What is an AFS licence?

An Australian financial services (AFS) licence authorises licensees to:

  • provide financial product advice to clients;
  • deal in a financial product;
  • make a market for a financial product;
  • operate a registered scheme;
  • provide a custodial or depository service;
  • provide traditional trustee company services.

An AFS licence is required to conduct a financial services business.

ASIC assesses applications for AFS licences as part of our role as regulator of the financial services industry. When we assess a licence application we consider whether the applicant:

  • is competent to carry on the kind of financial services business specified in the application;
  • has sufficient financial resources to carry on the proposed business — unless regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA); and
  • can meet the other obligations of an AFS licensee.

Consumers should be aware that the licensing process is a point-in-time assessment of the licensee, not of its owners or employees. Holding an AFS licence does not provide a guarantee of the probity or quality of the licensee's services.

ASIC must grant a licence if a business shows it can meet basic standards such as training, compliance, insurance and dispute resolution. The business is responsible for maintaining these standards.

A licence does not mean that ASIC endorses the company, financial product or advice or that investors cannot incur a loss from dealing with it.

A licensee must not use the ASIC logo or otherwise state or imply that ASIC endorses the licensee or its products and services.


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Last updated: 20/10/2014 12:00