More than 6 trillion US dollars move through the planetary Forex (Foreign Exchange) currency market every day. This is an ocean of opportunities to develop your own project and generate income. In particular, we are talking about the provision of intermediary services between private traders and the exchange (trading platform), that is, brokerage.
Important! To start working in the most liquid financial market in the world as a broker, you need to obtain a license. Most Forex participants prefer to work with licensed organizations for security reasons. Activity in the foreign exchange market is a highly risky way to make a profit. And although unlicensed brokers offer much more favorable terms of cooperation, few people dare to aggravate the risks with the possibility of fraud on the part of the broker.
Obtaining a brokerage license involves a complex path of fulfilling a number of conditions that vary in different jurisdictions. The result is achieved through proper communication with the regulatory body + 100% correct documentation.
In order for the license to be obtained sufficiently quickly and without complications, experts in the field of legal support for international business, the team of the Lawrange law firm, are ready to help. Every day we are faced with the solution of practical issues in different jurisdictions. So we will be as useful as possible for you!
Choosing a jurisdiction to obtain a license
The first and main question that a professional Forex market participant must decide is: what jurisdiction will the business be registered in? Factors to consider when considering options include:
- planned scale of FX activities, available budget for business development;
- the cost of a brokerage license, validity period;
- the size of the authorized capital of the company;
- international reputation of the jurisdiction (FX-license status) – level of trust from traders, direct connection with the categories of attracted clients, access to high-class clientele, the right to work legally in certain jurisdictions;
- license conditions – requirements that will have to be met: payment of license fees, ownership criteria, reporting requirements, taxation, auditing, and so on;
- duration and complexity of obtaining a license: the time required for the regulatory body to issue a document can vary from 3 months to a year or even two year, depending on the jurisdiction;
- the availability of financial services – the ability to open corporate banking and trading accounts, lower fees if opening accounts is less risky;
- currency rules in the chosen jurisdiction: countries with less stringent forex regulation provide flexibility and freedom in choosing the type of services that can be offered.
According to the level of prestige, the jurisdictions where forex licenses are issued are divided into categories:
- Category A – USA, Switzerland:
It is a prime category that provides access to the most promising clients. Forex licenses in these states are the most in demand. But regulators in these jurisdictions are the most demanding. The capital of an American broker must be at least 20 million US dollars, obtaining a license takes from 1 to 2 years.
Regulators: USA – Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), National Futures Association (NFA), Switzerland – Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).
- Category B – UK, Australia:
It is an optimum category that provides access to attractive markets with lower requirements. The authorized capital for a company in the UK should be at least 100 thousand US dollars, the issuance of a license takes about 1 year and costs 22-50 thousand US dollars.
Regulators: UK – Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Australia – Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
- Category C – Cyprus, New Zealand, Malta:
It is a popular category because with lower requirements to the licensee than in category A and B jurisdictions the broker is provided with a reputation for the full development of business among a wide range of clients. Regulatory authorities formally provide an acceptable level of customer protection.
Regulators: Cyprus – Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), New Zealand – Registry of Suppliers of Fin. Services (FSP), Malta – Financial Services Authority (MFSA).
- Category D – Belize, Cayman Islands, Vanuatu, Labuan, British Virgin Islands (BVI):
It is offshore jurisdictions, the advantage of which is the prompt and affordable registration of an FX license, the disadvantage is limited access to some markets. For example, Vanuatu has relatively low requirements for the authorized capital – 50 thousand US dollars. And the licensing process takes 2-3 months after the submission of all documents.
Regulators: Belize – International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), British Virgin Islands – Financial Services Commission. Services (FSC), Cayman Islands – Monetary Authority (CIMA), Vanuatu – Financial Services Commission. services (Vanuatu Financial Services Commission, VFSC), Labuan – Labuan Financial Service Authority (LFSA).
Important! The list of countries where you can get a brokerage license is not limited to the specified categories. Licensing of such activities is also carried out by some countries in Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Ireland, Bulgaria, and so on) and Asia (Hong Kong and Singapore). A complete list of jurisdictions for licensing an FX broker can be found by ordering a consultation with Lawrange law company.
The choice of jurisdiction for licensing a broker is a search for the “middle way” between the necessary financial investments and the reputation of the jurisdiction sufficient for full-fledged business. Starting an FX business in Category A and B countries requires a lot of capital, which makes such a solution out of reach for most new brokers. The alternative is well-established mid-budget options that are very popular.
Certification of FX licenses in the states of the European Union
Important! When you decide where and how to get a license for brokerage, you should pay attention to the advantage of all European jurisdictions. If a subject issues a license in one of the EU states, a simplified procedure for expanding business activity to other European states becomes available to him through the passage of the passportization procedure, the so-called inter-jurisdictional authorization.
The procedure is carried out on the basis of Article 31 of the EU Directive “On Markets in Financial Instruments” (MiFID). EU members are part of the single European Economic Area (EEA). In turn, each country within the framework of membership in the EEA provides legal entities on its territory with the freedom to provide investment and ancillary services under the license of another member state of this Zone. It is not required to submit an additional package of documents and pay large state fees for this.
How is the certification procedure implemented in practice? The organization obtains a brokerage license in one of the EEA states. In order to work legally in another state of this zone, it is necessary to notify the local authorities of your intentions and obtain, under a simplified procedure, permission to provide the services specified in the license. The EU Directive “On Markets in Financial Instruments” has been implemented by most of the EU countries.
Benefits of obtaining a brokerage license
Websites of unlicensed brokers can be identified by a number of features that are well known to specialists. Neither the clients of such brokerage firms nor the brokerage firms are protected by anything. Each transaction is associated with a constant risk from various scammers. Even when a forex broker has garnered glowing reviews but lacks a license, most traders will bypass it.
Moreover, in the stock markets, brokerage services without an appropriate license are illegal activities. In different states, such business activity is regarded as financial fraud or a fraudulent operation, which entails liability.
Important! Obtaining a license for brokerage activity provides a number of opportunities:
- the right to trade options on exchanges controlled by the laws of the country that issued the license;
- availability of trading platforms, for example, NYSE, NASDAQ, NASDAQ OTC BB, AMEX, LSE (IOB and SET), XETRA, EURONEXT, FTSE;
- improving your reputation, a way to instill a sense of trust in your customers.
If we are talking about a favorable medium-level offshore jurisdiction, then you can count on the following advantages:
- it will be possible to work in different regions of the world, regardless of the physical location;
- directors of any nationality can manage the FX business, there are no citizenship requirements;
- Compliance with due diligence conditions is quite simple;
- the cost of a license, the cost of renewal is quite acceptable for a novice broker.
Stages of getting a brokerage licenses from Lawrange
Important! Services for issuing a license at Lawrange can be provided remotely, without the presence of a client. Communication and preparation of documentation is carried out via the Internet. We work with both individuals and legal entities regardless of their location and citizenship.
To start working with us, you need to: a) get a preliminary consultation to properly understand the tasks and choose the jurisdiction where the license will be issued; b) prepare a copy of the passport, resume and recommendations (for example, from existing brokers); c) issue a power of attorney for Lawrange`s specialist for further collection of documents; d) fill out the application form.
The steps for obtaining an FX license are as follows:
Registration of a company in the chosen jurisdiction (for FX brokers such organizational and legal forms of doing business as LTD, IBC, LLP, LLC are often suitable).
Opening a corporate bank and trading account, integrating the company’s website with payment systems.
Drawing up a business plan for the company.
Preparation of AML / KYC policies, Compliance documentation (if necessary, personnel are also selected to undergo AML and Compliance procedures).
Completing the documentation package to be submitted along with the license application (in some jurisdictions, such a package may consist of several dozen certificates, copies, forms and extracts).
Professional translation and certification of documents by a notary.
Apply for a brokerage license.
Consideration of the application and receipt of the result (the duration of consideration, depending on the jurisdiction, varies and averages from 3-6 months or more).
***Note: In some jurisdictions, this algorithm includes additional steps, subject to local licensing terms. An example of such requirements is the inclusion of a brokerage firm in the state. registers of financial institutions and/or joining specialized associations.
Note! In the course of cooperation with the client, we are ready to answer emerging questions on taxation, protection of intellectual property rights, insurance, and so on, at any time .
Requirements for obtaining a brokerage license
Note! In each country, the requirements for a licensee are characterized by their own specifics, which are correlated with the provisions of national legislation and the policy of the local regulator of the financial services market. In addition, the conditions vary in connection with the list of services that the broker plans to provide.
The basic requirements for a license applicant include the following items:
- providing comprehensive statements of the financial condition of all beneficiaries of the company;
- a certain amount of paid-in authorized capital (on average – from 100 – 120 thousand euros);
- the presence of certain positions in the staff (director, aml officer, accountant) that meet the established qualification criteria;
- submission to the regulatory body of the company’s development strategy;
- conducting business activities within the jurisdiction in which the license is issued (a physical office within the borders of the country);
- payment of state duties;
- conditions regarding the status of a resident of the jurisdiction.
In some cases, the company’s managers are required to have documented experience in the financial sector in a managerial position. You should also provide diplomas and certificates indicating qualifications in this field. If the competence of employees is in doubt, they should take appropriate courses.
Important! A separate block in the requirements is the development and compliance with AML / CTF regulations, as well as the KYC policy (“Know Your Customer”). Within the framework of such regulations, reporting is provided for the control of measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. Brokerage organizations often provide for the position of a Compliance officer who deals with these issues.
The cost of obtaining a brokerage license
As discussed above, the conditions for obtaining a license in different jurisdictions vary significantly. If you are interested in the question of how to obtain a brokerage license, you should first use our consultation to determine the available budget. During the consultation or in a separate commercial offer, we will prepare for you a list of the most suitable solutions for your case, so that you can consciously make the best choice.
Note! If you want to register a brokerage firm and get licensed in one of the world’s most prestigious jurisdictions, it will cost you many times more than offshore. But already at the start stage, you will be provided with a high status, that is, the possibility of cooperation with clients that can potentially bring a very good income.
The cost of Lawrange`s services is calculated in a complex way, including registration of a company + opening a corporate account + obtaining a brokerage license. In the list of delivered services to solve these problems:
- collection of the necessary package of documentation;
- assistance in filling out forms and forms in foreign languages;
- preparation of corporate documents, as well as AML / CTF and KYC policies;
- assistance in office rent and staff recruitment;
- support for the consideration of documents in the licensing authority.
Best Forex Licensing Offers from Lawrange
We offer the most affordable and proven options for obtaining FX licenses, both for novice brokers and experienced market players.
It is one of the most popular jurisdictions in the last few years, as it offers applicants low threshold requirements + a fairly low license price. In Vanuatu, you can acquire an SDL license, that simultaneously provides the opportunity to trade currencies, buy and sell securities and bonds, and manage client investment portfolios.
It is the best option for a forex broker planning to develop the European market, since Cyprus is a member of the European Union. CySEC licenses belong to category C, that provides a decent status for a broker.
British Virgin Islands (BVI)
Advantage No. 1 of the BVI is the speed of obtaining a forex license. If all the procedures and rules for paperwork are followed, the result can be achieved in just three months. For Europeans, the BVI is an offshore with a good reputation, that allows it to win the favor of many customers.
Forex trading in Singapore generates over $1.50 in foreign currency every day. Obtaining a license in this largest currency trading center automatically provides prestige for a broker.
If you want to become a successful broker and get the maximum benefit in this highly profitable industry, it is necessary: firstly, to register a company of the appropriate profile, secondly, to obtain a license in the right jurisdiction.
Lawrange`s experts will offer a sufficient number of good options, and you will only have to make the final decision, in view of such conditions as the budget available for use and your own vision of further business development.
In which countries can I get a brokerage license from Lawrange?
Our team works with a fairly large list of jurisdictions where such licenses are issued. These are the most prestigious category A states, many European jurisdictions and proven offshore companies.
Who can get a brokerage license?
Conditions for applicants differ depending on the jurisdiction. The need for licensing arises both for providers and dealers working in the field of Forex, options, securities, and so on. At the same time, in some countries, licenses can be issued to both individuals and legal entities (investment companies). And in some countries licenses are available exclusively for legal entities.
What does a broker license give?
Firstly, it is a huge plus for the reputation of the broker. Secondly, it is a valuable tool for promoting relevant services to new markets. The implementation of brokerage activities without a license in many countries is regarded as an illegal business with the risks arising from this.