1. Compliance
  2. Licensing and registration
  3. Applying for a licence

Applying for a licence

Page last updated: 13 Nov 2018

We are in the process of improving our online application services. The service is currently unavailable. We apologise for the inconvenience. Please contact us if you have questions about an existing application, wish to apply for a licence or have questions about the licensing process.

If you are a financial services provider, you may need a licence from us before you can offer your products and services.

The different types of licence we grant:

Each licence class listed above has different conditions. Understand which licence you need to apply for.

How we assess who gets a licence

Eligibility criteria

Before you begin, make sure you know whether you are eligible for a licence. Your application needs to show us how you will be able to meet the legal criteria of a financial service provider. Know the criteria for the licence you plan to apply for.

Minimum standards

As a financial service provider you must have proper systems and processes in place to carry out your business. The Financial Markets Conduct Act (2014) lists seven categories of minimum standards that licence holders must meet.

The minimum standards cover seven areas of good practice expected of a business:

  • Fit and proper
  • Capability
  • Operational infrastructure
  • Financial resources
  • Governance
  • Culture
  • Compliance

Even though there is not a fixed set of rules about how you should  meet the minimum standards in the FMC Act, it is important that your application clearly outlines the systems and processes  you have in place to meet the minimum standards specific to your financial service.

Standard conditions

When we grant you a licence,  you will have to comply with certain conditions under the FMC Act, the Financial Markets Conduct Regulations, or any conditions we decide to impose. Conditions vary for different types of licences.

There are standard and specific conditions for each type of licence.  Some examples include: keeping relevant records and providing information on the strength of your finances, among others.

Need help understanding minimum standards and standard conditions?
Email our team before you start applying.

Once you are a licence holder, you will have on-going obligations.


Starting the process

You need to first set up a RealMe®  account. RealMe®  is a government authentication service. Anyone providing financial service in New Zealand or overseas must also be registered and listed on the Financial Service Provider Register (FSPR). You cannot be listed on the register if you do not intend to provide service to customers in New Zealand.  

You also need to join the Dispute Resolution Schemes within 10 working days of registering to provide a financial service.

Forms and levies

Application forms for each licence type can be found by selecting your relevant business.

The fees, levies and waivers section of our website has full details of our fees and charges. We will not issue a new or varied licence until the fee is paid in full. Licence fees are not refundable if an application is rejected.

Completing the process

Once you have completed your application, go through this checklist to make sure you have not missed out any relevant information.

Here are some resources to help you understand how to meet your licence obligations.