Licensing and regulation

When preparing your application for Innovation Hub assistance, you need to review information on licensing and consider whether your business needs one to operate. Learn about different licences and your ongoing obligations here.


When applying for assistance through the Innovation Hub, you will need to describe how you think the law or regulatory framework could apply to your business.

This involves considering:

  • if you need a licence
  • authorisations you need to apply for
  • what you need to provide to ASIC to get those licence authorisations.

ASIC issues Australian financial services (AFS) licences and Australian credit licences (credit licences), and regulates Australian market licencees. Once licensed, you will need to meet ongoing obligations related to your licence.

If you have an idea of the kind of licence that you may need, you can access the detailed information below.

AFS licence

Financial services businesses in Australia generally need to hold an AFS licence or be authorised by a licensee to operate. Exemptions do apply and are examined on a case-by-case basis. Learn more about AFS licences.

Credit licence

Business engaging in credit activities generally need to hold a credit licence or be authorised by a licensee to operate. Learn more about credit licences.

Licensed and exempt market operators

If you operate a financial market you must obtain an Australian market licence, or an exemption from the Minister. Learn more about financial market operators.

For more information, you may wish to read our detailed advice on licensing and regulation and the Regulatory Index on the ASIC website.

You may also wish to obtain separate legal advice to help determine the best course of action for your business.

Fintech licensing exemption

Under our fintech licensing exemption eligible businesses are able to test specified services for up to 12 months, with up to 100 retail clients, as long as they meet certain consumer protection conditions.

If you are unable to rely on the fintech licensing framework, you are able to seek an individual exemption. For more information, you may wish to read our advice on ASIC's licensing flexibility and our policy on individual exemptions.

Tips

  1. Research licence types as you prepare your application for assistance through the Innovation Hub.
  2. Ensure you have read all of the related information.
  3. Decide if you need external legal support.
  4. Understand your ongoing obligations.

Licensing guidance for some business model examples can be accessed below.

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News

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ASIC broadens fintech cooperation with Canadian regulators

12 December 2017

ASIC has announced a Cooperation Agreement with Canadian regulators on fintech cooperation. This agreement expands the existing framework for information sharing and also allows the referral of innovative fintech businesses to and from Canada.

Read the media release

ASIC’s regulatory sandbox proposal to remain unchanged

12 December 2017

ASIC has today released a review of its regulatory sandbox, introduced in December 2016.

Read the consultation paper

ASIC closure over the festive season

6 December 2017

ASIC offices will be closed from 5.00pm on Friday 22 December 2017 to 8.00am on Tuesday 2 January 2018. During this time requests for informal assistance will not be processed. You can also expect that early in January responding to requests for assistance will take a little longer than usual.

We encourage businesses to have any informal assistance requests or notifications related to the fintech licensing exemption to be sent to the Innovation Hub by Tuesday 12 December 2017 in order to be considered before the shutdown period.

Dubai and Australia seal agreement on fintech cooperation

23 November 2017

The Dubai Financial Services Authority and ASIC have signed a Cooperation Agreement which provides a framework for cooperation to support and understand financial innovation in each jurisdiction.

Read the release

More news

Events

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Stay informed

For information on what is coming up, sign up at innovationhub@asic.gov.au.

Videos of our recent RegTech showcase now available

Session 1, Session 2.

 

Podcasts

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Crowd-sourced funding

ASIC Commissioner John Price joins the podcast to discuss recent law reform around crowd-sourced funding and ASIC's role in administering the new legislation.

Listen now or download for later

Last updated: 03/04/2017 11:51