Do you need an AFS licence?

If you want to run a financial services business, you generally need to be authorised under an AFS licence.

An AFS licence authorises you and your representatives to provide financial services to clients.

You provide financial services if you:

  • provide financial product advice to clients for example, giving a recommendation to clients or the general public about which financial product they should purchase.
  • deal in a financial product for example, buying or selling shares on behalf of a client or issuing interests in a managed investment scheme.
  • make a market for a financial product for example, where you regularly quote prices at which people can buy or sell financial products.
  • operate a registered managed investment scheme. ASIC is also required to register managed investment schemes that are offered to retail clients.
  • provide a custodial or depository service for example, holding a financial product, or a beneficial interest in a financial product on trust for a client
  • provide traditional trustee company services for example, preparing estate management functions
  • provide a crowd funding service
  • provide a superannuation trustee service
  • provide a claims handling and settling service, or
  • operate the business and conduct the affairs of a corporate collective investment vehicle (CCIV).

Financial products include things such as shares, bonds, superannuation, interests in managed investment schemes, life insurance, general insurance, derivatives and margin lending facilities.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be exempt from the requirement to hold an AFS licence or you may provide financial services under a limited AFS licence. You may also choose to provide financial services as an authorised representative of an AFS licensee.

Our regulatory guides and other regulatory resources on AFS licensing explain the terms 'financial product' and 'financial service' (as defined in the Corporations Act 2001 and the Corporations Regulations 2001) and any exemptions are explained in our regulatory guides and other regulatory resources on AFS licensing.

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Last updated: 20/10/2014 12:00