Our authorisation process

What to expect after you submit your application for authorisation.

We will make a decision on complete applications within 6 months. If your application is incomplete, we must make a decision within 12 months.

Application process

You should We will
  • Send us your completed application form and appropriate fee.
  • Offer your case officer more information, clarification and/or evidence, as requested. You may be required to meet your case officer.
  • Assess your application in line with our commitments to you, such as letting you know when a case officer has been assigned and keeping you up to date.
  • Check your application against various databases and information held by other regulatory agencies in the UK or overseas.
  • Assess your business, considering whether it meets the minimum ‘threshold conditions’ in our Handbook.
  • Make a decision on your application.

Find out more about the application process and our commitments

Successful application

We’ll write to you confirming your ‘Part 4A permission’ authorisation. Your Scope of Permission notice will state which regulated activities you have permission to carry out, when your permission starts and which requirements or limitations you’ve requested.

Upon authorisation, our Financial Services Register will be updated automatically.

Early and High Growth Oversight

Early and High Growth Oversight provides closer supervision and support to certain newly authorised firms and firms focused on growth or scaling innovative technology.

You don’t need to apply to be part of Early and High Growth Oversight, we will contact you directly if you’re included.

Unsuccessful applications

If we cannot approve your application one of the following three things might happen:


If you don’t provide the minimum information needed to form an application (eg you do not provide the minimum information set out under section 55U (s1 of s4) of FSMA) we will reject your submission.

If your submission is rejected, we will give the reason(s) and your application fee will be refunded. 

You are welcome to resubmit an application, containing all the relevant information, at any time.


If we do not consider your application meets the standard for authorisation, we will recommend that it is refused. 

If we refuse your application, your application fee will not be refunded. You can find out more about our refusal process in the DEPP chapter of our Handbook.

Withdrawing an application

You can withdraw your application at any time during the authorisation process. Common reasons for doing this include:

  • not being ready, willing, and organised to demonstrate that you meet the required standard when your application is submitted
  • needing time to address our concerns, or produce or gather missing information, see How to apply for authorisation for further information 
  • understanding that authorisation is likely to be refused

If you withdraw your application, your application fee will not be refunded.

Subsequent applications

It’s possible to make a successful subsequent application after an application has been withdrawn.

More information

Page updates

21/06/2022: Editorial amendment Withdrawing an application details updated
26/04/2022: Information added Section on Early and High Growth Oversight.