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We are here to help

At ADGM, we offer various support options, including contact details, FAQs, enquiry forms, and a whistleblowing form.

View available support options
Some of our FAQ topics
  • Getting started
  • Foundations regime
  • Resolution for incorporation
  • Existing auditors
  • New auditors
  • ACCESSADGM
  • FAQs

    service
    After I submit the online application, how much time does it take for the approval process?
    This depends on a number of factors including the quality of the application, the completeness of information provided in the required documentation, the initial approvals from the immigration authorities as well as the applicant’s responsiveness to additional queries if any. On average, and with the provision of complete documentation, applicants can expect a processing time of five working days.
    Are ADGM Courts currently open for business?

    Yes, ADGM Courts are fully operational and all of their business is conducted through their unique eCourts platform: https://adgmcourts.com.

    The ADGM Courts Registrar is contactable for urgent matters on registry@adgmcourts.com.

    Are ADGM seated arbitral awards enforceable under the New York Convention?
    Yes. Pursuant to section 55 of ADGM’s Arbitration Regulations 2015, where the UAE has entered into an applicable treaty for the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards, including the New York Convention, that treaty shall apply in ADGM and ADGM Courts shall comply with the terms of such treaty. The UAE ratified the New York Convention in 2006.
    Are all ADGM services available?
    ADGM services are digital by default and available to existing and new clients. There have been a number of changes to processes put in place to safeguard the health and safety of the community. Please refer to the guidance notes section above for more detailed info on services particularly visa and government services as well as document collection.
    Are foundations the same as trusts?
    Though a foundation operates similarly to a common law trust, it has certain features more akin to a company, such as being incorporated with a separate legal personality and holding assets in its own name on behalf of beneficiaries. Unlike a company, though, a foundation cannot carry out commercial activities, other than those necessary, ancillary or incidental to its purposes.

    A key feature of a foundation (as compared to a common law trust) is the ability of the founder to retain more control over the foundation.

    In contrast, the settlor has a more limited role and, once assets are settled on trust, the duties of trustees are towards the beneficiaries, rather than the settlor.
    Are there any additional costs?
    Yes. Additional costs include office space, establishment card and visa costs, as well as the cost of the annual obligations mentioned above.
    Are there any naming conventions for Tech Startup companies?

    ADGM tech startups are required to take the legal form of a Private Company Limited by Shares. As per the ADGM Companies Regulations 2015, the names of limited companies must end with either: “limited”, “LIMITED”, “ltd”, “LTD”, “l.t.d” or “L.T.D”. Other provisions on naming conventions apply too. The application for name reservation and incorporation contains validation rules, prompting the applicant not to use restricted words and expressions. The proposed name is subject to the ultimate approval of the Registrar, which can be communicated to the applicant during application process via online registry solution.

    Are there any ongoing obligations for the company?

    Yes. In addition to renewing the company's commercial licence annually, the company must meet other annual obligations with ADGM including:

    • Maintain physical office address in ADGM at all times.
    • Data Protection Renewal: ADGM Data Protection is required to be renewed annually before expiry. The cost of Data Protection renewal is USD 300.
    • Annual Return Filing: Confirming the company’s details are up to date, accurate and complete (not to be confused with the entity's annual account filing).
    • Annual Accounts Filing: Includes financial statements disclosure, the level of disclosure and requirements for audit depends on the company's revenue. Accounts must be filed annually regardless of the level of activity of a company.
    • Please note that that the company has an obligation to notify the Registration Authority within the specified timeframe (as stated in ADGM Companies Regulations 2015) of any changes to the company’s information, including but not limited to, change of name, amendment of articles, change of address, appointment/cessation/change in details of directors and officers and changes to company’s share capital, shareholders and beneficial owners.
    For more information, please refer to Guidance on Event Driven Filings.

     

    As an individual what are my data privacy rights?
    For more information on your privacy rights under the ADGM Data Protection Regulations 2021, please go to the Information for Individuals page on the Office of Data Protection microsite here.
    Can ADGM Courts hear all types of cases?

    No. ADGM Courts cannot hear criminal cases, family cases, or disputes involving estates or inheritance.

    The Court of First Instance has jurisdiction to hear and determine civil and commercial cases and disputes in accordance with ADGM's regulations and rules, including any request, in writing, by the parties to have the Court of First Instance determine the claim or dispute, and appeals against decisions made by ADGM Authorities.

    The Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals against judgments and decisions of the Court of First Instance and the interpretation of ADGM's regulations and rules.

    Can anyone apply for this Licence?
    Yes, the ADGM Tech Startup Licence is sector agnostic and is open for entrepreneurs of all nationalities if they meet the application criteria. The licence requires the appointment of a signatory who resides in the UAE.
    Can foreign persons take advantage of ADGM foundations?
    We welcome local, regional and international applicants to take advantage of the efficient, hassle-free and market-customised Foundations Regime to maintain their wealth, assets and financials. ADGM’s Foundations Regime is anchored by ADGM as an international financial centre and is based on an internationally-aligned legislative structure and framework. ADGM’s Foundations Regime facilitates migrations from other jurisdictions to ADGM and vice-versa.
    Can I amend or make changes to the template?

    Yes you can, provided the following points are stated on your format.

    1. Incorporation of the company in ADGM
    2. Appointment of individual authorized to file the application for incorporation to ADGM
    3. Appointment of authorized signatories
    4. Appointment of directors
    5. Appointment of company secretary. (Please note that this is only mandatory for Public Company Limited by Shares)
    6. Adoption of Articles of Association.
    Can I apply for employee visas with the Tech Startup Licence?

    The ADGM Tech Startup Licence allows you to apply for employee visas based on 3 visa for every 1 dedicated desk space. ADGM issued visas are for up to 3 years. See full visa fee schedule.

    All visa related enquiries must be addresses to accessadgm.cases@adgm.com

    Can I choose the date of my appointment?
    Yes. You can ask for particular dates and times for your appointment, which the Notary Public will endeavour to accommodate. However, this cannot be guaranteed. If that is the case you will be given an alternative range of dates and times for the appointment.
    Conducting regulated financial services in ADGM is not possible with a Tech Startup Licence. However, there are financial services related activities (such as software as a service), that are not regulated and which may be eligible for the Tech Startup Licence. Please contact ADGM to discuss further if you require more information.
    Can I opt in to ADGM Courts for the resolution of my dispute?

    Yes. Pursuant to section 16(2)(e) of the ADGM Courts Regulations, the Court of First Instance has all such jurisdiction as is conferred on it by any request, in writing, by the parties to have the Court of First Instance determine the claim or dispute.

    Can I use an existing company name when I establish in ADGM?

    To do so, you would need to show ownership of the proposed name, ie for example through any current licence that lists the shareholders. The proposed name must be in compliance with ADGM Companies Regulations and Business and Company Names Rules 2016, ie one of the prescribed suffixes to denominate the legal entity type private company limited by shares must be included. However, ADGM cannot grant a formal name approval until the application for name reservation or application for incorporation of a legal entity is lodged on the Online Registry Solution.

    Can I use Arabic resolution?
    No, the general rule is that all documents required to be delivered to the Registrar must be drawn up and delivered in English. You may submit documents in dual language too, English/Arabic.
    Do ADGM Courts provide electronic filing or case management services?

    Yes. ADGM Courts offer a full range of secure and sophisticated electronic services.

    Learn more, or watch a video about the platform's key features.

    Do I get a refund if I renewed my commercial licence between 25 and 31 March 2020?
    For entities that have renewed their commercial licence between 25 and 31 March 2020, the RA will be in contact to arrange a refund of the associated fees.
    Do I need a resolution for incorporation?
    Yes. All applications for incorporation must be supported by a resolution for incorporation.
    Do I need physical office space?

    Yes, physical office space on Al Maryah Island is required. Startups must have at least one dedicated desk or office space i.e. hot-desk is not accepted. The startup needs to provide evidence of confirmed office space by presenting an executed Lease Agreement or Membership Agreement.

    For details of the office spaces and co-working spaces on Al Maryah island and Al Reem island please click here: ADGM Office Spaces.

    Do registered entities operating on Al Maryah Island have to abide by the new system?

    The Employment Regulations 2019 (“Regulations”) do not stipulate what a working week is. Provided that the minimum standards set out in the Regulations are met (e.g. weekly rest period, etc.) ADGM entities are able to choose whether to incorporate the working week changes or not. However, in a bid to develop greater synergy with global markets and ADGM’s business community, registered entities operating on Al Maryah Island are encouraged to align their working days and hours. For any questions, support or guidance, please contact eao@adgm.com.

    Do the shareholders have to be physically present to apply for the licence?
    The registration and licencing process is digital. It is not required for shareholders to be physically present, all documents can be submitted as scanned copies online.
    Does ADGM's Tech Startup Licence allow us to sell our products across Abu Dhabi?

    There is a dual-licence agreement in place between ADGM and Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) that allows certain categories of tech startups that are established in ADGM to apply for, and receive, a DED licence without requiring an additional office space. However, ADGM will need to review your business plan and the type of activities before guiding you on whether they fit within the Tech Startup Licence criteria and are eligible for a DED licence application.

    Startups looking to sell products need to seek legal advice to establish whether their activities require other Abu Dhabi or wider UAE approval or regulatory approvals.

    Does my licence permit me to open a bank account and commence invoicing activities?
    Once your licence is issued by ADGM, you can apply for a bank account and commence invoicing activities, once your account is active. ADGM can provide you with a list of banks that are familiar with ADGM registration processes. The bank account opening remains subject to the bank’s policies and requirements.
    Does the 50% fee reduction for financial services entities apply to authorisation fees?
    No, only supervision fees are reduced.
    Does the ADGM Foundations Regime provide for the preservation of assets?
    Like other common law jurisdictions, ADGM has incorporated asset protection mechanisms into its Foundations Regime. These are known as firewall provisions, and are a familiar feature in common law trust jurisdictions, as well as Foundations jurisdictions.

    Of course, ADGM encourages founders to obtain independent legal and taxation advice on their proposed structures to ensure that they meet their intended objectives.
    Does the ADGM Foundations Regime require local representation at ADGM?
    All ADGM foundations are required to have a registered office in ADGM, either itself or through its registered agent.
    An ADGM foundation can decide whether or not it wishes to appoint a registered agent.
    Does the resolution requires notarization?
    Resolutions do not require notarization.
    Does the shareholders need to sign the articles in ADGM’s office?
    No. ADGM does not require witnessing signing of resolutions.
    Employment Contract and Records
    1. Should an Employment Contract be issued?
    2. A: The written contract of employment shall be provided to the Employee within a reasonable time, but in any event, not later than 1 month after the commencement of the employment.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 5(2)

       

    3. What are the types of records that an Employer needs to keep?
    4. A: For each Employee, the Employer shall keep a defined set of documentation, examples include, a copy of the Employee’s contract of employment, date employment began, etc. For the full list, please refer to section 11 (Employment records) of the ADGM Employment Regulations 2019.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 11

       

    5. Are there any specific requirements to be included in the Employment Contracts?
    6. A: The Employment Regulations provide minimum standards and requirements. The parties can agree to terms more favourable to the Employee.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 1(3)

    General
    1. Does the UAE Federal Labour Law apply in ADGM?
    2. A: The UAE Federal Labour Law does not apply to ADGM registered entities and their employees.

      Reference: Article 3(2) of Federal Law No. 8 of 2004 Concerning Financial Free Zones (which expressly dis-applies civil and commercial Federal laws from financial free zones)

       

    3. Does the Emiratisation apply to ADGM entities (Employer) and the Employees?
    4. A: No. The Federal Emiratisation laws do not apply in ADGM.

      Reference: Article 3(2) of Federal Law No. 8 of 2004 Concerning Financial Free Zones (which expressly dis-applies civil and commercial Federal laws from financial free zones)

       

    5. What is the basic wage?
    6. A: Basic wage is the Employee’s wage excluding any allowances, bonus, commission, etc.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 65

       

    7. Is it mandatory for the Employer to provide health insurance to the Employee’s dependents?
    8. A: The Employment Regulations, as currently drafted, provides that the Employer is obliged to provide health insurance to the Employees. The Regulations are currently silent with regards to dependents and this is matter to be decided by the Employer’s internal policy.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 50

    How can I ask further questions?

    In case you have further enquiries, please send us an email to accessadgm.cases@adgm.com.

    How can I make a payment?

    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:

     

    USD Account:

    Bank Name: First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)

    Account Name: ADGM REGISTRATION AUTHORITY

    Account Number: 4021003571090031

    IBAN Number: AE350354021003571090031

    Branch: H.O. Sheikh Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi, UAE

    Swift Code/BIC: NBADAEAA

     

     

    AED Account:

    Bank Name: First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)

    Account Name: ADGM REGISTRATION AUTHORITY

    Account Number: 4021003571090020

    IBAN Number: AE410354021003571090020

    How can I register as a lawyer or law firm with ADGM Courts?

    ADGM Courts have not instituted a registration system of lawyers as a pre-requisite for a right of audience. The procedure that ADGM Courts have implemented regarding rights of audience is that set out in section 219 of ADGM Courts Regulations.

    However, individuals can register with the ADGM eCourt platform launched in April 2018. Registration for the eCourt platform is fast and simple. You do not need a case to register.

    You can register or sign in here.

    How confidential is my information in respect of an ADGM foundation?
    ADGM has carefully sought to balance preserving client confidentiality and maintaining transparency of ownership by splitting the formation process into two separate elements: Public and Private. 

  • Private/Confidential Disclosure: Foundation By-Laws governing, for example, the constitution of the foundation council would remain private and would only be provided to the Registrar upon request (and, if requested, would not be made available for public inspection without the consent of the founder). However, the Foundation By-Laws and other non-public information would be disclosed to governmental authorities in limited circumstances, such as those prescribed in the ADGM Companies Regulations 2015.
  • How do financial services entities that have paid their supervision fees for year 2020 get a refund?
    FSRA will be communicating with the financial services entities on the process for the refund.
    My firm is an existing Recognised Auditor in ADGM. How do I apply for my firm to become a Registered Auditor in ADGM?

    If you are an existing Recognised Auditor, there is a transition period to re-register as a Registered Auditor under the new Auditor's Framework (see FAQ on transition period). There are strict criteria for firms to meet, including eligibility, compliance with relevant standards and principles, as well as professional indemnity insurance. You can find out more about the criteria here (Companies Regulations (Auditors) Rules 2021 - Part 3).

    If you believe you meet the criteria, you then must:
    -complete and submit the application form to become Registered Auditor; and
    -pay the appropriate fees.

    The application form to become a Registered Auditor can be obtained from the Registration Authority (RA) by emailing monitoring@adgm.com.

    The Registration Authority will review your application and get in touch with any queries necessary to process the registration application.

    Note: an ADGM Registered Auditor requires at least one Registered Audit Principal. Hence please also submit completed audit principal registration forms with the application to register your audit firm.

    How do I find out about ADGM Courts’ procedures?

    ADGM Courts' procedures are set out in the ADGM Court Procedure Rules 2016. These are supplemented where appropriate in ADGM Courts' Practice Directions.

    In addition, ADGM Courts have developed Procedural Guides, the aim of which is to assist parties and their legal advisors in relation to the procedural steps that are required in the various examples addressed by the Procedural Guides.

    How do I join Hub71, the tech ecosystem and community based in ADGM?
    • Startups can apply for the Hub71 Incentive Programme before or after applying for the ADGM Tech Startup License via www.hub71.com.
    • ADGM registered businesses can also apply to work within the Hub71 community by emailing the WeWork x Hub71 community via Alex Payani at alex.payani@wework.com.
    How do I make an appointment to have documents notarised?
    ADGM Courts’ Notary Public services are fully digitised. Appointments can be made only via the ADGM Courts’ ePlatform which can be located here. In order to make an appointment, you will need to provide your name, email address and mobile number, and you will need to upload a copy of each of the documents you wish to have notarised.
    How do I obtain an International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) for Securities and / or Units of a Collective Investment Fund issued from ADGM?

    ISINs for Securities (including Units in a Collective Investment Fund) issued from ADGM must be obtained from WM Data Services (WMDS).  WMDS can be contacted via its website: https://www.wmdaten.de/

     

    Note 1: The UAE Securities and Commodities Authority does not issue ISINs for ADGM entities.

    Note 2: Before applying to WM Data Services for an ISIN an issuer should first obtain a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) from the ADGM Registration Authority. https://www.adgm.com/operating-in-adgm/post-registration-services/legal-entity-identifier

    Note 3: ADGM does not recommend for issuers to use the services of commercial entities who may offer assistance in obtaining and managing ISINs. ISINs can be obtained directly from WMDS, which is a Member of the Association of National Numbering Agencies. More information can be found here:  https://www.anna-web.org/

    How do I obtain visas and what is their validity?

    ADGM will offer a 2 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.

    How do I reserve a name?

    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.
    How do I start applying for Visa Services on ACCESSADGM?

    Step 1 - Create an account on ADGM's Client Portal ACCESSADGM

    ACCESSADGM is an integrated portal that provides a wide range of services including Visa services, Company services, and Letters & Permits.

    Step 2 - Apply for an Establishment Card & E- Channels Account

    All newly registered entities in ADGM are required to apply for an Establishment Card and E-Channels account which is a requirement at the time of all application for all visa related services.

    Establishment Card: This card is required to process all visa related services with the Corporate Relations Office within ADGM. This card is issued by the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs - Abu Dhabi (GDRFA) and is a requirement for all ADGM entities that wish to apply for visa services for their employees and will be valid for 3 years.

    E-Channels Account: is an online visa application system by the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs of Abu Dhabi (GDRFA). This is a requirement for all ADGM entities that wish to apply for visa services for their employees and will be valid for 1 year.

    Step 3 - Login to ACCESSADGM

    Login and go to government services, click on Visas and apply for the required visa service.

    How do I submit an application?

    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 long are the support measures valid for?
    All RA support measures are valid until 25 March 2021. This will ensure any entity which have recently renewed can avail these support measures within 12 months. FSRA incentives for financially regulated entities are valid until 31 December 2020.
    How long does it take to set up an ADGM foundation?
    For a new foundation, it should take about 3-5 days to set up once the Registrar has received all required information and documentation.

    The ADGM team will provide the appropriate guidance to assist the entities.
    How long is it going to take?
    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 all requirements for incorporation are met and the Registrar is satisfied that the requirements of relevant regulations are complied with, the expected timeframe is to have your application approved within 10 business days.
    How long is the incentivised Tech Startup Licence valid for?

    All ADGM commercial licences are valid for 12 months.

    For seed stage startups, the annual licence fee is USD 1,000, and it can be renewed once for another 12 months at USD 1,000, if the entity still meets seed stage criteria (ie max one time renewal).

    At the end of the second year, it is envisaged that the success of seed stage startups will warrant transition from seed to emergent stage.

    A licence issued for emergent stage tech startups is valid for 12 months and the annual licence fee is USD 4,300, and it can be renewed for another 2 consecutive years if it still meets emergent stage criteria (ie max two renewals).

    Following the emergent stage, it is envisaged that the startup’s success will warrant transition to a mature stage and the full annual licence fee of USD10,000 will be applicable.

    How much do various government services cost?

    To view full schedule of fees for government services, please click on the below.

    How much is it going to cost?

    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 much will it cost?
    The fees for ADGM Courts’ Public Notary service are set by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department pursuant to Law No. (13) of 2017 Concerning the Judicial Fees in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. ADGM Courts do not charge any additional fee for this service. Please refer to the Fees page for all notarisation fees.
    How to apply for external speaker permits?

    Please note that all event organizers and speakers intending to publicly speak or arrange speaking session(s) (whether physically or virtually) in or from ADGM jurisdiction or to the ADGM community generally must obtain a security clearance permit before any speaking engagement is carried out.

    You will not be allowed to speak unless you have an approved permit issued by ADGM permits team. Organizers of any event(s) will be held responsible for obtaining permits for any speakers arranged for their event(s).

    Application Process Speaker Clearance Permit:

    To apply for a speaker clearance permit kindly complete the online application form and submit the following documents via Access-ADGM at least 5 working days prior to the scheduled event:

    Foreign speaker

    UAE resident speaker

    UAE citizen speaker

    * Coloured passport copy

    * Coloured Passport picture

     

    1. Coloured passport, and Emirates ID (both side )

    2. Coloured Passport picture

    1. Coloured passport copy & passport page with the Unified number

    2. Emirates ID ( both side )

    3. Coloured Passport picture

    Note: Please be aware that permit department team has the right to ask for further information.

    Exemptions from Speaker Clearance Permit:

    Individuals who have been appointed by a federal decree (His Excellency or a member of the royal family) are exempt from submitting the aforementioned documents. You must still notify the Permits Department about the speaking engagement by providing the names of the speakers on the online application form ( as above).

    Diplomatic passport:

    To secure diplomatic clearance for a speaker, you must first complete and submit a diplomatic passport application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Upon MOFA approval, then you can proceed to apply for a speaker clearance permit via Access ADGM with MOFA approved email. The MOFA Request form for receiving and hosting personalities and delegations of countries and organizations can be accessed here

    Compliance with Speaker Clearance Permit Requirements:

    Please be advised that failure to submit all the required documents to ADGM by the deadline, which is 5 working days prior to the start of the event, may result in the rejection of your application. Please note that government-declared holidays are not considered working days.

    If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to the Permits Department at Permits@adgm.com

    How to submit Resolution for Incorporation?
    1. Download the resolution template.
    2. If you are a Private Company Limited by shares and:

      If you are a Private Company Guarantee:

      If your are a branch:

    3. Complete the template by providing the details of the highlighted texts.
    4. Sign the resolution.
    5. Scan and attach a copy to the application for incorporation as evidence of appointment of authorized signatory, director and attach this document in the shareholder section of the form as resolution approving the incorporation.
    How will ACCESSADGM handle fines and refunds against portal balance?

    All fines will be processed through the portal and will be assigned to you are as a task under your Pending Actions tab.

    As for refunds, all refunds will be credited back to your portal balance, where you can utilise the balance for your future requests. Please be advised that depending on the service you have requested, a refund may not be applicable and is always subject to Corporate Relations of the Registration Authority approval.

    How will firms be regulated within ADGM?

    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 will my temporary permits be impacted?
    The RA are aware that many entities which had temporary permits issued will be unable operate. As such, we will pause the current period of temporary permit until such time that restrictions are lifted and adjust the expiry dates accordingly.
    I am a self-represented party. Are you able to provide any information to assist me in understanding ADGM Courts and their procedures?

    Yes. ADGM Courts have prepared some Guidelines for self-represented litigants.

    Access the Guidelines.

    I am registering a branch, do I need a resolution?

    Yes. You need a resolution signed by the board of directors of the foreign company applying to establish a branch in ADGM.

    I’m a FinTech, should I apply through RegLab? Or apply for the ADGM Tech Startup License first?
    • RegLab is an ADGM program for Fintech startups. All startups need to apply for a license before they can operate within ADGM.
    • You can apply for RegLab upon successful application to ADGM. Here is more information for Fintech companies.
    If I am licensed at ADGM, can I conduct business activities in Abu Dhabi?

    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.

    If my startup meets the emergent stage criteria, would I apply as emergent?
    Yes, if the maturity stage of your startup meets the emergent stage criteria at the time of application. If your application is accepted, a USD 4,000 annual licence fee is applicable and the startup has up-to 3 years before transitioning to full licence fee.
    Is arbitration available within ADGM?

    Yes. ADGM's Board of Directors enacted ADGM's Arbitration Regulations on 17 December 2015. Those Regulations are based on the Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration published by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (the UNCITRAL Model Law), a widely recognised global standard for arbitration regulation.

    ADGM Courts' Judges will be available to act as Arbitrators under ADGM's Arbitration Regulations.

    Learn more about Arbitration in ADGM and the ADGM Arbitration Centre

    Is courier service offered thorough ACCESSADGM portal?

    The portal will offer a courier service within UAE at an additional charge. Documents can be collected from ADGM offices and delivered to you at your convenience and preferred date and time.

    Should you wish to courier any document to us, you will need to make your own courier arrangement.

    Is the ADGM Arbitration Centre an arbitral institution?
    No. The ADGM Arbitration Centre is a hearing facility with advanced facilities and state-of-the-art technology.
    Is the ADGM Arbitration Centre open for business?
    No, the ADGM Arbitration Centre is not open but the staff are available for any enquiries on enquiry@adgmac.com.
    Is the ADGM Courts notary public office currently open for business?
    No, ADGM Courts public notary service is closed. However, Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) is open for notary services. If you need any assistance with contacting ADJD, you can email ADGM Courts public notary staff on notarypublic@adgmcourts.com.
    Is the USD 1,000 registration fee refundable in case my application is not approved?
    No, the licence fee of USD 1,000 is not refundable in the event that the application is not accepted. Startups are encouraged to meet with ADGM team to discuss their business plan before securing an office space and submitting an application online.
    Is this an exclusive ADGM/ ICC arbitration centre or can any party have their arbitration case heard in the ADGM Arbitration Centre?
    The ADGM Arbitration Centre is not exclusive for ADGM based entities or for ICC administered arbitrations or mediations. Any party wishing to have their arbitration case heard, or mediation held, in the ADGM Arbitration Centre is welcome to use the advanced facilities, including state-of-the-art technology, offered in the Centre.
    Is this the ICC Court’s (ICC) first Representative Office in the region? What is the reason for setting it up in ADGM?

    Yes. The ICC had not previously set up a representative office in the Middle East.

    The ICC set up its representative office in Abu Dhabi as an affirmation of the increasing relevance of international arbitration in the MENA region. The ICC will spread the vast experience of the ICC Court and its Secretariat in matching the needs of arbitration users. The ICC is working with ADGM in bringing its services closer to the ICC’s users in the region, in real time and in local language.

    The ICC office is based in the ADGM Arbitration Centre in Al Maqam Tower.  ICC arbitration enquiries should be directed to +971 2 245 9584.

    Labour Disputes
    1. What should I do if I am in an employment-related dispute with my Employer/Employee?
    2. A: The EAO cannot provide legal advice. We suggest seeking independent legal advice.

       

    3. Can an Employee file a claim against the Employer before ADGM Courts?
    4. A: Yes. If an employee is seeking for judicial assistance, he/she can approach the ADGM Courts for pro bono legal advice before filing a claim, or filing a claim directly (after fulfilling the procedural steps).

      Pro bono is offered by ADGM Courts to persons who need legal assistance with a civil or commercial dispute or any other legal issue that falls within the jurisdiction of ADGM Courts and do not have the financial means to pay for such legal assistance. The assistance provided under the scheme involves an independent volunteer lawyer providing advice to an individual in relation to their legal issue at no cost.

      For further details, please kindly submit your query to enquiry@adgmcourts.com.

       

    5. What is the statutory limitation for employment-related claims in ADGM?
    6. A: The statutory limitation period for filing employment-related claims with the ADGM Courts is 6 years.

      Reference: Application of English Law Regulations 2015 (U.K. Limitation Act 1980)

       

    7. Is it possible for an Employee to be accompanied by a third-party during an employer’s investigation process concerning labour disputes?
    8. A: The Employment Regulations, as currently drafted, does not contain any provisions in this respect. However, it would be prudent for the employer to allow the employee to be accompanied by a work colleague, where the subject matter allows this to happened.

    Leave Entitlements
    1. What is the vacation entitlement?
    2. A: Employer shall give an Employee a minimum paid vacation leave of 20 business days per year to be accrued pro rata for Employees who have been employed for at least 90 days.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 22(1)

       

    3. Can accrued untaken leave be carried forward?
    4. A: Yes, an Employee is entitled to carry forward his accrued untaken vacation leave up to a maximum 5 business days into the next year for a maximum period of 12 months after which the unused leave shall expire.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 22(2)

       

    5. Can Employers determine when vacation is taken?
    6. A: Yes, an Employee should give an Employer at least 7 days notice of proposed leave, which the Employer may reject. Further, the Employer may require an Employee to take Vacation Leave on specified days by giving at least 7 Day’s prior written notice to the Employee.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 24

       

    7. Can an Employee take vacation leave during the first year of employment?
    8. A: Yes. During the first year of employment, the vacation leave entitlement for an Employee is limited to the amount deemed to have accrued at that time, less the amount of vacation leave already taken during that year, unless the Employer agrees otherwise.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 25(1)

       

    9. Can a part-time employee take vacation leave? What are the requirements?
    10. A: The Employment Regulations, as currently drafted, do not include any specific provisions concerning part-time arrangements other than Section 32 (Pro-rata entitlements for part-time Employees). This is a matter to be determined by the Employer’s internal policy and/or contractually agreed with the employee.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 32

       

    11. What is the Maternity Leave entitlement in ADGM?
    12. A: An Employee is entitled to at a minimum 65 business days of maternity leave. The terms of this leave entitlement are outlined within section 33 of the ADGM Employment Regulations 2019.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 33

       

    13. What is the Employee’s payment entitlement during approved Maternity Leave?
    14. A: (i) The first 33 business days of maternity leave: Normal daily wage; and (ii) the next 32 business days of maternity leave: 50% of the normal daily wage.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 34(1)

       

    15. Is Maternity Leave taken out of annual vacation allowance?
    16. A: No. Annual leave shall continue to accrue during maternity leave and may be taken separately. In addition, any national holidays falling on a business day within the maternity leave period shall be treated as additional leave thereby having the effect of extending the maternity leave by the period of the national holiday.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 34(3)

       

    17. Is the Employee entitled for bereavement leave?
    18. A: ADGM Employment Regulations 2019 do not provide for bereavement leave. Generally, this is seen as a matter of internal company policy.

    My firm has several existing financial institution audit clients, do I need an additional permit?

    Yes, you will need an additional permit to audit financial institution clients, namely a Financial Institution (FI) Audit Permit.

    ADGM's framework governing Registered Auditors does not allow firms to audit public interest entities or financial institutions without first obtaining the relevant permits. The Registration Authority (RA) grants these permits to both the firm and each principal that the firm nominates. This ensures only firms and principals who have the relevant and required skills are eligible to audit more complex and risky entities.

    If your firm has existing financial institution audit clients, applications for an FI Audit Permit should be made at the same time as your application to register the firm as a Registered Auditor in order to continue to offer audit services to these clients. It is important to note that the pre-requisite for an FI Audit Permit is that both the firm and principal must hold a Public Audit Permit.

    For more information on additional permits, please see (Companies Regulations (Auditors) Rules 2021 - Part 5).

    My firm wishes to offer auditing services to financial institution clients, do I need an additional permit?

    Yes, you will need an additional permit to audit financial institution clients, namely a Financial Institution (FI) Audit Permit.

    ADGM's framework governing Registered Auditors does not allow firms to audit public interest entities or financial institutions without first obtaining the relevant permits. The Registration Authority (RA) grants these permits to both the firm and each principal that the firm nominates. This ensures only firms and principals who have the relevant and required skills are eligible to audit more complex and risky entities.

    Applications for additional permits can be made at the same time as your application to register the firm as a Registered Auditor, or can be applied for at a later time. It is important to note that the pre-requisite for an FI Audit Permit is that both the firm and principal must hold a Public Audit Permit.

    For more information on additional permits, please see (Companies Regulations (Auditors) Rules 2021 - Part 5)

    Probation
    1. Is the period of probation included for the purposes of calculation of gratuity and other termination benefits?
    2. A: Yes, the probation period once completed, will be considered as employment with the Employer. It will be taken into account in calculating gratuity and other termination benefits.

       

    3. Can the probationary period be waived?
    4. A: Yes, the parties to the contract may agree to commence the employment without probation. Probation is not compulsory. Further, it is left to the discretion of the parties to agree upon the actual term of the probationary period subject to a maximum of six months.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 9(1)

       

    5. Can the Employer terminate Employee during probation period?
    6. A: Yes. Either the Employer or Employee may terminate the contract of employment without cause on 1 week’s written notice to the other or for cause without notice.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 9(2)

    Professional indemnity insurance (PII) - what do I need to provide with my application?

    ADGM's rules governing auditors follow a principles-based approach on PII. The rules do not specify the minimum level of indemnity. The firm is responsible for ensuring it has adequate and appropriate cover at all times.

    The Registration Authority (RA) will review the adequacy of the firm's PII cover as part of the firm's application to become a Registered Auditor. The RA will expect to see:

    - Policy schedule (including terms of cover, business activity coverage, territorial coverage, insurer(s) details);
    - Proposal form (application / renewal form);
    - Details of any notifications to the insurer and claims made under the policy; and
    - Documentation from the firm to show how it assessed the adequacy and appropriateness of the level of cover.
    Professional indemnity insurance (PII) - what do I need to provide with my application?

    ADGM's rules governing auditors follow a principles-based approach on PII. The rules do not specify the minimum level of indemnity. The firm is responsible for ensuring it has adequate and appropriate cover at all times.

    The Registration Authority (RA) will review the adequacy of the firm's PII cover as part of the firm's application to become a Registered Auditor. The RA will expect to see:

    - Policy schedule (including terms of cover, business activity coverage, territorial coverage, insurer(s) details);
    - Proposal form (application / renewal form);
    - Details of any notifications to the insurer and claims made under the policy; and
    - Documentation from the firm to show how it assessed the adequacy and appropriateness of the level of cover.
    Termination
    1. Who is eligible for an End of Service Gratuity?
    2. A: An Employee who completed continuous employment of 1 year or more is entitled to a gratuity payment at the termination of the Employee’s employment.

      If the Employer terminates the contract due to Employee’s acts such as Employee’s misconduct, violation of employment contract and violation of ADGM Employment Regulations, End of Service Gratuity does not need to be paid.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Sections 59(1)

       

    3. How is End of Service Gratuity calculated?
    4. End of Service Gratuity should be calculated as follows:

      1. 21 days’ basic wage for each year of the first 5 years of service; and
      2. 30 days’ basic wage for each additional year of service,

      Provided that the total of the gratuity shall not exceed the wages of 2 years of service. End of Service Gratuity is calculated according to the latest paid basic wage.

      Where the termination occurs prior to the end of any full year of employment, the gratuity payment shall be calculated on a proportionate basis.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 59(2) & (3)

       

    5. Is there any payment deadline for the Employer to arrange End of Service Gratuity and other expenses to the Employee upon termination of the contract of employment?
    6. A: Yes. On termination of employment, an Employer shall pay all Wages and any other amounts owing to an Employee within 14 calendar days of such sums becoming due.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 13

       

    7. Upon termination of the contract of employment, is it mandatory for the Employer to bear repatriation expenses for the Employee?
    8. A: Yes. On termination of an Employee’s employment, the Employer is required to provide the Employee with a one-way repatriation flight to the Employee’s country of origin unless (i) the Employee obtains alternative employment or visa sponsorship in the UAE within 30 Days; or (ii) the Employee has been dismissed for cause in accordance with these Regulations.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 63

       

    9. In the event of the contract termination, is the Employee responsible for visa cancellation and other expenses?
    10. A: No. The Employer may not request or demand or accept any sum from the Employee as reimbursement for costs incurred by the Employer in respect of its obligations pursuant to section 4.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 4 & 14(2)

       

    11. Upon termination of an employment contract, how should the Employer calculate the Employee’s accrued but untaken vacation leave?
    12. A: Compensation in lieu of vacation leave shall be calculated using the Employee’s Daily Wage applicable on the Employee’s last day of employment. Daily Wage in the Regulations is defined as the compensation received by an Employee as Wages for services performed during a Business Day.

      Reference: Employment Regulations 2019 Section 23(2) & 65

       

    13. Does the Involuntary Loss of Employment (“ILOE”) scheme apply to ADGM registered entities (Employer) and the Employees?
    14. A: No. The ILOE scheme, which is also referred to as unemployment insurance scheme, is not mandatory in ADGM.

      However, ADGM encourages all employees working for ADGM registered employers to register for the ILOE scheme as it provides financial security to employees who involuntarily lose their jobs (excluding the scenarios where the job loss is due to resignation or as a result of disciplinary action).

      For more details, please visit ILOE website (www.iloe.ae).

       

    15. Are there any requirements concerning termination due to redundancy?
    16. A: The Employment Regulations, as currently drafted, does not include any provisions preventing an employer from terminating employment on the grounds of redundancy.

    We would like ADGM to witness the signatures of the shareholders, can the shareholders sign the resolutions in ADGM’s office?
    Yes they can. We call this service Witnessing Signature. You can file your request using our online registry solution and select Corporate Services. The fee for this service is USD 100.
    What about working with other Middle Eastern financial centres with different weekends?

    Individual businesses at ADGM have the freedom and flexibility to operate whenever they wish to meet their key clients’ requirements. If they need to undertake face-to-face dealings with investors in Silicon Valley on the US West Coast, for example - currently twelve hours behind Abu Dhabi time - they would not operate standard UAE working hours. We encourage ADGM clients to follow the UAE administration's proposals for the new working week for their core working hours.

    What are ADGM Courts?

    ADGM Courts, comprised of a Court of First Instance and a Court of Appeal, are modelled on the English judicial system. This approach has ensured the establishment of a coherent, recognised and accepted legal framework and judicial system that acknowledges the importance of the impartiality and independence of its Judges.

    What are some of the state-of-the art features of the ADGM Arbitration Centre?
    The ADGM Arbitration Centre is fully digital in its operations, consistent with all dispute resolution services in ADGM. A few of the features of the ADGM Arbitration Centre are advanced video-conferencing facilities and access to cutting edge software for case preparation and presentation of evidence.
     
    What are the ADGM Data Protection Regulations 2021?

    The ADGM Data Protection Regulations 2021 provide for the protection of personal data within the ADGM.

    The Regulations control how personal data is used by organisations and businesses in Abu Dhabi Global Market. It also provides rights to individuals.

    All entities registered in ADGM that collect and process personal data are subject to its requirements.

    What are the benefits of an ADGM foundation?
    ADGM’s Foundations Regime is the first in the UAE, offering the local private and corporate community an international product for a variety of functions including wealth management and preservation, family succession planning, tax planning, asset protection and corporate structuring, without relying on foreign regulations and structures.

    ADGM foundations offer a robust balance of client confidentiality and high standards of transparency under the ADGM’s internationally recognised legislative environment. International clients who seek to effectively manage and supervise their wealth and assets under a competitive and international jurisdiction will find ADGM foundations useful. ADGM foundations also serve as an alternative to trusts for financial planning and structuring.

    Benefits of ADGM’s Foundations Regime:
  • Access to UAE’s DTTs (subject to the UAE Ministry of Finance Requirements)
  • Wealth Management
  • Robust governance features, with the Foundation Council acting in an equivalent manner to a board of directors. Council members’ duties are prescribed in the ADGM Foundations Regulations. The regime follow international best practice and sets a regulatory standard for the foundation council. This standard includes statutory duties similar to directors’ duties in companies’ law.
  • Assurance through Guardian oversight. The Guardian supervises the Foundation Council and ensures that it acts in accordance with the Foundation’s Charter and By-Laws. Appointment of the Guardian is compulsory upon Founder’s death and optional during Founder’s lifetime.
  • Distinct legal personality, unlike a Trust. Having a legal personality provides Foundations with the flexibility to enter into contracts and arrangements directly, as a company would be able to.
  • Separation of liability whilst maintaining control of assets. A Foundation is a distinct legal entity which allows for separation of liability between Founder and the Foundation.
  • Perpetual existence after the lifetime of Founder. Like a company, a Foundation is a perpetual concept, allowing arrangements to continue and therefore providing certainty after the Founder’s death.
  • Asset protection mechanisms to assist in protection from bankruptcy claims, claims in the event of divorce and from the effect of forced heirship rules.
  • What are the conditions for transferring Personal Data outside of ADGM in the absence of an adequate level of protection?
    A transfer of Personal Data to a recipient that is located in a jurisdiction that is not on the designated list (see here) is only possible if safeguards are put in place to provide protection for the data, as set out in Part V of the ADGM Data Protection Regulations 2021, such as obtaining the consent of the data subject or using standard contractual clauses. 
    What are the key features of ADGM’s Foundations Regime?
  • An ADGM foundation is a legal entity with its own distinct attributes
  • Protecting the confidentiality of the foundation’s arrangements whilst ensuring that the Registrar can access sufficient information
  • Governance controls and safeguarding the founder’s ability to exercise control over a foundation; and
  • Facilitating migrations from other jurisdictions to ADGM and vice-versa.
  • What are the new working hours for Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Authorities from 2022?

    Starting from Monday January 3rd, 2022, the ADGM Authorities will operate from 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM from Monday to Thursday and from 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM on Friday, in alignment with the new working week in the United Arab Emirates. Sunday 2nd January will not be a working day.

    What are the permitted business activities?
    For a detailed description of the permitted Non-Financial and Retail activities within ADGM, please click here: Permitted Business.

    For permitted Financial Services activities, please refer to the FSRA rulebook.
    What are the prerequisites to register as a company user?

    Each registered company will receive a system-generated email from ACCESSADGM that will allow the user to set up login credentials and create a user registration. Upon user registration, you will be required to upload the following supporting documents in order to activate your account :

    • Copy of passport or Emirates ID of the authorised signatory including signature page.

    • Copy of passport or Emirates ID including signature page for delegated individuals that will be processing government services on ACCESSADGM on behalf of the company

    • Authorisation letter signed by the company’s authorised signatory and delegated individuals

    Please click here to download the authorisation letter template, kindly fill and sign as advised above.

    In case you have not received the system link to register, you can go to https://access.adgm.com and follow the same registration steps for the specific user type required (Company or Guest).

    What are the prerequisites to register as a guest user?

    In order to register as a guest user, please go to https://access.adgm.com  and register as a guest user.There are no prerequisites for guest user registration.

    What are the requirements for legitimately processing Personal Data at ADGM?

    Personal Data may only by processed in accordance with the requirements set forth in section 2 of the ADGM Data Protection Regulations 2015.

    At least one of the following conditions must be met whenever the Data Controller processes Personal Data:

    • The Data Subject has given written consent to the Processing of that Personal Data
    • Processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the Data Subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the Data Subject prior to entering into a contract
    • Processing is necessary for compliance with any regulatory or legal obligation to which the Data Controller is subject
    • Processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the Data Subject
    • Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the interests of the Abu Dhabi Global Market or in the exercise of the Board's, the Court's, the Registrar's or the Regulator's functions or powers vested in the Data Controller or in a Third Party to whom the Personal Data is disclosed; or 
    • Processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the Data Controller or by the Third Party to whom the Personal Data is disclosed, except where such interests are overridden by compelling legitimate interests of the Data Subject relating to the Data Subject's particular situation.
    What are the steps involved in the registration and incorporation process?

    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.

    What are the various ADGM criteria of startups and incentive benefits?
    Seed Emergent
    Stage of maturity Number of FTEs 1 - 10 11 - 50
    Year since first registration in UAE Does not exceed three (3) years Does not exceed five (5) years
    Incentive packages Incentivised licence fee USD 1,000 P.A. USD 4,300 P.A.
    Duration of incentive 2 Years 3 Years
    Office space requirements 1 Desk space in an incubator/ co-working space domiciled in ADGM 1 Desk space in an incubator/ co-working space domiciled in ADGM
    Visa eligibility 3 Visas for every desk space 3 Visas for every desk space

     

    Eligibility for the incentivised licence is determined at the time of application and the duration is fixed. E.g. if a startup is approved for the seed stage incentivised licence, it will have two years in seed stage and will automatically move into the emergent stage in its third year of operations in ADGM regardless of the number of full time employees.


    What business activity do I need to apply for to be a Registered Auditor in ADGM?

    The relevant business activity is 'Auditing activities' (code 6918). This is an activity that also requires the completion and submission of an application form, together with supporting documentation, through the Registration Authority (RA) online registry solution, in order for the firm to become a Registered Auditor (see FAQ below on process for a registering firm as a Registered Auditor).

    Similarly, if you are an existing registered ADGM Licensee that does not have 'Auditing activities' on its’ licence but wish to add this, you will need to submit a licence variation application to be a Registered Auditor, to add the activity code 6918 to your commercial licence. This is done online, by logging into the RA's online registry solution and selecting 'Maintain Business Activities'. An application form for the firm to become a Registered Auditor and the supporting documentation must also be submitted.

    What considerations do I need to make if I wish to transfer Personal Data outside of ADGM?

    Personal Data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside of the ADGM unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects; or you can rely upon appropriate safeguards or specific derogations listed in the Regulations.

    For guidance on the transfer of Personal Data, please view this guide.

    What do I bring with me to my appointment?
    You must bring four (4) copies of each document in an original form to be notarised by the Notary Public. The Notary Public will not be able to print an original of your documents at the time of your appointment. Two will be retained by the Notary Public and the other two will be returned to you. You must bring your Emirates ID card for identification purposes, and a credit card for payment of the fees.
    What do you mean by Identifiable Natural Person?
    Identifiable Natural Person refers to a natural person who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identification number or to one or more factors specific to his physical, biological, biometric, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity.
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