Page last updated: 24 June 2021

Who needs a licence

From the start of the new financial advice regime on Monday 15 March 2021, anyone who gives regulated financial advice to retail clients must either hold, or operate under, a Financial Advice Provider licence.

Licensing is being introduced in two phases: transitional and full.

Transitional licences are valid for up to two years from 15 March 2021.

Transitional licence-holders will need to apply for and be granted a full licence by 16 March 2023 if they want to continue providing advice under their own licence. From 16 March 2021, anyone applying for a Financial Advice Provider licence must apply for a full licence.

Who needs a licence to provide financial advice?

  • You will need a licence if you want to be a financial advice provider and provide advice on your own account to your own clients – for example, you run your own business. Read our Introductory guide to full licensing requirements to find out more about how to complete your online application and what we ask for.
  • You won’t need your own licence if you want to be a financial adviser or nominated representative who provides advice on behalf of another financial advice provider.

To find out more about ways to operate in the new financial advice regime, Explore your options or contact us.

What is a transitional licence?

A transitional Financial Advice Provider licence is valid for up to two years. Together with the competency safe harbour, it enables advisers to continue providing the advice they were legally able to provide before the new regime was introduced. This gives you time to meet any new competence, knowledge and skills standards needed.

If you did not get your transitional licence before the start of the new regime, you cannot provide advice to retail clients until you have a full licence – unless you provide advice under another financial advice provider’s licence.

Already know how to operate under the new regime?

We have provided information about 5 different ways you can operate under the new regime. These are the more straightforward ways you can operate going forward. They don’t cover all possible options –  for example, more complex business arrangements (including authorised bodies) or those mostly applying to larger organisations are not included.