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Abu Dhabi Tax-Free Zone Offers Bespoke Rules For FinTech Startups

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
08 September, 2016

Abu Dhabi Global Market, a tax-free zone in the United Arab Emirates, has released details on its new Regulatory Lab initiative, which is intended to support companies to develop and test new financial technology solutions.

The ADGM has released draft regulations on the initiative and has set out what it hopes to achieve. RegLab is intended to ensure that financial technology companies choosing to do business from ADGM receive a bespoke regulatory environment in which to operate from, with the Financial Regulatory Services Authority undertaking a risk analysis specifically for their business model.

Those developing innovative financial technology products will be given up to two years to develop, test, and launch their products and services under a streamlined framework. After that period, the company would be admitted to operate from the zone subject to demonstrating compliance with the authorization criteria.

The ADGM said the proposed FSRA RegLab and its legislative framework will be the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region, and amongst the first in the world.

ADGM offers firms a number of benefits, including exemption from taxes guaranteed for 50 years, and relaxed rules on the repatriation of profits. The zone permits 100 percent foreign ownership.

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