5 Tips To Obtain Your Australian Financial Services Licence

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1.  Ensure you have the right Responsible Manager – ASIC have strict criteria for appointing a Responsible Manager (RM) on your AFSL.  You cannot get an AFSL without a RM.

The RM you choose needs to have:

* 3 in the past 5 years working for an AFSL that contains the authorisations you are looking to obtain on your AFSL; or

* 5 in the past 8 years working for an AFSL that contains the authorisations you are looking to obtain on your AFSL.

For a retail AFSL, the RM will need to have had RG146 for the duration of their relevant experience in the products you are seeking.  In addition, the RM cannot be an RM on more than one other AFSL.

Sophie Grace is able to provide feedback very quickly based on a candidate’s CV as to whether they are suitable to be an RM and what type of AFSL they can assist you to obtain.  Alternatively, we have contacts who are able to perform this role for your business if you are unable to source someone internally.  There are some limited exceptions to this which we can discuss with you if you.

2.  Know exactly what your business will do (and that the Responsible Manager has experience in this or something very similar)

3.  Be adequately capitalised or ready to be so when ASIC requests proof of this.

4.  Prepare your cash flows – an important part of your application is making sure you have budgeted for all of the items you’ll need to keep your AFSL running and demonstrating this to ASIC.  This needs to align with the activities you are planning to undertake.  To that end, make sure you have quotes for the below relevant items to incorporate:

* auditor (compulsory for all AFSLs)

* PI insurance (compulsory for retail AFSLs)

* FOS membership (retail AFSLs only)

* trustee/administrator/registry (for funds management / Managed Investment Schemes (MISs))

5.  Make sure your proof documents align.  Be careful if you are using documents obtained from a variety of sources that the business you are describing to ASIC aligns across each of the documents.  They also need to show that you are aware of the regulatory requirements applicable to the type of business you are running.  Having a professional firm such as Sophie Grace prepare or review your application will ensure that you don’t present incorrect documents to ASIC which will slow the progress of your application.

About The Author

Sophie Gerber

Sophie is the director of both Sophie Grace Legal Pty Ltd and Sophie Grace Pty Ltd. Sophie has worked with some of Australia’s largest financial services organisations in compliance, legal and operational roles. She has also worked with small businesses to provide tailored solutions with a strong understanding of business practicalities as well as obligations to regulators.

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