If we authorise your firm and you are thinking of changing its legal status, eg, from a partnership to a limited company - you must apply for authorisation for the new company.
Read our criteria for assessing this type of application.
We will automatically cancel your firm's previous legal entity when the authorisation for the new firm begins.
If you are a consumer credit firm that is wishing to change your legal status (subject to meeting our criteria), please complete the application and cancellation form. Your fee will be different to the one below, depending on the type of application. Please email COLS@fca.org.uk for further details.
All firms should complete:
- Application and cancellation form | (notes)
- Changes to contact or standing data (trading names, principal place of business, registered office, complaints contact, compliance address, locum and auditor)
- Disclosure of significant events (for firms that have previously traded)
- Appointed Representatives involved with either the applicant firm or existing firm
- IT self assessment questionnaire
then you should also complete the form relevant to your firm type:
Retail firm types (all Word documents)
- Financial adviser only | (notes)
- Home finance intermediary only | (notes)
- Home finance and insurance intermediary | (notes)
- Financial adviser and home finance intermediary | (notes)
- Financial adviser and insurance intermediary | (notes)
- Financial adviser, home finance and insurance intermediary | (notes)
- Insurance intermediary only | (notes)
Wholesale firm types
- Securities and futures - complex | (notes)
- Securities and futures - non-complex | (notes)
- Investment managers | (notes)
- Advisers and arrangers of wholesale funds | (notes)
If your firm is making changes to its controllers, close links, groups or European Economic Area (EEA)/non EEA firms, you should also complete the owners and influencers form.
The application fee you will have to pay when you apply is half the usual authorisation application fee. So a 'straightforward' application is £750 and a 'moderately complex' application is £2,500. Most financial advisers, mortgage brokers and general insurance intermediaries will be straightforward applications.
We process most applications well within the statutory standards of 6 months for a complete application (where we do not require any additional information) or 12 months for an incomplete one.
You will get a new FCA firm reference number, and will need to tell the product providers you deal with so they can update their records.
Changing members of a partnership
If someone resigns from a partnership, then providing that there is more than one remaining partner, you can continue with your existing authorisation, but will need to tell us of the change in membership. The same applies if a new partner joins, as long as the business activities are the same as before.
If you are left with only one remaining partner, you cannot continue to operate as a partnership. You will need to apply to change your legal status, to become either a limited company or a sole trader.
If you have any ongoing contractual agreements with your customers, you must contact them and agree either to amend their existing contracts or to agree new contracts to take into account the change in your firms legal entity.
Otherwise you should let your customers know about the change in the legal entity as and when you next deal with them.
When you apply to change your legal status we will require your firm to agree to deal with any complaints from existing customers in the same way that it would customers of your new legal entity. We have this requirement to prevent firms leaving behind their obligations to their customers by changing their legal entity.