The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) is a financial free zone located in the heart of Abu Dhabi. ADGM occupies the whole of Al Maryah Island and has been designated the financial centre of Abu Dhabi, with its own civil and commercial laws. Established by Federal Decree in 2013, the ADGM is a key pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision, designed to act as a catalyst for the growth of a dynamic financial services sector in the UAE.

ADGM’s three independent authorities – the Registration Authority, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) and ADGM Courts – ensure that our business-friendly environment operates in line with international best practice that are recognised by major financial centres across the world.

Benefits of Setting Up a Business in ADGM Free Zone

Just like any other free zone in the UAE, ADGM also had its own advantages for setting up a business:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • 0% tax for 50 years
  • Zero restrictions on the repatriation of capital and profits
  • Common law jurisdiction
  • Simple and convenient business procedures
  • Availability of dedicated skilled professionals
  • No requirement to have corporate documents attested and legalized (in most cases)
  • No physical office space required in ADGM. As a registered agent, the Sovereign will provide registered addresses for special purpose vehicles (SPVs)
  • No restrictions on nationality for the purposes of share ownership

Types of business entity available for set-up

The ADGM’s legal framework for incorporation, registration and licensing of legal entities is provided by the Companies Regulations and Commercial Licensing Regulations. Based on the UK Companies Act 2006, which are widely known and used in international business, they provide for the following types of entities:

  • Public Companies
  • Private Companies
  • Restricted Scope Companies (RSC)
  • Cell Companies

Types of Entities in ADGM Free Zone

There are mainly 4 types of entities investors can set up in ADGM free zone:

  • Company Limited by Shares
  • Branch of a Foreign Company
  • Company Limited by Guarantee
  • Partnership Firm

Documents Required to Set Up a Business in ADGM Free Zone

  • Copy of passport, visa page or immigration entry stamp and Emirates ID of director(s), secretary and shareholder(s)
  • Application form for reservation of the proposed name of the company
  • Copy of business plan
  • Statement of capital and initial shareholding, for companies limited by shares
  • Statement of guarantee, for companies limited by guarantee
  • Statement of proposed officers of the entity
  • Trade name reservation document
  • A statement with the intended address of the proposed company
  • Copy of Articles of Association (AOA) and resolution of the board of directors
  • A copy of lease agreement for the office space
  • Confirmation of restricted scope of the company
  • Duly filled and signed data protection form
  • Duly filled and signed beneficiary or ultimate owner form
  • Any other documents that may be required by the authorities, based on the scope of activities that the company would be undertaking