Ongoing Obligations


On 30 April 2019, the UAE introduced Economic Substance Regulations (Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 31 of 2019, the “ESR”).

The ESR was introduced as part of the UAE’s commitment as a member of the OECD Inclusive Framework, and in response to an assessment of the UAE’s tax framework by the European Union (“EU”) Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation.

The ESR applies in the ADGM and requires ADGM Licensed Persons that carry on one or more “Relevant Activities” to have economic substance in the UAE in relation to these activities, and to comply with notification and return filing obligations.

United Arab Emirates Economic Substance Regime

The full Federal Economic Substance Regime consists of:

  • Cabinet of Ministers Resolution No. 31 of 2019 concerning Economic Substance Regulations, as amended by Cabinet Resolution No. 7 of 2020 (Regulations),
  • Ministerial Decision No. 215 of 2019 (Guidance),
  • Cabinet Decision No. 58/2019 on the Determination of Regulatory Competencies, and
  • Cabinet Resolution No. 7 of 2020 amending some provisions of Cabinet Resolution No. 31 of 2019 concerning economic substance regulations.

Application in ADGM

In ADGM, ESR applies to Licensed Persons, whether they are companies, partnerships, foundations or branches of foreign companies or partnerships, that:

  • Are located in ADGM,
  • Earn income from one or more relevant activities, and
  • Whose financial year commences on or after 1 January 2019.


In ADGM, ESR exempts ADGM Licensed Persons who are directly or indirectly owned 51% or more by the UAE Government. This includes the Federal Government, the Government of any Emirate of the UAE or any governmental authority or body.

However, exempt ADGM Licensed Persons must still file an economic substance annual notification to the Registration Authority.

Administration in ADGM

The ADGM Registration Authority is the Regulatory Authority administering ESR in the ADGM.

This section of the website contains information about ESR, as well as forms, filing guidance and useful links and resources to assist ADGM Licensed Persons that are in scope of ESR to understand and comply with its requirements.

ESR Contact Information

For ESR enquiries email:

Relevant activities


Annual notification


Economic substance return


Forms and filing guides




Useful links and resources



Please note that the economic substance related information provided in this section of the website is subject to change, through Federal legislation or guidance, and should not be relied on without seeking independent advice and confirming the currency/validity of the information.

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