If you’re interested in seeking authorisation by the FCA, better known as the Financial Conduct Authority, it can be quite a difficult and lengthy process to navigate. It’s estimated that an application takes around 18 weeks to get a response, meaning that any incorrect submissions could result in considerable delays. If you’re not experienced with the application process, I’d advise investing in a compliance consultant to help you navigate the required steps to ensure you get it right first time. Keep reading to learn my top 3 tips for getting FCA authorisation.

1. Work With The Experts
Because applying for FCA authorisations are something that’s only done when creating a new financial entity, most people have very little experience with this process. For this reason, I suggest it is worthwhile hiring a compliance consultant to help you navigate this process. They can help advise you ever step of the way, provide support should issues arise, and ensure that you’re providing all the required documentation. Compliance Consultancy can help make the entire process so much more streamlined, and less stress for you. That way you can focus on the other aspects of creating your new financial entity that are not possible to outsource.

2. Apply Early
Because the authorisation can take a long time, sometimes up to a year depending on the caseload at the time, it is imperative to apply early. You can apply and then gather some of the remaining documents while you wait for your application to move forward, saving you time in the long run. Because the application process does take a considerable amount of time, you’ll want to double and triple check all your documents to ensure you don’t cause any further delays.

3. Focus on Your Business Plan
As part of your application, you’ll need to provide the FCA with a thorough business plan to outline how your business intends to operate and what financial services you will provide. This plan should be around 8 to 10 pages and contain background information about the firm and in which ways it hopes to operate. Focus on being very clear about what services your firm will provide so that the FCA can quickly see how your business will operate. It will be important to outline the main risks that your firm may face, and how you will mitigate them. You’ll also need a section on how the firm meets the FCA authorisation conditions.

If you want to operate in the financial services and markets industries, then there’s a good chance you’ll need to get your FCA authorisation. Hopefully these three tips help you feel more confident and comfortable about what’s required of you to be successful in your application.