Abu Dhabi Global Market

The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) is an international economic center, strategically positioned on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi. The financial center was established in 2013 by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, and became fully operational in October 2015. The ADGM was created as a catalyst for growth, innovation and financial intermediation, to further enhance business opportunities and economic development inside the UAE.

The ADGM is a Free Zone jurisdiction which offers many advantageous features for business investors, including 100% foreign ownership, no corporate or personal tax, and no forex restrictions. This is fantastic opportunity for you to develop and scale your business in Abu Dhabi’s award-winning international financial center.

The ADGM Free Zone is governed by three independent authorities:

1. Registration Authority

The Registration Authority assists and guides corporations through the process of business formation, registration and licensing, obtaining necessary visas, and other important considerations for operating in the ADGM.

2. Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA)

The principal objective of the FSRA is to establish a healthy, well-regulated financial market with transparency and optimal opportunity for engagement.

3. ADGM Courts

The ADGM Courts are charged with providing impartial judgments around regulation issues, and will serve to adjudicate both civil and commercial disputes.

Types of Business Setups in ADGM Free Zone

The corporate setups allowed in the Abu Dhabi Global Market Free Zone include:

• Company Limited by Shares
• Holding Company
• Special Purpose Vehicle
• Branch of a Foreign Company
• Company Limited by Guarantee
• Partnership Firm

Benefits of Starting a Business in the ADGM

The ADGM offers a wide range of services to entrepreneurs and investors who are ready to start a business in UAE Free Zones, such as:

• Visas and government services
• Secure electronic reporting
• Post-registration services
• Office of Data Protection
• Employment Affairs Office
• An independent jurisdiction with a globally recognized English common law structure
• Full operational commercial licensing
• A low-cost annual license fee
• Opportunity to receive up to 4 employee visas
• Modern infrastructure with global connectivity
• No physical office space required
• Access to the Entrepreneurship Support Program

Procedure for Setting Up a Business in the ADGM

• Determine the Type of Business Activity – Before starting the process of applying for a business license, it’s first necessary to determine what specific business activities you plan to undertake.
• Registration of the Trade Name – After selecting the activity category and type of business, you’ll need to select a trade name that gives a unique identity to your business.
• Prepare Registration Documents and Business Plan – Registration applications and forms will be prepared at this stage, and a business plan also needs to be drafted.
• Submit Application and Documentation – Legal documents, such as the Articles of Association and the shareholder’s resolution must be submitted to the ADGM.
• Obtaining Initial Approval – For foreign investors, getting the approval of the concerned authority (GDRFA) is mandatory.
• Issuance of License – Upon obtaining approval from the relevant authorities, the license can be issued by the respective licensing authority under the following categories:

• Commercial
• Agricultural
• Vocational
• Professional
• Industrial
• Tourism

The ADGM is a proven platform for creating a successful commercial business network in Abu Dhabi in particular, and comes highly recommended by a range of experts including attorneys, auditors, accountants, and control specialists. The development of the Dubai International Financial Center and ongoing improvement of the ADGM mean there’s an enormous opportunity for enterprise success within the venue of these monetary centers. Although the Abu Dhabi Global Market Free Zone is still a relatively new jurisdiction, it is already attracting many businesses who wish to take advantage of the international standards and business-friendly laws found within these facilities located in the UAE’s capital.

THE OPPORTUNITY IS THERE FOR THE TAKING IN THE ABU DHABI GLOBAL MARKET, but in order to take full advantage, you also need the sage advice of a local corporate services provider in the UAE. To that end, look no further than the pros at MSZ CONSULTANCY!

Reach out today to book a FREE initial consultation with us! Give us a call at +971525441248 or just shoot us an email at info@mszconsultancy.com. Don’t wait; let’s get started today!


1. How long will everything take to get my business set up?

The ADGM aims to provide rapid processing of individual business incorporation, from setup to expansion. This includes a simple, efficient registration and incorporation process where they work hard to streamline everything and make it as simple and pain-free as possible. You’ll just need to ensure that all requirements for incorporation are met, and that the Registrar is satisfied that you are in compliance with all relevant regulations.

2. What happens after my entity is registered?

Once the company is registered, the company may commence doing business, and its directors are bound to adhere with the requirements prescribed by the ADGM Companies Regulations 2015, ADGM Commercial Licensing Regulations 2015, and any other relevant regulations and enabling rules. The company is required to regularly file certain documents including but not limited to annual accounts and an annual return. They must also inform the Registrar about any changes, such as the appointment or resignation of directors, or any change to the company’s registered office.

3. How will the firms be regulated within the ADGM?

The Abu Dhabi Global Market will have its own judicial system and legislative infrastructure, under three independent authorities:

• Registration Authority
• Financial Services Regulatory Authority
• ADGM Courts

The ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority will supervise regulated companies and monitor their compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations. The ADGM Registration Authority will monitor compliance of the firms with periodic and event-driven filing requirements subject to ADGM Rules and Regulations. The ADGM Courts will provide impartial judgments around regulation issues, and will serve to adjudicate any civil or commercial disputes.

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