The Corporations Act 2001 requires people who carry on a business of providing financial services to hold an AFS licence (unless they are covered by an exemption or are authorised to provide those financial services as a representative of another person who holds an AFS licence).
ASIC is responsible for administering the Corporations Act. If you need an AFS licence you must lodge an application with us. You will need to have your AFS licence from the day you start your financial services business.
The Corporations Legislation Amendment (Financial Modernisation) Act 2009 has made a margin lending facility a financial product under the Corporations Act and requires issuers of, and advisers on, margin lending facilities to hold an AFS licence.
What financial services do you need a licence for?
You may need an AFS licence if, as part of your business, you:
provide financial product advice
deal in a financial product
make a market for a financial product
operate a registered scheme
provide a custodial or depository service.
These types of conduct will only be a financial service if they are provided in relation to a financial product. You will need to think about whether the particular products that you deal with in your business are financial products under the Corporations Act.
The terms 'financial service' and 'financial product' are explained in detail in Part 7.1, Divs 3 and 4 of the Corporations Act and the Corporations Regulations 2001.