Applying to be an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA)

If you're a registered individual FSP or qualified in Australia

A registered individual financial service provider (FSP) can apply online using the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR) to become an AFA. Australian-qualified financial advisers apply to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) directly.

Before you apply

Before you can apply to be an AFA, you must have selected, 'Financial adviser' as a service your FSP provides. This shows on your FSP's registration.

To become an AFA you also need to:

  • have the necessary qualifications
  • join a Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS)
  • decide the scope of services you want to be authorised for
  • gather 2 standard or 3 non-standard testimonials, and a CV
  • provide any relevant criminal convictions in New Zealand or other countries, if you have any
  • prepare an Adviser Business Statement.

You also need to know:

  • the reference code for the scope of your financial adviser service
  • your Skills Organisation registration number and copies of any alternative qualifications
  • your Qualifying Financial Entity's (QFE) registration number, if applicable.

The FMA provides help to prepare your application and a comprehensive guide to applying.

Preparing testimonials

You can use templates provided by the FMA to prepare standard testimonials or submit non-standard testimonials.

How to apply online for authorisation

You apply for authorisation on the FSPR. You can apply at the same time as you register as an individual FSP or at any time after you're registered.

Applying after you're registered

To apply for authorisation you need to have:

  • a RealMe® login
  • an online services account with the FSPR
  • authority to update the FSPR for that FSP.

Log in, search for your registered FSP and follow these steps.

  1. Select Change request to FSP from the My tools menu on your dashboard.
  2. Choose the Financial Markets Authority tab, then Update existing AFA details. You can do this through the tabs at the top of your screen or by selecting Change Details within the Financial Markets Authority section.
  3. Enter all the details for your authorisation application and complete the confirmation. You declare that you'll comply with the Code of Conduct for AFAs and authorise the FMA to gather information from third parties about your elegibility to be an AFA.
  4. If you're adding to or changing the services you provide as a financial adviser, select the Financial Services tab and update the list of services.
  5. Return to the Review tab to check the information you've entered.
  6. Read the declaration about disqualification and select the confirmation option that applies to you.
  7. Select Submit and pay. The relevant fees are listed. Choose a payment option and complete the tax invoice details and other information. Select Process payment.

How we process your application

We send an email to you confirming that your changes have been submitted and forward your application for authorisation to the FMA for processing.

An item appears under My Unfinished Business on your dashboard, so you can view the status of your application at any time.

After the FMA has granted you authorisation, your status as an AFA is automatically updated on your registration information in the FSPR.

If your application is declined

If your application is declined, the FMA write to you outlining the reasons. You'll still be a registered FSP, but not authorised. You can apply to the FMA for authorisation again at any time.

Applying if you're an Australian-qualified financial adviser

Under mutual recognition arrangements, Australian-qualified financial advisers may be authorised in New Zealand with their existing Australian qualifications.

There are a number of conditions, and you still need to meet the same requirements as New Zealand AFAs. Contact the FMA if you plan to apply.

All help topics

Using the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR) 5 guides

Get help to search the FSPR, upload documents, set up your online services account and find out what to do if you forget your RealMe® username or password.

Dispute Resolution Schemes (DRSs) 2 guides

If you provide financial services to retail clients, you must join a DRS within 10 working days of registering and keep your membership details up to date on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR).

Paying fees and levies 3 guides

If you're a financial service provider (FSP), you pay fees for some transactions, including registration. You also pay levies to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). There are several ways to pay.

Applying to provide licensed services 6 guides

You can apply to become an authorised financial adviser (AFA) or Qualifying Financial Entity (QFE), or be licensed to provide other financial services. Find out who to apply to.

Filing an annual confirmation 3 guides

To remain registered as a financial service provider (FSP), every year you must confirm your FSP's details and services. Find out how to file your confirmation online or change the month you do it.

Managing your registration as a financial service provider (FSP) 6 guides

All FSPs must keep their details up to date. We may deregister your FSP if you don't comply, but you can reregister in some circumstances. You can also deregister voluntarily.

Managing your online services account 6 guides

Your FSPR online services account allows you to keep your FSP's contact and payment details up to date. From your account dashboard you can view and manage outstanding applications and tasks.