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 UAE free zone offers its range of benefits that vary from one to the next. One specific free zone that is attracting a lot of attention right now is Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), situated in the heart of Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi.
The Abu Dhabi Global Market Free Zone (ADGM) was established in the year 2013 and provides quick and easy setup to both regulated and non-regulated businesses such as investment firms, financial brokers, and HR and management specialists, and is the perfect home for any business in these professional fields.
The ADGM free zone is governed by three independent authorities. They are –
- Registration Authority - Registration Authority support and guide organizations through the whole process of company formation, registration and licensing, visas and also other services in ADGM
- Financial Services 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 also engagement
- ADGM Courts - They have a fully independent common law framework to adjudicate civil and also commercial disputes
What are the Types of Business Entities in ADGM Free Zone?
The corporate entities allowed in Abu Dhabi Global Market Free Zone are –
- Company Limited by Shares
- Branch of a Foreign Company
- Company Limited by Guarantee
- Partnership Firm
To obtain a license from ADGM and start operations, an applicant must first identify the type of business activities and the type of business to be formed. ADGM establishments may be limited by shares or by guarantee, or they may be unlimited. Branches of a foreign company may also register. Partnerships may also establish themselves in the Abu Dhabi free zone. The Limited Liability Partnerships Regulations 2015 provides for the establishment and operation of limited liability partnerships as a corporate structure.
What is the Process of Setting up a Business in ADGM?
The free zone authority is responsible for business registration in the Abu Dhabi Global Market Free Zone. The steps are –
1.Reserve Trade Name
The proposed name of the business must be compliant with the ADGM Business and Company Names Rules 2016.
2.Choose a Registered Office
The registered office address must be positioned in Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
3.Prepare Registration Documents and Business Plan
Entrance to the online ADGM portal will be granted at this stage.
4.Prepare and Submit Application for Registration of the Business
Legal documents, such as the Articles of Association and shareholders resolution must be submitted on the ADGM portal. Or you can take help from business setup consultants in the UAE.
5.Issuance of Business Setup Documents
If the Registrar is pleased with the documents and information provided, a Certificate of Incorporation and commercial license will be issued.
Advantages of Opening a Business in ADGM
- An independent jurisdiction with globally recognized English common law structure
- Full operational commercial license
- The low-cost annual license fee
- Opportunity to receive up to 4 employee visa
- No physical office space required
- Access to the Entrepreneurship Support Program
- Access to local and international experts
Who can apply for a Business Setup in ADGM?
- Technology-oriented startups
- Product/market fit to support sustainable economic development
- Tech startups geared to the national innovation focus sectors of the Emirates
- Local, regional and international startups
The establishment of ADGM has been commended by the business community, particularly in Abu Dhabi, as well as professional consultants such as lawyers, auditors, accountants, and managing consultants. The continued development of the Dubai International Financial Centre and development of ADGM suggest there is a considerable business appetite for the offering of these financial centres. Although Abu Dhabi Global Market Free Zone is a comparatively new jurisdiction, it is already attracting businesses who wish to combine, under one operation, the international standards and the local availability of an everyday law regime with the facilities located in the UAE’s capital.
We at Commitbiz can help you with the business setup process in the UAE. Our team of professionals can advise on corporate structures and incorporation requirements. Contact us today for more information.