Abu Dhabi boasts first-class infrastructure and unparalleled global connectivity, making it a premier international destination. Its exceptional qualities make it an ideal location to live, work, and conduct business.
A financial centre that provides transparency, efficiency, and integrity, through its progressive frameworks, future focused infrastructure, all within a familiar independent legal jurisdiction – ADGM is the perfect platform for success.
ADGM, the centre for a transparent and thriving sustainable finance ecosystem.
Our community of business professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors can depend on ADGM to provide timely news and reliable insights.
At ADGM, we offer various support options, including contact details, FAQs, enquiry forms, and a whistleblowing form.
Preparing your application
1. Select the nature of your business
Wealth and Asset Management
Fintech / RegLab
- Head offices
- Holding Company
- Professional Associations
- Tech Startups
If you are unsure of the category of your business, you can search the permitted activities, or alternatively you can talk to our business development team.
For Financial Activities : Please view the authorisation process overview located here. This stage will need to be completed in advance of the Registration and Incorporation.
SPVs and Foundation Applications : You will need to firstly confirm if you will be exempt from appointing a Company Service Provider (CSP) to complete your application. To support you with identifying this, we have published a tool to provide indication as to whether you will need to appoint a CSP to submit the application on your behalf.
You can use this tool to confirm if you will be exempt from appointing a Company Service Provider (CSP).
2. Select the legal structure
ADGM permits a wide range of business structures to use. Overview of permitted structures is located here
3. Check that your proposed name is available for use
ADGM has a set of specific rules around the words that can be used within a proposed company name.
- If the name is similar to an existing name in ADGM, you will be required to provide evidence that you have the right to use this name.
- If your name contains sensitive terms, you will also need to provide evidence that the use of these terms have been approved for use by the relevant authorities. Our portal will provide a warning if you have entered a sensitive term as part of your proposed name (e.g. Bank, Emirates, Abu Dhabi etc.)
If you are using abbreviations as part of the name, the team may request that you submit the supplementary information to explain the meaning of the abbreviation. We recommend that if you are using an abbreviation, that you upload a supplementary document to avoid potential delays. Template of this supplementary document is located here
Reserving the name is not required as it can be done as part of that application. However, this service is available should you wish to register the name in advance and can be done through the Online Registry Solution
4. Identify your office space and register your lease
Having a physical presence within the jurisdiction is a requirement for ADGM entities. The only exception to this rule is for Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), for more information on setting up an SPV and the requirements, particularly the appointment of a corporate service provider, please visit here.
For details of the office spaces and co-working spaces on Al Maryah island and Al Reem island please click here.
You will be asked for proof of lease / your lease registration as part of your registration / incorporation application.
A detailed guidance on how to register your lease can be accessed here
5. Documents and Information to support your application
The completeness of your application will determine the length of time it will take for your commercial licence to be issued.
You will note below that there are a number of supplementary documents that you will need to complete as part of your application. We are currently working to upgrade our platform.
Any documentation such as proof of address, or source of wealth, should be dated within 3 months from the application submission.
All required documents should be in English, and notarisation is not required, unless specifically requested by the Registrar.
Registration and Incorporation documents:
Financial Services Companies
You will need to have your In Principle Approval issued before you commence your application for Registration / Incorporation.
Articles of Association
Template is available on the ADGM website but this can be amended or bespoke articles uploaded, provided the applicant can confirm that these are compliant with the ADGM Companies Regulations that can be accessed here.
We have published a number of templates that can be used and can be accessed here (ADGM Registration and Incorporation)
Nominee Arrangement forms
You will need to confirm whether a role is being held on behalf of another person as part of the application, i.e. if you are appointing Nominees or confirm that you are not appointing nominees. Templates located here.
The Registration Authority requires all new ADGM applicants to complete the application an Economic Substance Information Form and include it as part of their application form. You can locate the template here.
Identification documents for Authorised Signatories and Directors
Valid Passport copy and Emirates ID copies. If any of the role holders are dual passport holders, please upload copies of both passports.
Source of wealth
The Registrar can request to view documentation related to the source of wealth of individual shareholders, and individual UBOs (with ownership of more than 25%). Source of wealth can be bank statement, dated not more than 3 months from the application date. Declaration can be located here.
6. Information resources, downloadable application checklists
The fees below are indicative for the commercial license applications only, and are subject to change.
Select from Standard Pricing
Select from Special Arrangements
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