Australian Financial Services Licensing (AFSL) Forum


David Court

Hi Adigi,

Thanks for your question.

An AFSL is required if a person carries on a financial services business in Australia.

Under the Corporations Act 2001, financial services currently include:

  • providing financial product advice to a client;
  • dealing in a financial product;
  • making a market for a financial product;
  • operating a registered managed investment scheme;
  • providing custodial or depository service; or
  • providing traditional trustee company services.

However the new CSF bill will add providing a crowd funding service as a new ‘financial service.’  As a CSF intermediary your company will be required to hold an AFSL authorising you to provide a crowd funding service.

Regarding the conduct you intend to engage in, i.e. the publication of testimonials by professional investors, they may also be required to hold a financial services licence if their testimonial constitutes ‘financial product advice’ as opposed to the provision of purely factual information.  As the operator of the website your company would probably also be considered to be providing that advice, especially if the professional investor was an employee or director.

It is also important that all advertising comply with ASIC regulatory guide 234, which can be found here.

Please feel free to contact our Financial Services Team.

Author: David Court

Co-contributors: Hannah MacPherson and Tamara Cherny

Keep an eye out for the launch of our new Sydney office on Martin Place in July 2016!!  We are very excited about this opportunity to service our Sydney clients.

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