ADGM Foundation


ADGM Foundation Setup can be used for many purposes. The most common purpose for an ADGM Foundation setup is succession planning and wealth management. The ADGM Foundation regimen was developed to meet the requirements of families and asset holders in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

How to set up an ADGM Foundation

A foundation is used for a wide variety of purposes, most commonly wealth management. Foundation structure consolidate family holdings of numerous assets into a single top holding company.

Foundations are their own legal entity with their own set of features and legal framework. Foundations are like companies but do not have any shareholders. An ADGM foundation supports international and local families as well as high net worth individuals to manage their business and investment interests.

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Exempt and non-exempt Foundations

The ADGM Framework has a fantastic reputation as an International Financial Centre. It is mandated under Common Law and has independent ADGM courts. Foundations in ADGM are split into two categories – exempt and non-exempt.

Exempt applicants will not have to appoint a Company Service Provider (CSP) while non-exempt applicants are required to appoint an ADGM Company Service Provider. If the foundation fails to demonstrate substantial resources, adequate presence in the United Arab Emirates and adequate governance, the foundation will be subject to the requirements to appoint a Company Service Provider (non-exempt category). Should this be the case, PRO Partner Group are a registered ADGM Company Service Provider and can assist with this required service.

For applicants seeking exempt status, evidence can be presented by providing one or more of the following:

  • Copies of commercial licenses
  • Lists of assets
  • Details on the number of personnel employed by the legal entities
  • Details of annual turnover
  • Copies of establishment card
  • Organization structures
  • Website links
  • Resources available in companies in house compliance or legal departments

How do you set up an ADGM Foundation?

Establishing a foundation in the UAE has been made possible in ADGM and DIFC. The ADGM Foundation is the first of its kind in the UAE. ADGM Foundations protect the confidentiality of the Foundation’s arrangements. It is a very efficient online application process, typically taking approximately 3-5 working days to complete set up and does not require attestation of documents.

Starting a foundation in ADGM includes these four key steps:

  1. Creating an online profile via the ADGM portal and submitting the required documents
  2. Submitting the application once all forms are filled in
  3. Monitoring the dashboard for notification of Registrars final decision
  4. Soft copy issuance of Licence via email

What documents are required to set up a Foundation in ADGM?

In order to set up a Foundation in ADGM, the following documentation is required as part of the application:

  1. Information on the Councillor, Beneficiaries and Founder (or Designee in scenario of no beneficiaries)
  2. ID document copies and evidence of appointment
  3. Registered ADGM office address
  4. Details of the Company Service Provider for Non-exempt Foundations
  5. Foundation Charter
  6. Declarations in relation to the Founder, Councillor and Guardian

All ADGM Foundations are required to have a registered office in ADGM, either itself or its registered agent. PRO Partner Group are an ADGM registered agent and can therefore assist with these requirements. Further, PRO Partner Group can help you choose the best legal structure, activity and location for your company formation in ADGM, and we can guide you through the whole setup process, liaising with ADGM and other government departments on your behalf to ensure that you are fully compliant with all legal requirements, and set up in the correct way to allow you to do business correctly and to hire staff and grow.

PRO Partner Group have the best PRO services in Abu Dhabi. If you need assistance with setting up a Foundation in ADGM or any further business registration in Abu Dhabi or any other related onshore or offshore company setup, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain or Saudi Arabia, then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.

Set up an ADGM Foundation

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