company formation in uae

Setting Up Authorised Firm in ADGM

Setting up an Authorised firm in ADGM, to carry out financial services activities in ADGM, involves seeking authorisation or obtaining financial services permission from FSRA – the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA).  FSRA is an independent regulator in ADGM whose mandate is to establish a robust, well-regulated financial market that is aligned with international standards and best practices of global financial centres such as London, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Firms established in the ADGM will have 100% foreign ownership and is subject to a civil, commercial and regulatory environment aligned with entities established in the United Kingdom. Such firms must have a permanent place of business in the ADGM, are e regulated by the FSRA (referred as regulated entities). They include, but are not limited to, Banks, Brokers and Dealers, Asset Managers, Corporate Financiers, Wealth Managers, Insurers and Insurance Intermediaries, etc.

How To Setup an Authorised Firm In ADGM

The type of business you intend to undertake will determine the business activities for which the Authorisation / permission is to be sought and the Category under which such activities falls.  The capital requirement for Authorised firm range from US $10,000 to USD 10 million. Capital waivers may be available to the ADGM branch of a regulated financial institution having its head office in a recognized regulatory jurisdiction.

Firms wishing to undertake only marketing and referral activities without providing any other financial services may establish a Representative Office. Such firms will not have clients in the regulatory sense and will therefore benefit from a ‘light touch’ regulatory approach commensurate with this more limited scope of business.

Almost all regulated authorized firms are required to appoint:

(a)     Senior Executive Officer,
(b)     Compliance Officer,
(c)      Money Laundering Reporting Officer,
(d)     Finance Officer, and
(e)     For entity established in the ADGM as a company (as opposed to a branch), at least one Director.

To set up your financial services activities in ADGM, you will have to go through a detailed application review process.  The Application process include the following

  • Initial meetings and detailed discussion with the FSRA’s case officers
  • Submission of  General Information for Regulated Activities (GIRA) form and other suplimentary forms, along with detailed Regulatory Business Plan and other documents
  • Fee payment
  • FSRA’s review of application followed by queries; provide satisfactory clarification / replies
  • FSRA’s interview with proposed senior management of the applicant firm
  • In-principal approval (with conditions, if any)
  • Fulfil the conditions and Formation registration of ADGM Company
  • Issue of Financial Service Authorisation

What FSRA will look for in your application

As an applicant firm intending to setup an Authorised firm in ADGM, you need to provide FSRA with all the details that supports your application. FSRA will look for detailed answers to the questions in various applications forms. You will have to demonstrate that the people who are employed to carry out your business are fit and proper with adequate knowledge, skills and experience.

FSRA would like to assess

  • Who controls / owns your business
  • Regulatory track record of your firm and its shareholders
  • Details of the Controllers and ultimate beneficiaries of your firm
  • Fitness and propriety of senior management at your firm, with adequate knowledge, skill and experience
  • Financial information about the parent company or the major shareholder
  • Resources and infrastructure that are deployed at your firm
  • the capital resources that are made available at your firm to meet and satisfy the capital adequacy requirements.  The Capital adequacy requirements depends on the business activities, the base capital requirements, Risk based capital requirements etc.
  • Detailed financial projections for a minimum of 3 years with key assumptions
  • How Robust is the  corporate governance at your firm
  • Systems and controls that are implemented at your firm to comply with regulatory obligations

Documents Required to setup an Authorised Firm in ADGM

Compliance Manual
Anti-Money Laundering Procedures
Compliance Monitoring Programme
Risk Management policies
Regulatory Business Plan
Other Corporate documents, Shareholder resolutions
Resumes of individual controllers, key personnels
Management structure of proposed entity
Compensation policies
Financial projections for 3 years
Capital adequacy calculations
Capital resources to meet the capital adequacy

Key for a successful financial service permission from FSRA is  to demonstrate the fitness and propriety key personnel and owners, appropriate systems and controls in place to satisfy its regulatory obligations and adequate capital resources.

How KPI can help in setting up your business in ADGM

KPI will be pleased to help you in your  business setup in  ADGM. From assessing your requirements  right up to getting your business started we will be there for you, we will be there with you during the entire process. That means, we do all that takes to start your dream venture.

  • Which business activities you intend to carry out?
  • How it can be mapped to the appropriate category of Authorised Firm of the FSRA, ADGM
  • Assistance in completion of all  application forms
  • Assistance in Completion of  entire documentation
  • Assistance in preparing Regulatory business plan
  • Assistance in preparation of  the financial projections
  • Assistance in preparing Prudential Return forms
  • Help demonstrate your fitness and probity test to obtain the license
  • Handholding for the entire process till you get your license

Why KPI as your trusted advisor?

  • Personalised service – We treat each application as our own
  • the experience – having helped establish above 25 Authorised firms in DIFC and ADGM
  • We have been at the ADGM since inception – the 1st entity to register at the centre
  • We helped authorise the first foreign fund manager & the first Category 2 entity at the ADGM
  • Backed by well qualified, experienced professionals – CFA Charter holders, experienced risk and compliance, and banking professionals



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Setting Up Authorised Firm in ADGM”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *