Preparing to register as a financial service provider

What you should know before you apply

Before you register as a financial service provider (FSP), you’ll need to have decided how you wish to run your business, and what financial services you intend to provide. If you are yet to make these important decisions, you may wish to seek professional advice.

The registration process

The process you follow, and the information you’ll be asked to provide, will depend on whether you wish to register as an individual or an entity.

Who needs to register

Under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008, an FSP is required to be registered on the FSPR if any of the following applies:

If you provide financial services without a current registration, you could be fined or sent to prison.

Who doesn’t need to register

Certain services and activities do not require registration on the FSPR. For the full list of exemptions please refer to the Financial Service Providers (Exemptions) Regulations 2010 .

Confirming the financial services you'll provide

When you register as a financial service provider, you must declare the services you’ll be offering. Once registered, you’ll need to keep this information up to date.

Services requiring registration

Services that require a financial service provider to be registered are listed in Section 5 of the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008.

Services requiring licensing

Providing certain financial services requires you to be licensed by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) or the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ).

Financial Markets Authority (FMA) licensing

The FMA licenses FSPs to provide a range of financial services:

Licensed market services

You need to be licensed by the FMA before you can provide any of the following financial services:

  • Manager of a registered scheme – licensed
  • Independent trustee of a restricted scheme – licensed
  • Discretionary investment management service (DIMS) provider – licensed
  • Derivatives issuer – licensed
  • Provider of prescribed intermediary services – licensed (this includes crowd funding and peer-to-peer lending services)
  • Financial advice service as a financial advice provider (FAP)
  • Operating a financial product market
  • Supervisor under an FMC offer
  • Administrator of a financial benchmark - licensed.

Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) registration and licensing

You need to apply to the RBNZ to be:

  • a registered bank
  • an insurer
  • a non-bank deposit taker (NBDT).

Services requiring certification

From 1 October 2021, lenders providing consumer credit, and mobile traders selling on credit, need to obtain ‘fit and proper person’ certification from the Commerce Commission – unless they're already licensed by the Financial Markets Authority or Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Applying online to register

Before you can apply online, you’ll need to have:

  • a RealMe® login
  • an online services account with the FSPR.

Information you’ll need to provide

When you apply to register as a financial service provider, you’ll need to have gathered all the necessary information about yourself and your business.

Applying as an individual

Contact and business details

  • Full legal name and any other names you're known by or have been known by previously.
  • Date of birth and gender (will not be publicly available).
  • If you have previously been registered as an FSP, those FSP numbers.
  • Residential address (will not be publicly available).
  • Business address — the physical address that you provide financial services from.
  • Any trading names you use, and
  • An address we can use for communication, along with your business and personal email addresses. We use these addresses to contact the FSP – they are not made publicly available.

Financial services

  • What financial services you'll be providing. Some services may require you to be licensed by the relevant licensing authority.
  • Whether you’ll be providing financial services to retail clients or only to wholesale clients.

Reporting entity status

Filing month

  • The month you'll file your annual confirmation. Your first annual confirmation will be due next year in the month you choose. You can agree to the month that you are assigned as a default, or change it to any month other than December or January.

Threshold declaration

  • Confirmation that you expect to provide financial services to persons in New Zealand above the minimum annual threshold, being:
    • 10 New Zealand resident financial services clients; and
    • $10,000 of financial services transactions in total with its New Zealand resident clients.

In the first 6 months after registration, the provider must have achieved half of the threshold, that is, 5 New Zealand clients and $5k of transactions with New Zealand resident clients.

Applying as an entity

Contacts and business details

If your business is already on a Companies Office register

You'll need your entity's name, the number assigned to it on the Companies Office register, or its New Zealand Business Number (NZBN). You can find these by searching the relevant Companies Office register.

You’ll also need to provide:

  • any trading names you use
  • if you have previously been registered as an FSP, those FSP numbers
  • your business address – the physical address that you provide financial services from
  • an address we can use for communication, including an email address.
    We use these addresses to contact the FSP – they are not made publicly available.
If your entity is not on any Companies Office register

If you’re not registered on any Companies Office register, you’ll need to provide the following details:

  • The name the FSP is to be registered under, or the entity’s registered name overseas.
  • Country where incorporated.
  • Incorporation or registration number
  • Any trading names you use
  • Your business address — the physical address that you provide financial services from
  • An address we can use for communications, including an email address. These addresses are used to contact the FSP, they are not publicly available.

Your directors and other personnel

For every individual who is listed as a director, controlling owner or senior manager of your entity, you must provide:

  • their full legal name, including middle name if the individual has one
  • any other names they're known by or have been known by previously
  • their date of birth and gender
  • their residential address.
Directors

If your entity is a company on the New Zealand Companies Register, the names and addresses of the directors will be copied from that register into this application. You’ll need to check those details are correct and add:

  • any other names they're known by or have been known by previously
  • date of birth and gender.

For other entities you’ll need to provide all details.

When completing the director details section for entity types, a director may be an individual or an entity, as defined here:

  • in relation to a partnership (other than a limited partnership), any partner
  • in relation to a limited partnership, any general partner
  • in relation to a body corporate or unincorporated, other than a company, partnership, or limited partnership, any person occupying a position in the body that is comparable with that of a director of a company
  • in relation to any other person, that person.
Controlling owners

A controlling owner of an FSP is the person, company or other entity who beneficially owns 50 per cent or more of the FSP. The controlling or beneficial owner is not always the registered owner.

Senior managers

A senior manager of an FSP – for example, a chief executive or chief financial officer – holds a position that allows them to exercise significant influence over the management or administration of the FSP. A senior manager cannot be a director.

 

When applying to register as an entity, you’ll also need to provide, or confirm, the following information:

Financial services

  • What financial services you'll be providing. Some services may require you to be licensed by the relevant authority.
  • Whether you’ll be providing financial services to retail clients or only to wholesale clients.

Reporting entity status

Filing month

  • The month you'll file your annual confirmation. This will default to the month of your entity’s annual filing obligation in its home register, for example, company annual return month. You can keep this month or change it to any month other than December or January.

Threshold declaration

  • Confirmation that your FSP expects to provide financial services to persons in New Zealand above the minimum annual threshold, being:
    • 10 New Zealand resident financial services clients; and
    • $10,000 of financial services transactions in total with its New Zealand resident clients.

In the first 6 months after registration, the provider must have achieved half of the threshold, for example, 5 New Zealand clients and $5k of transactions with New Zealand resident clients.

How to apply

When you've gathered all the information you need, you can begin your application. To find out how, please refer to our guides for individuals and entities.

Criminal history checks

Before your registration can be completed, every individual FSP, and any individual in the role of a director, senior manager or controlling owner of an FSP, must undergo a criminal history check.

You will receive an email once the criminal history check has been processed.

Once you’ve registered

Choosing a dispute resolution scheme

If you're offering financial services to retail clients, you will in most cases be required to belong to an approved dispute resolution scheme (DRS), and submit your DRS membership details within 10 working days of registering, or becoming engaged by a financial advice provider (FAP).

Financial advice providers engaging financial advisers

If you’re registering as a financial adviser, you’ll need to be engaged by a financial advice provider within 3 months of registration.

All help topics

Getting started on the register 4 guides

A new financial advice regime came into effect on 15 March 2021 which also brought about changes to the Financial Service Providers Register.

Registering a financial service provider (FSP) 9 guides

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).

Providing licensed or certified services 5 guides

Filing an annual confirmation 3 guides

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

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

Deregistration and reregistration 3 guides

You can voluntarily deregister a financial service provider (FSP), or it may be deregistered by the Registrar. In some circumstances you can object to a deregistration, or apply to have the FSP reregistered.

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.

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.