Home › Forums › Australian Financial Services Licensing (AFSL) Forum › Starting a finance blog
This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Chris G 6 years, 8 months ago.
August 18, 2014 at 12:36 am #4172
Do I need an AFSL to run a blog or website with my general views on investing in foreign countries?
I would like to write about the prospects of certain countries and perhaps even companies or industries within those countries.
This will not be tailored to an individual and will not be paid for.
Chris GilesAugust 18, 2014 at 12:44 am #4173
I’m also curious about whether Professional Indemnity Insurance would be required?August 19, 2014 at 5:04 pm #4174
There are a lot of factors to consider when assessing whether you need an AFSL. You must hold an AFSL to cover the provision of the financial services if you carry on a financial services business in the Australian jurisdiction. In determining whether you carry on a financial services business, you need to consider what services you are providing (and whether they are financial services) and whether the services are provided in relation to financial products.
The fact you will not be charging readers of your blog is indicative that you are not running a business. However, if you undertake commercial activities, such as carrying advertising on the site or selling readership lists, then it is more likely that you will be conducting a business.
You will generally fall within the Australian jurisdiction if you target Australian clients or if your business is based in Australia. Shares of any type, whether international or domestic, are financial products, so providing advice about shares (even where the advice is general) is a financial service. Advice about other types of investments may fall within the definition, but more information would be required.
You will need to carefully consider the proposed activities to establish whether they constitute a financial services business. You may also require legal advice in this regard.
If you do require an AFSL there are a range of obligations that will apply to you. These include the requirement to hold professional indemnity insurance if you provide financial services to retail clients. ASIC’s Regulatory Guide 126 has additional information about the insurance requirements.
Please contact our financial services team if you wish to discuss further.
Author: David CourtAugust 20, 2014 at 1:17 am #4176
Subsection 1(b) is a bit onerous considering the widespread use of Google and unknown algorithms they use. Oh well I guess the blog will be not for profit for a long time anyways (only thing i would consider is something terribly low in profit like Google Ads anyways). I’m actually overseas atm but will hopefully return to Australia sometime in the next year or 2, might be worth checking out some of the laws OS and basing the website offshore. Once again 911D 1(b) is ridiculous for online websites (IE ASIC could sue the majority of such websites?) but I guess they wouldn’t pursue a website based in a 3rd world country.
911D When a financial services business is taken to be carried on in this jurisdiction
(1) For the purposes of this Chapter, a financial services business is taken to be carried on in this jurisdiction by a person if, in the course of the person carrying on the business, the person engages in conduct that is:
(a) intended to induce people in this jurisdiction to use the financial services the person provides; or
(b) is likely to have that effect;
whether or not the conduct is intended, or likely, to have that effect in other places as well.
(2) This section does not limit the circumstances in which a financial services business is carried on in this jurisdiction for the purposes of this Chapter.