Legal Glossary


The act of forming a company, usually evidenced by the issue of a Certificate of Incorporation by the relevant Registrar of Companies.

Initial Public Offering

IPO. The first listing of the Securities of a Company on an exchange and the offering of those Securities to the public for the first time. During the IPO process, the Company must comply with the relevant companies, securities law and regulations (e.g. regulations on offering securities to the public and the exchange’s listing rules).

Innovation Testing Licence

A restricted class of financial services licence offered by the DFSA in the FinTech Hive at DIFC.

Institutional Investor

Organisations established to invest in many companies.

Intellectual Property

IP. Property a company owns that is intangible (i.e. not physical) but has value for its intrinsic intellectual merit such as inventions, designs, artistic works. Intellectual Property can be protected under various rights including patents, trade marks, designs and copyright. Intellectual Property law aims to allow the creator to profit from the innovation but without giving them a monopoly over it. Note that Intellectual Property rights are not universal: they may receive different treatment in different countries.

Interest Rate

The annual rate at which an additional amount accrues over a debt (e.g. a loan or note). Interest Rates may be expressed as a fixed percentage or be benchmarked against an independent index (e.g. the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)). The Interest Rate for a given debt will depend on various factors including inflation, the industry of the borrower or issuer and the underlying security of the debt (e.g. if it is secured by real property or other assets of the borrower or issuer).


A person or entity who puts money in a Company either by buying Shares or by making a loan to the company (which is either repaid or converted into Shares upon the occurrence of a relevant event in future).

Issued Shares

The shares which have been allocated by the company to its shareholders. The number of issued shares, and their allocation to shareholders, reflect the ownership of the company. The number of Issued Shares cannot be greater than the number of Authorised Shares in a Company.


The company that is the seller of the Securities.