ADGM is still a young financial centre, but it’s already made waves in the region’s business and finance industry. It’s a popular destination for entrepreneurs and ADGM holding companies because of its strategic location and seamless set-up process.
If you are an entrepreneur thinking of setting up within the region, this hub must have crossed your mind at least once. Before you make your final decision, however, there are three questions you need to clear out to make sure that you have a solid understanding of what you want to establish.
Are you setting up a regulated or a non-regulated business?
Three independent authorities govern the Abu Dhabi Global Market:
1. the Registration Authority
2. the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA)
3. the ADGM Courts
These three bodies work in tandem to ensure that the organisations within the hub continue to operate in line with international best practices that are recognised by major financial centres around the world. Thus, your first task is to find out whether your company falls is one that is considered to be regulated or non-regulated. It determines which authority is to govern your company and what is required for you to trade in the free zone.
Regulated companies are under the FSRA. They include the following:
1. International and Islamic banks
2. Lending and credit institutions
3. Fund management companies
4. Investment businesses
5. Non-regulated companies include consultancy services, ADGM holding companies, and accountancy and audit firms. These businesses are not under the FSRA.
What requirements do you need to fulfill?
For regulated companies operating from the ADGM, there are a few more requirements you need to comply with:
1. Take physical office space within the hub
2. Appoint an authorised individual who is a UAE resident for the following positions:
3. Senior Executive Officer
4. Chief Financial Officer
5. Compliance Officer
6. Money Laundering Reporting Officer
3. Renew your licence with the ADGM as well as the FSRA on an annual basis, because your business licence is issued by both entities.
If you are a non-regulated company, you do not need to take physical office space and you only need to renew your licence with the ADGM.
What kind of corporate bank account should you go for?
Some factors that help influence the kind of bank account that would be right for you and your business setup in the ADGM include the following:
1. Services offered
2. Maintenance fees
3. Cash/transaction limits
4. Flexible debit cards
5. Easy integrations
There are more than 49 banks in the UAE that you can consider for your company, and throughout this process you can choose to be assisted by the hub’s staff. However, having a company formation expert to consistently guide you from the first to the last step is likely to be a more cost-efficient and hassle-free decision.
Have we helped clarify how business setup in the ADGM looks like? Now that you have an idea of what to do, it is recommended that you find the right company formation expert to help you make your ideas into a reality. It is possible to set up your business even while you are not in the country, and a dedicated expert can really help streamline it.
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