Abu Dhabi Global Market Free Zone

When an entrepreneur begins exploring the possibility of starting a new business in the United Arab Emirates, it is very quickly the nation’s free zones that catch the eye. And it is hardly surprising with 0% corporate and personal tax, 100% foreign ownership, no currency restrictions and many more benefits. 

Every business set up in UAE free zones offers a range of benefits that vary from one to the next. One free zone that is attracting a lot of attention right now is the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), situated in the heart of Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi.

More about the Global Market Free Zone of Abu Dhabi

Set in the heart of Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Free Zone is an ideal location for investors to set up a company in the financial sector, especially private banking, wealth management, and asset management. 

  • The Abu Dhabi free zone provides an efficient and robust business environment for the firms operating in the financial service industry. 
  • Commenced in 2015, ADGM has made substantial progress in collaborating with the bigwigs domestically and internationally. 
  • They have collaborated with central authorities like the Economic Department in Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s Central Bank, Insurance Authority, Abu Dhabi Municipality and the Financial Service Commission in Jersey.

The Abu Dhabi Global Market has three independent authorities providing a holistic environment by allowing companies to operate from the centre. They are:

Registration Authorities

If an individual wants to establish a business in ADGM free zone, Registration Authorities are the first point of contact for the same. They support and guide you through the whole process of company formation, registration and licensing.

Financial Service Regulatory Authority (FSRA)

The main objective of FSRA is to establish a robust and well-regulated financial market with a high level of regulatory transparency and engagement.

ADGM Courts

They have a fully independent common law framework to adjudicate civil and commercial disputes.

Types of Entities in ADGM Free Zone

There are mainly four types of entities investors can set up in the 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 Abu Dhabi Financial 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 the 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 may be required by the authorities, based on the scope of activities that the company would be undertaking

Procedure to Set Up a Business in ADGM Free Zone

Business Development

A unique business development team to discuss your business requirements is provided, after which you can complete the business application form through online registry solutions and submit it after filling it.

Registration and Incorporation

After getting approval from the authorities for the business application, complete the online registration/incorporation form. You are also required to submit all the documents mentioned in the form.

Commercial License

Once you approve the filled registration form, a commercial license will be issued within a few days. If all the documents are provided correctly, it will not require more than a week for approval.

Government Services

Apply for a FAWRI account and Establishment Card. They are mainly required to apply for ADGM-issued visas.

FAWRI Account: Every company needs to be registered in Fawri’s system to proceed with the visa processing.

Establishment Card: An Establishment Card is needed for all services related to the visas and is mandatory for all new companies in ADGM.

Cost of Company Setup in Global Market Free Zone – Abu Dhabi

Registration Service Cost in US dollars
Business Application  375
Application for reserving a company name  250
Application for registering the company 1875
Issuance of commercial license  5000
Business activity fee 4000-9000
Data protection  375

The environment in ADGM free zone is business-friendly, many opportunities for start-ups are available, and the business setup process is simplified. However, the specifics of this process largely depend on the type of license you are applying for. That’s why, before starting any of these steps, the first port of call should always be a company set up an expert.

We guide you through every part of the application, ultimately ensuring the entire process will not take more than a few hours of your time. Our staff will study your requirements and cater to your needs. Even more, we provide services that can assist you in having your business grow further. Contact us today.


Who can apply for a business set up in AGDM?

  • Technology-oriented start-ups

  • Product/market fit to support sustainable economic development

  • Tech start-ups geared to the national innovation focus sectors of the Emirates

  • Local, regional and international start-ups

Abu Dhabi Global Market free zone is governed by which authority?

It is governed by three independent authorities, namely:

  • Registration Authority

  • Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA)

  • ADGM Courts

What business entities are allowed in Abu Dhabi financial-free Zone?

The following business entities are permitted 

  • Company Limited by Shares

  • Branch of a Foreign Company

  • Company Limited by Guarantee

  • Partnership Firm

How many visas can be obtained for a company set up in AGDM?

You can get up to 4 employee visas.

Is a physical office required for a company set up in ADGM free zone?

No, not required.