How to apply for a transitional licence

Instructions for individuals and businesses looking to apply for a transitional licence

Last updated 16 September 2020

Anyone providing financial advice to retail clients from the start of the new regime will need to operate under a Financial Advice Provider Transitional Licence. Before you apply, we strongly recommend that you seek independent legal advice, if you’re unsure how to structure your business.

The application is a simple two-step process.

  1. First, you’ll need to log in to the FSPR and register your intention to apply for a transitional licence.
  2. You’ll then need to apply for the licence through the Financial Markets Authority’s (FMA) website .

What to do if you're not already registered on the FSPR

Everyone in the business of providing a financial service must be registered on the FSPR before they can provide financial services.

It’s easy to apply to become a financial service provider (FSP) online. You can indicate you’re going to apply for a transitional licence at the same time you complete your FSP application.

If you’re not currently registered, or are looking to register yourself or an entity, please see our help guides on the FSPR.

Printable guide

If you are looking to register a business on the FSPR for the first time and select a transitional licensing service, we have created a step-by-step PDF guide to help you navigate our register.

Registering your intention to apply for a transitional licence for an existing FSP

To apply for a transitional licence with the FMA, you must first register your intention on the FSPR.
Before you can do this, you must have:

  • a RealMe® login, and
  • an online services account with the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR).

You may also need to confirm your authority to update information if you are managing an FSP on behalf of a third party.


Log in, search for and select your FSP:

  1. On the ‘FSP details’ screen, from the ‘My Tools’ dropdown select ‘Change request to FSP (Individual or Entity)’.
  2. Click on the ‘Financial Services’ tab.
  3. The new Financial Advice Service is listed at the bottom of the financial services list. Once you’ve chosen your relevant licence, select ‘Proceed’.
    • For individuals, you’ll see the service ‘Licensed Provider - Transitional licence’.
    • Entities have the option of selecting the services ‘Licensed Provider - Transitional licence’ and/or ‘Authorised Body - Transitional licence’.
  4. Update any other details that have changed.
  5. Return to the ‘Review’ page, confirm that you have read the disqualification declaration and select ‘Continue’. The status of your declaration changes to ‘Confirmed’.
  6. Select ‘Continue’ to save your changes.
  7. Pay any relevant fees.
  8. You’ll receive an email confirming that you’ve registered your intention to apply for a transitional service.
    • If you have applied for the service ‘Licensed Provider - Transitional licence’, the next step will be to visit the FMA and apply for the transitional licence through their website.

Printable guides

We have also provided PDF instructions with screenshots to assist those unfamiliar with navigating the FSPR.

If you need to set up a company

Registering a company on the Companies Register

If you intend for a company to hold your financial advice provider’s licence, you will need to first make sure that it is registered on the Companies Register.

If you are registering a company for the first time, be aware that this includes reserving a company name, appointing directors, issuing shares and registering for tax.

For an overview on how companies are structured, what records you need to keep, and what's involved when you operate a company, please see the help guides on the Companies Register website.

Registering a company on the FSPR

Once your company is registered on the Companies Register, you will need to then register it on the FSPR and select the services you are intending to offer.

Information such as your company’s name, registered office address and director details will automatically be brought across from the Companies Register. Other information (for example, business address) will need to be provided while applying to register the company as an FSP.

For detailed information on how to register a company or another entity on the FSPR, please refer to our help guides.

Sole advisers registering a company

If you’re an individual currently relying on the sole-adviser exemption, and you wish to operate in a similar manner in the new regime, you may be thinking about registering your company on the FSPR to hold your licence.

The registration fees for a company on FSPR include an FMA levy. The FMA are offering a relief of this levy for those who have relied on the sole-adviser exemption in the current regime, but who will also need to register a company in the new regime.

The FMA levy increased from $460 (plus GST) to $480 (plus GST) on 1 July 2020. The amount you are entitled to by way of relief will depend on when you paid your registration fees.