar to another company name that is already reserved or registered in ADGM. It cannot be offensive or contain certain words that are restricted or protected by other name rules.

To ensure your chosen name is not the ‘same as’ or identical to an existing name of any company, conduct a search in ADGM Companies Register. You should also check existing trademarks by contacting the Ministry of Economy and/or similar office in other jurisdictions to ensure that the proposed name does not infringe an existing trade.

For more information on words that are offensive or restrictive, please refer to Business and Company Name Rules 2015 (coming 15 June).

Apply for your name reservation online

Whether you are applying for a name to incorporate a company or to change a name for an existing company, the process is the same. Visit ADGM's Online Registry Solution to register and fill out the "Name Reservation" form.

The fee associated with name reservation is US$200. Name reservation is valid for the period of 30 calendar days. It can be renewed for the period of another 30 days by submitting renewal of name reservation form along with the fee of US $200.

How we process your application

You will receive an email confirming that your application is under process and an email confirming once approval or rejection.

What happens next?

You must use the name to incorporate a new company or change the name of an existing company within 30 calendar days. Should the process of gathering information for application for incorporation or registration take longer, you may renew the name reservation by applying for renewal and paying renewal fee. This will give you another 30 calendar days to prepare your application for incorporation or registration.
What Forms will I be Required to Fill Out?

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The Online Registry Solution offers our clients an innovative, user friendly way to register and incorporate your orgainsation. Currently the following forms are available to be completed on the system:

Business Applications for Company & Partnership

Name Reservation

Registration & Incorporation forms for a variety of company and partnership types.

Paper based forms are also available however the fee for submission of these forms is slightly higher than if submitting online.

Supplementary forms may need to be manually submitted to the Registrar. You will be informed by a member of the Registration Authority team if this is necessary, additional fees will not be charged for the submission of paper forms in the event that they are not available online.

For more information on the forms that are applicable for your application, please visit the Business Development and Registration & Incorporation pages of the site.

Please note that filing of forms and supporting documents is accepted by the office of the Registration Authority in good faith without any need for the Registrar to inquire into the veracity and accuracy of every filing received by this office.

What documents are required?

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Below are all the checklists for applications and documentation required:

Document Checklist - Establishing Presence in ADGM - Company Limited by Shares

Document Checklist - Establishing Presence in ADGM - Branch of a Foreign Company

Document Checklist - Reservation of a Company Name

Document Checklist - Incorporation a Private Company Limited by Shares

Document Checklist - Register a Branch of Foreign Company
How can I make a payment?

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Payment to the Registration Authority can be made through the following channels:

Credit Card

Credit card payments can be completed online if you have completed your applications through the Online Registry Solution, or by visiting the office of the Registration Authority below:

ADGM Registration Authority

ADGM Building - 3rd Floor (North Entrance)

ADGM Square, Al Maryah Island

Abu Dhabi, UAE

 

USD Account:

Bank Name: First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)

Account Name: ADGM REGISTRATION AUTHORITY

Account Number: 4021003571090031

IBAN Number: AE350354021003571090031

 

AED Account:

Bank Name: First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)

Account Name: ADGM REGISTRATION AUTHORITY

Account Number: 4021003571090020

IBAN Number: AE410354021003571090020

How long is it going to take?

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Our ambition is to provide rapid processing of business administration, from set-up to expansion. This includes a simple and efficient registration and incorporation process where we aim to do this in the fastest way possible. Provided we have complete information, the expected timeframe is to have your application approved within 5 business days.
What Happens After my Entity is Registered?

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Once the company is registered, the company may commence its business and its directors are bound to adhere with the requirements prescribed by the ADGM Companies Regulations 2015, ADGM Commercial Licensing Regulations 2015 and any other relevant regulations and enabling rules. The directors are required to file certain documents (including but not limited to) annual accounts and an annual return. They must also inform the Registrar about any changes, such as the appointment or resignation of directors or a change to the company’s registered office, etc. For more information, please refer to Guidance Notes – Annual Filing Requirements and Guidance Notes – Event Driven Filings.

If I am licensed at ADGM, can I conduct business activities in Abu Dhabi?

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Entities who wish to continue to conduct business outside of Al Maryah Island will need to maintain, or if new then apply for, an Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) Licence.

It is the firms responsibility to maintain any required registration, authorisation, licence, approval, consent, permission or similar status in any jurisdiction outside of Al Maryah Island.

Our Business Development team will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

How will firms be regulated within ADGM?

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Abu Dhabi Global Market will have its own judicial system and legislative infrastructure, under three independent authorities:

Registration Authority

Financial Services Regulatory Authority

ADGM Courts

The ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority will supervise regulated companies and monitor their compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. The ADGM Registration Authority will monitor compliance of the firms with periodic and event-driven filing requirements subject to ADGM Rules and Regulations.

How do I obtain visas and what is their validity?

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ADGM will offer a 3 year employee visa and has developed a competitive pricing structure. When determining the employee visa quota for firms, ADGM will take into consideration the business activity, office space and health and safety requirements. Accordingly, each case will be assessed individually.

All visa and government services are proccesed through ACCESSADGM client portal.

For more information on ACCESSADGM and how to register as a user, click here.