INTRODUCTION

ADGM's new commercial licence for Tech Start-ups allows entrepreneurs to obtain a highly cost effective operational licence at ADGM, and gain access to an outstanding community of businesses, professional advisors and financial services.

The licence is available without requiring a permanent office space, which offers flexibility for entrepreneurs at early-stage trying to manage operational costs. Licence holders are also able to apply for ADGM government services, including up to four visas per licence.

The licence will also provide access to our Entrepreneurship Support Program, developed in partnership with our key local and international partners and aimed at equipping entrepreneurs with the skills and resources needed to succeed and scale their start-ups.

WHO IS IT FOR?

  • Technology-driven start-ups with the potential to scale
  • Tech start-ups aligned with the UAE National Innovation Priority Sectors, click here to learn more about these sectors
  • Entrepreneurs from all nationalities

FEATURES 

  • Full operational commercial licence
  • Highly cost effective annual licence fee of $700
  • An option to obtain up to 4 employee visas
  • No physical office space requirement
  • License is valid for 1 year (renewable for a second year), after which successful companies showing progress such as revenue and/or sufficient level of investments, can either:
    • Be converted to a traditional operational entity on normal license terms
    • Converted into a holding company

REGISTRATION PROCESS

Tech Start Up 2

 

To register your Tech Start-up at ADGM, please follow the below steps:


1. Submit a simple business plan via email to techstartup@adgm.com, click here to download the guidelines and here for a complete Toolkit. The Registration Authority will review your request and send you the process for submitting your online application, if your business plan qualifies.


2. To complete your registration you are required to obtain an ADGM address through one of the below options:


3. Proceed with the Registration and Incorporation process as following:

  • Go to www.registration.adgm.com and log in or create a new user account
  • Go to Online Services > Companies> Registration of Reglab Participants> then scroll down to Incorporate a Private Company Limited by Shares as Reglab Participant
  • Complete all forms and upload required documents
  • Select Proceed to Payment
  • Notify the Registration & Incorporation team that an application for Tech Start-up has been completed by sending an email to adgm.registration@adgm.com 
  • Once you receive a confirmation, you may complete the payment online using your credit card

TEMPLATES:

CONTACT US

For enquiries on setting up your Tech Start-Up email us at techstartup@adgm.com

FAQs

The ADGM Tech Start-Up Licence is open for entrepreneurs from all nationalities. The Licence must appoint a signatory who resides in the UAE or has a UAE entry stamp on their passport.

Technology-driven startups with an innovative business concept that:
• has the potential to scale;
• promotes innovation, in terms of the business application and deployment;
• has current traction or is at least at the prototype stage;
• can be deployed in the UAE and contribute to the development of the local economy; and
• has a business plan with clearly defined milestones, against which progress can be monitored, are eligible to apply for the Licence

An initial term of 12 months which can be renewed for another 12 months.
At the end of the second year, it is envisaged that the company’s success will warrant the transition into an operating company. Alternatively, it can convert into a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

No physical office space is required. A virtual office space provided by an ADGM registered service provider can be used. Office addresses can also be obtained through Business Centers such as Regus.

 

 

 

The Licence allows you to apply for up to 4 employee visas.

For full visa fee schedule, please click here

It is not required for shareholders to be physically present, all documents can be submitted as scanned copies online.

Please note that the following applies if shareholders are also appointed as authorised signatories:

Although shareholders don’t have to be UAE residents, it is mandatory that they should have entered the UAE at least once as ADGM requires the UAE entry stamp to obtain the security clearance from the immigration authorities.

Tech Start-Ups are required to register as Private Companies Limited by Shares. As per the ADGM Companies Regulations the names of limited companies must end with “limited”, “LIMITED”, “ltd” ,“LTD”, “l.t.d” or “L.T.D”.

The proposed name must be in compliance with the ADGM Business and Company Names Rules 2016.

Yes, in addition to renewing the company's commercial License, the company must file certain documents with ADGM annually:

  • Data Protection Renewal: ADGM Data Protection is required to be renewed annually before expiry. The cost of Data Protection renewal is $100 USD.
  • Annual Return Filing: Confirming director and shareholder details, this is not to be confused with the entity's annual account filing.
  • Annual Accounts Filing: Includes financial statements disclosure, the level of disclosure and requirements for audit depends on the company's revenue


Please note that that the company has an obligation to notify the Registration Authority within the specified timeframe (as stated in ADGM Companies Regulations) of any changes to the company’s information, including but not limited to, change of name, amendment of articles, change of address, appointment/cessation/change in details of directors and officers and changes to company’s share capital, shareholders and beneficial owners.

For more information, please refer to Guidance on Event Driven Filings.

The licence fee of USD 700$ is non-refundable.

However, our tech-startup team will guide you by pre-qualifying your application and reviewing your business plan prior to your online application process to minimize any chances of application rejection. 

Provided all incorporation requirements have been met, the application will be approved and the company can commence business. ADGM can provide a list of bank contact details with whom the ADGM RA has established contact and are familiarized with ADGM processes.

However, the opening of the bank account remains subject to the bank’s policies and requirements.

Once you obtain your ADGM Tech Start-up Commercial Licence, you can open a bank account and commence invoicing activities.

ADGM can provide you with a list of banks that are familiar with ADGM registration processes, the bank account opening remains subject to the bank’s policies and requirements.

This depends on a number of factors including the quality of the application and the initial approvals from the immigration authorities as well as the applicant’s responsiveness to additional queries if any. We will do our best to process your application as quickly as possible.  However, we cannot commit to a timeframe for incorporation.

Approval will be granted if and when all requirements pertaining to incorporation under the ADGM Companies Regulations and subordinate legislation have been met.