It is a licensing requirement that every entity registered in ADGM must appoint at least one person as the ADGM Authorised Signatory that:
is a UAE Resident or GCC National; and
is of good standing and passes the security clearance conducted by the Abu Dhabi Immigration Department.
A company can appoint more than one ADGM Authorised Signatory and their authority can be joint (both must sign a required document) or several (they can sign singly).
The additional ADGM Authorised Signatories are only required to have a recent UAE entry stamp in their passport (within the past 2 years).
If you do not have a GCC National or UAE Resident that can be appointed as the ADGM Authorised Signatory, Clara can provide nominee services in most situations. Read more here on our nominee service.
It is important to consider the authority that an ADGM Authorised Signatory has. A person appointed as the ADGM Authorised Signatory does not need to be a director or a shareholder of the Company. You can even use a nominee for this position. Before appointing a person as the Authorised Signatory, you should consider:
An ADGM Authorised Signatory is not the same as someone who is a Signatory or Authorised Signatory for a Company. An ADGM Authorised Signatory occupies a position required under the licensing regulations but they do not have specific power to represent the company by signing a contract or making changes to the company without a specific delegation of power from the directors or shareholders of a company (typically in the form of a Power of Attorney). By contrast, an 'Authorised Signatory', is a person who has the power to sign contracts and other documents on behalf of the company. Their signature legally binds the company to the contract or document, committing the company to the obligations set out in it.
An ADGM Authorised Signatory, will be listed on the Commercial Licence for the ADGM company. This may cause confusion within the GCC where it is generally accepted that person managing the company is listed on the commercial licence. However, ADGM is a common law jurisdiction, and this means that ADGM entities are managed through the decisions of its directors and shareholders unless they decide to delegate specific or general authority to an individual via a Power of Attorney.