This is a low-cost operating licence that ADGM has introduced for tech startups to encourage entrepreneurship in the region and remove cost as a barrier to entry for startups. Successful applicants will receive a full operational licence and be able to apply (at an additional cost) for employee visas under the licence.
Not all startups are eligible for an ADGM tech startup licence. An application must include a detailed business plan demonstrating that the company is a technology-driven startup with an innovative business concept that:
has the potential to scale;
promotes innovation, in terms of the business application and deployment; and
can be deployed in the UAE and contribute to the development of the local economy (i.e. you must be planning to operate in the UAE under the licence following incorporation or within 6 months of the licence being issued).
There are two tech startup licences available, Seed and Emergent Stage. The relevant licence will depend on the stage of maturity of the startup and the fees vary depending on which category is applicable.