Page last updated: 08 April 2024

Discretionary Investment Management Service (DIMS)

You are providing Discretionary Investment Management Services (DIMS) when an investor gives you the authority to make decisions about buying and selling financial products on their behalf. To provide DIMS under the FMC Act you must hold a DIMS market services licence issued under the FMC Act.

Discretionary Investment Management Service (DIMS)

Update to standard conditions

The standard conditions for MIS, DIMS, DI, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding provider licences have been updated to include a new standard condition for business continuity and technology systems. 

View the updated standard conditions for Managed investment scheme manager providers

Licensing guides

Please contact us to get a copy of a licence application by emailing [email protected].

Licence application forms

Please download all forms related to your application below and email to [email protected]

Forms to be completed by applicants

SD1.0  Certificate of compliance and authority to apply (applicant or their authorised person)

SD1.1  Declaration by current/proposed director of licence applicant

SD1.2  Declaration by current/proposed senior manager of licence applicant

SD1.3  Curriculum vitae of management team member of licence applicant

Forms to be completed by related parties of the applicant

SD2.1  Declaration by executive director of related body to licence applicant

SD2.2  Declaration by senior manager of related body to licence applicant

Forms to be completed by relevant parties to the applicant

SD3.1  Declaration by director of relevant party to licence applicant

SD3.2  Declaration by senior manager of relevant party to licence applicant

SD3.3  Declaration by individual relevant party to licence applicant (such as owner)

How to cancel an FMCA Licence

Guidance on how to cancel an FMCA licence

The basic licensing fee payable to apply for discretionary investment management service licence is $2,139 (incl. GST). 

We may charge an additional fee where the time to assess a licence application exceeds 15 hours, as set by the Financial Markets Conduct (Fees) Regulations 2014. For an FMA staff member this is set at $178.25 per hour, or part-hour pro rata, of work carried out.  Please refer to the regulations for further information.

If an additional fee will be incurred for your application, we will notify you in advance, including the reason why. 

Applications to vary conditions on an existing licence will incur an application fee of $115 plus $178.25 per hour, or part-hour pro rata, of work carried out.

Please refer to the Financial Markets Conduct (Fees) Regulations 2014 for more information.

All amounts are GST inclusive. 

This payment is to apply for a discretionary investment management service licence; it does not include any annual levies, or fees to register on the Financial Service Providers Register.


The Financial Markets Authority (Levies) Regulations 2012 (the Regulations), as amended in 2020 and 2022, set out the levies payable by industry. The levies are set by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE).

The FMA receives funding from the Crown and a proportion of our costs is recouped from industry through levies.

Levy Classes

A financial markets participant falls within one or more levy ’class’, depending on what financial services they provide.

  • A levy must be paid for every levy class the financial markets participant falls within. Levies are payable on the relevant leviable event as described in column 3 of Schedule 2 in the Regulations.
  • Some levy classes have been split in order to recognise the variations in size and nature of different financial market participants.
  • Most levies are paid when making an annual confirmation to the Registrar of Financial Service Providers (the Registrar).
  • Most levies are payable to the Registrar, via the (FSPR). However, some levies are payable directly to the FMA. This is set out in column 4 of Schedule 2 in the Regulations.
  • The following levy classes are invoiced directly by the FMA:
  • Levy Class 8, Levy Class 8A, Levy Class 10, Levy Class 10A, Levy Class 13 and Levy Class 16.

Levy Class description

The table below provides a high-level description of each levy class. For the full description of levy classes, see Schedule 2 in the Regulations. 

Class Description
1 Persons making an application for registration on the   Financial Service Providers Register
2 Registered banks and licensed non-bank deposit takers
2A Registered banks and licensed non-bank deposit takers that are required to hold a conduct licence
3 Licensed insurers
3A Licensed insurers that are required to hold a conduct licence
4 Licensed supervisors of debt securities and managed   investment products in registered schemes
5 Managers (of registered schemes)
6 Persons who undertook trading activities on licensed markets, contributory mortgage brokers, trading financial products or foreign exchange on behalf of other persons (other than persons included in class 6A, 6B, 6C or 6D, authorised bodies that only provide the service under a market services licence held by a person in class 6A or 6D and DIMS wholesale providers) or licensed derivatives issuers
6A Licensed discretionary investment management service (DIMS) retail providers
6B Providers of a regulated client money or property service (as defined in section 6(1) of the FMC Act) other than persons included in class 6(a) or 6C
6C Custodians and persons providing custodial   services
6D Crowdfunding service providers and peer-to-peer lending   service providers
6E Licensed financial benchmark administrators
6F Authorised bodies
6G Financial advisers
6H Licensed financial advice providers
7 All other financial service providers that are not included in any of classes 2 – 6H
8 Listed issuers (other than persons included in class 8A)
8A Small listed issuers
9 Lodgement of a product disclosure statement (PDS)
10 Licensed market operators
10A Licensed market operators that operate growth markets (other than persons included in class 10)
11 FMC reporting entities that lodge financial statements (or   group financial statements) and auditor’s reports
12 Accredited bodies
13 Licensed overseas auditors
14 Persons that apply for registration or incorporation under the Building Societies Act 1965; the Companies Act 1993; the Friendly   Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982; or the Limited Partnerships Act 2008
15 Persons that are registered or incorporated and required   to make annual returns under the Building Societies Act 1965; the Companies   Act 1993; the Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982; or the Limited   Partnerships Act 2008
16 Climate reporting entities


It is the responsibility of each financial service provider to ensure they are registered for the service(s) they provide and have paid the appropriate levies. As part of their online annual confirmation to the Registrar, they must select all of the applicable classes to determine the levies payable and confirm the information they have provided is true, correct and complete.

Under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 (the FSP Act) it is an offence to:

  • provide services you are not registered for or state you are registered for a particular financial service when you are not
  • make a representation relating to any document or information required by the FSP Act or its regulations knowing that it is false or misleading, or omit any matter knowing such omission is false or misleading.

These offences could result in a fine of up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment for individuals, and a fine of up to $300,000 for businesses.

It is also an offence under the FSP Act to fail to notify the Registrar if any of the details contained on the FSPR are no longer correct. Failure to notify could result in a fine of up to $10,000.

Levy waivers

We have discretionary power to waive a levy (in whole or part).

We will only do so if we are satisfied that the circumstances or characteristics of the financial markets participant are exceptional when compared with the circumstances or characteristics of others in the same class, so that it would make it inequitable for the person to pay the levy. The threshold is deliberately high.

The waiver power is not intended to be used to revisit settled policy positions.

Once we receive a waiver application and the fee, we will assess it.  If we decide to grant the waiver, we must notify our decision in the Gazette, and publish the decision and reasons for it on our website.

How to apply for a levy to be waived

You will need to email the following information to [email protected] with the subject line ‘Levy waiver application’.

  • Name of person or entity applying for the waiver.
  • Contact person for correspondence concerning the application including address, phone number and email.
  • Indicate the persons/entity who will receive the benefit of any waiver granted.
  • Specify which class(es) you seek a waiver from and whether a waiver is sought from the full levy or part and the amount thereof.
  • Let us know your preferred date for any waiver to take effect.
  • Explain why the waiver should be granted and why your circumstances are exceptional when compared with others in the same class.
  • Provide all relevant facts in support of your application.
  • Explain any regulatory benefit of FMA granting the waiver.
  • Give details of any previous contact with officials (including their names) at FMA or MBIE (including the Companies Office) on the matter.

How to pay your waiver application fee

You can pay by electronic deposit or internet banking. Payment can be made by applicants or law firms making applications on behalf of their clients.

The person paying the application fee must be the person who pays the subsequent fees and costs. For example, if a law firm pays the application fee, that law firm must also pay any additional fees and costs.

We recommend if law firms apply for waivers on behalf of their clients, the parties discuss and agree who will be responsible for paying the FMA’s fees before submitting a waiver application.

Payment option How to pay Additional information
Electronic deposit or internet banking Where bill pay is available please select ‘Financial Markets Authority - Other'
Otherwise, our bank details are:
Bank: Westpac
Account name: Financial Markets Authority
Account number: 03-0584-0198005-000
To ensure we process your payment correctly please provide the following information:
Particulars: Payer’s name*
Code: Waiver
Reference: Applicant’s name
You do not need to forward a hard copy of your application if paying electronically

* This is the name of the person paying the application fee. This person will be invoiced for any subsequent fees and costs. Payment by credit card is not available for this application process.

What are the fees

  • A payment of $1,265 should accompany each application.
  • This covers the application fee of $115 set out in the Financial Markets Authority (Fees) Regulations 2011 and an advance of $1,150 (including GST) for fees and costs to be incurred.
  • These regulations set out charging rates of $230 (including GST) per hour for time spent by FMA Board members and $178.25 (including GST) per hour for time spent by FMA staff.
  • These regulations are set by MBIE.

How long does it take

  • Once we have been provided with all relevant information, it generally takes around six weeks to process an application.
  • This may be longer if any policy questions arise.
  • If your application is urgent, please provide the date you need the decision by.
  • You must also provide reasons for requesting urgent consideration.

Granted waivers

DIMS licencees are obliged to act professionally; meet financial and investor reporting requirements; disclose a wholesale service and provide the FMA with reporting required by the Act.

Professional conduct

  • As a DIMS licensee, you must be honest in how you conduct and provide your service, always acting in your client’s best interest.
  • You must not use information gained as a DIMS licensee to benefit yourself or any other person or cause harm to your client.
  • You must also exercise care, diligence and the skill of a professional in carrying out your duties.
  • Check s433 and s435 of the Act for details of the conduct expected.

Investor reporting

DIMS licensees need to make sure their retail clients have all the information about investment decisions, how the investments have performed, and what the fees are. Refer to reg210 and reg 211 for the full list of the information you need to report to retail investors. Your ongoing reporting requirements are:

  • Transaction information:record of all transactions, name of issuer, the price of the financial products transacted, the amount and date transacted
  • Assets profile:name of each class of financial product in the investor’s portfolio, who issued the financial products, and the number of products held
  • Portfolio administration profile:record of all dividends paid, distribution or income received during the period, all percentage-charges paid, individual action fees paid, and other corporate information that might affect an investor’s portfolio (eg, a bonus issue)
  • Portfolio valuation:current and most-recent valuation of all financial products in the investor’s portfolio; how and when the valuation is done (eg, the market price of the quoted product), and the total value of the financial products in the portfolio.
Investment strategy 
  • The investment objective
  • The investment mix
  • Any material changes to the strategy during the year
Investor’s portfolio return
  • Annual and five-year return of the portfolio (pre-tax but after fees)
  • A bar graph of the portfolio’s return (pre-tax but after fees) with a bar for each disclosure year since the investor started using the service
Portfolio profile
  • Name each class of the financial products in the investor’s portfolio, the products’ issuers, and the number of products in the portfolio
Portfolio valuation
  • The current or most-recent value of each of those financial products
  • Statements of when and how the valuation was done
  • The value of the portfolio at the beginning and end of the disclosure year
Cash held
  • Details of the amount of cash held for the investor at the close of disclosure year
Dividends paid
  • Details of dividends paid, all interest paid, and other distribution or income received
  • The total percentage-based charges paid for the investor’s portfolio during the year expressed as a percentage of the investor’s portfolio
  • The total amount of other charges the investor has paid for the portfolio
  • The individual action fee paid during the disclosure year for the investor’s portfolio
  • A pie chart segregating all financial products, by asset category, of the investor’s portfolio at the end of the disclosure year
You need to tell investors if your DIMS is a wholesale service
  • DIMS licensees need to let their investors know if they are receiving a wholesale service. This is a requirement of reg194
  • DIMS licensees must not buy or sell a financial product for a retail investor under a wholesale service unless they have given a prior warning to the retail investors. The retail investors must also acknowledge and authorise the service.

The warning must be prominently displayed on a document telling the investor:

  • the service is not a retail service
  • the service is not covered by the licence and FMA Act protections might not apply.

Notifying the FMA

All notifications should be emailed to the FMA (unless we state that the relevant notification form is available on our Online Services portal) at [email protected] noting the relevant obligation in the subject line of your email.

Tell us if you breach a limit break
  • As a DIMS licensee, you are governed by what the investor allows you to do, based on the investment authority - see s437
  • The investment authority spells out the nature and type of investments you can make, and the amount in each asset type you can invest in
  • You have obligations to do limit break reporting quarterly (reg 231) and when your limit break is not corrected (reg 230) within five days of the break happening

Download the DIMS limit breaks under the FMC Act information sheet PDF.

Tell us if you made a related-party transaction

As a DIMS licensee, you have to avoid transactions that lead to related-parties benefit (s440).

There are exceptions if you can certify that:

  • the service is provided to a class of investors, and in the best interests of the investors
  • the service is provided to only one investor, in the best interests of that investor

Under reg236 you must notify us within 10 working days of the end of each quarter, whether any certificates have been given, and if so provide us with copies of those certificates. 

Tell us if you break a service agreement

As a DIMS licensee, you need to make sure you are able to meet the licence obligations (see s412 for details).
You need to tell us if you:
  • think you have broken any of your licence obligations
  • have a change in circumstances affecting your licence
  • have provided misleading material to investors. 

Change of director or senior manager

To notify us of a change to your key people and managers as required by the licensing standard conditions, please send an email outlining what the changes are and the qualifications and experience of the new or replacing personnel, e.g. attach their c.v.

This notification form must be completed and emailed to [email protected].

Download notification  of change of director or senior manager by licensee and/or key personnel of authorised body PDF.
(Refer Financial Markets Conduct Regulations 2014 r 191).

Operational resilience incident reporting 

From 1 July 2024, you must notify us within 72 hours of discovering any event that materially impacts the operational resilience of your critical technology systems.

Use Online Services to send us an incident notification. Please review Guidance - Notification of incidents relating to the operational resilience of technology systems for more information.

Complete an operational resilience incident report

Financial reporting

All DIMS licensees are FMC reporting entities. FMC reporting entities need to prepare financial statements that comply with generally accepted accounting practice (GAAP), have them audited by a licensed auditor, and lodge them with the registrar.

Annual regulatory return

All licensed DIMS providers are required to complete and submit an annual regulatory return. The return is a series of questions about your business and how your licensed service is used.

Licensees are required to complete an annual regulatory return for the 12-month period ending 30 June and submit it to the FMA by 30 September of that year.

The information you provide us through the annual return helps us to:

  • better understand your business and the services you offer
  • ensure the information we have on your business is current
  • focus our monitoring activities more effectively

Ahead of submitting your regulatory return, you may wish to familiarise yourself with the DIMS regulatory return data template.

Learn more about the questions you will be asked when you submit your annual regulatory return

Submit their regulatory return online at the FMA's online services portal

There are exemptions for two DIMS licensee categories from having to prepare financial statements that meet GAAP, have them audited by a licensed auditor, and lodge them with the registrar. The table below lists current DIMS financial reporting exemptions:

  Level 1 DIMS Providers managing < $100m of retail funds Level 2 DIMS Providers managing $100m to $250m of retail funds
Exempted from:
  • preparing GAAP-compliant  financial statements
  • auditing financial statements and lodging them with the registrar 
  • prepare financial statements to meet their other existing company or tax reporting obligations
Must still:
  • prepare accounting records
  • prepare GAAP-compliant financial statements and lodge them with the registrar
May need to:
  • prepare financial statements to meet their other existing company or tax reporting obligations


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