Licensing for your business - Overview

Licensing all types of businesses

A license is a special type of document, which provides the owner with the right to perform certain special actions. In business, this means permission for certain types of business that are considered illegal if they do not respect license agreements.

RLA Services Company offers a full range of licensing services.

Main fields of offshore licensing:

Bank Licenses

Documents required for obtaining a license:

Application form for obtaining a banking license; Information about the company that requests a banking license: name, registered capital; Documents for the company: charter, certificate of registration, etc. ; Business plan; Detailed personal data of each beneficiary / major investor: name, surname, address of residence and its proof; Proof of the legal origin of the funds of each shareholder; Information about the directors: a detailed CV, which includes personal and professional information, including experience for this position; Description of the structure of the company and its management; Description of the security system, control management and technical support.

The list described above should be taken just as an example; the complete list of documents and requirements directly depends on the type of license and jurisdiction that you choose.

The owner of the captive license has the right to conduct business only with subjects specified in the license. Therefore, each client of an offshore bank and each owner must be approved by the central bank. As a rule, captive banks are used by large family businesses, groups of people with high-income (10-15 persons) or multi-national corporations, with purpose of lending and fulfilling tax obligations around the world. A captive bank cannot provide its services for wide public.

The license that is most often associated with an offshore bank is an international banking license. This license allows you to carry out any banking activities with customers outside the country, which is providing the license. For example, if your bank has an international license from Belize, you can still serve everyone except local customers from Belize.

A non-specialized banking license allows you to conduct business with both local and foreign customers. Since central banks first of all want to protect the citizens of their own country, the requirements for capital and other standards for obtaining a non-specialized banking license are more stringent than in case of obtaining an international license.

Gambling Licenses

Types of activities covered by gambling licenses: online casino; online sweepstakes; lotteries organization; hosting services; software development and other related services that ensure gambling efficiency.

Step 1 Step 1 - Choose the type of license;

Step 2 Step 2 - Choose the most suitable jurisdiction;

Step 3 Step 3 - Develop / purchase software, that will match the requirements of chosen jurisdiction;

Step 4 Step 4 - Prepare personal documentation and company information;

Step 5 Step 5 - Create website;

Step 6 Step 6 - Confirmation of passing all stages of control.

Forex license (FX BROKER LICENSE)

Forex license gives the right to conduct brokerage activities for non-banking organizations. RLA Services offers Forex licenses in the following jurisdictions:

  • Vanuatu
  • Cayman Islands
  • Czech Republic
  • Georgia
  • Armenia

  • No special requirements for citizenship of directors or owners;
  • Elementary identification requirements;
  • Quick approval;
  • Modest licensing fees;
  • Cheap license renewal;
  • Ability to act around the world;
  • Minimum requirements for authorized capital;
  • No need in accounting;
  • There are no requirements for audit;
  • Low cost of ownership and exploitation.
  • Registration of a company in the relevant jurisdiction;
  • Registration of a Forex license in this relevant jurisdiction;
  • Checking the company name;
  • Legal due diligence;
  • Corporate stitching and book of records;
  • Reporting;
  • Preparation creation of documents required for obtaining a license;
  • Preparation and submission of applications for registration, registration with notarization and notifications of government agencies;
  • Notarial certification;
  • Payment of duties;
  • Certificate of registration and licensing;
  • Documents from meetings of the company’s chairmen;
  • Resolution on opening a bank account;
  • Permits for office rent;
  • Labor contracts;
  • Non-disclosure agreements for employees;
  • Non-competition agreements;
  • Power of attorney;
  • Registration of directors;
  • Register of shareholders.
  • Main directions of onshore licensing:

    Specialized bank license

    The license of a specialized bank in Europe (Lithuania) was launched on the 01/01/2017. The specified license was issued by the government to attract financial businesses.

    This license is being granted on preferential terms in comparison with regular banking licenses.

  • Low capital requirement - a license requires only 1,000,000 euros of registered capital
  • Low corporate income tax: 15%.
  • Reasonable costs for office rent.
  • Low wages rates: the wages of bank employees in Lithuania are 3 times lower than, for example, in Switzerland.
  • The size of the consumer market: such a license allows you to offer your services in more than 30 countries, which is approximately 650 million people.
  • Brief application process: banking license can be obtained in 6 months after the date of submission of all documents in English. The assessment is carried out by the Central Bank of Lithuania (Lietuvos Bankas) in cooperation with the ECB.
  • Crediting;
  • Payment Services;
  • Acceptance of deposits;
  • Currency exchange;
  • Issue of electronic money;
  • Providing bank guarantees;
  • Financial leasing;
  • Financial intermediation;
  • Credit assessment services;
  • Safe depositories rent.

  • There are also several restrictions on certain types of activities. Investment services, clearing, services related to the issue of securities or investment management. To implement the full range of banking services, a full banking license will be required, requiring a larger share capital (minimum 5,000,000 euros).

    Step 1 Step 1 - Preparation of the necessary information and arrangements in the Bank of Lithuania.

  • Gathering information about the shareholders, UBO, chairpersons, supervisory board and technical director.
  • Creating an action plan (routine and stressful situations, banking, organizational structure and internal control function, banking structure).
  • Calculation of equity.

  • Step 2 Step 2 - Preparation of a full package of documents for submission.

  • Preparing for submission.
  • Registration of a company with final authorized capital of the future bank.

  • Step 3 Step 3 - The licensing process.

  • Submission of documents to the Central Bank and project protection at the Bank of Lithuania and the European Central Bank.
  • Corrections in accordance with the remarks, corrective documentation. Active participation in the assessment process.
  • Submission of application to the Strategic Committee.

  • Step 4 Step 4 - Completion.

    After the license is finally obtained, the charter is being changed in accordance with the licensed activities of the bank.

    PI – Payment Institution

    License allowing companies to conduct financial intermediation business (online and offline). Issued according to PSD2 rules.

    - opening and closing of accounts;
    - accounts replenishment;
    - crediting funds to the account;
    - regulation of transactions between customer accounts;
    - money transfers;
    - use of extra payment technologies;
    - debiting funds from clients’ account without acceptance;
    - payments on loans;
    - right to act as an intermediary between the user and the financial services provider.

    In RLA Services we offer our customers assistance in obtaining the following types of PI licenses: EMI, SPI, PSP, MSO.

    1. Company registration
    2. Preparation of constituent documents
    3. Translation and notarization
    4. Full legal support by RLA Services staff
    5. Paying state fees
    6. Filling out questionnaires and forms for regulators
    7. We can also assist in obtaining SWIFT BIC (extra option)
    8. Assistance in opening correspondent accounts (additional option)

    A type of license that allows issuing electronic money, as well as making payments related to electronic currency. By creating its own currency, the company becomes an issuer of electronic (virtual) money. This imposes a number of obligations and restrictions on the organization. For example, the issuer of electronic money claims to repurchase any amount of issued money from its client, at any time, if needed. For more detailed information - please be welcome to contact us.

    Payment services providers, financial market members, acting on the basis of the Law on payment services and electronic money.

    The function of the payment company is to mediate the payment of customers. A payment company may organize, for example, collection of utility bills and further distribution of funds between utility providers, or accept payments for other third parties (for example, online merchants or mobile operators). Also, at own expense, quick transfer services between various financial organizations in different regions can be provided.

    License allowing implementing financial intermediation services between customers’ payments. In addition, this license makes it possible to use a wide range of other payment technologies. Such as making escrow transfers, customer transfers without opening an account (remittance transfer), connection to the SEPA payment system, international transfers via SWIFT system. However, along with the possibilities there are always some limitations: if you have an SPI, your institution has a restriction on operations whose total volume does not exceed EUR 3,000,000.

    The license of a financial institution in Hong Kong is an extremely popular business direction nowadays. Advantages in comparison to European financial institutions are absence of limits on the turnover of your payment institution per month.

    Bank License

    Gives the right to conduct regular banking activities.

    1. Taking deposits and other repayable funds.
    2. Lending including, inter alia: consumer credit, credit agreements relating to immovable property, factoring, with or without recourse, financing of commercial transactions (including forfeiting).
    3. Financial leasing.
    4. Payment services as defined in Article 4(3) of Directive 2007/64/EC.
    5. Issuing and administering other means of payment (e.g. travellers' cheques and bankers' drafts) insofar as such activity is not covered by point 4.
    6. Guarantees and commitments.
    7. Trading for own account or for account of customers in any of the following:
    (a) money market instruments (cheques, bills, certificates of deposit, etc.);
    (b) foreign exchange;
    (c) financial futures and options;
    (d) exchange and interest-rate instruments;
    (e) transferable securities.
    8. Participation in securities issues and the provision of services relating to such 2 issues.
    9. Advice to undertakings on capital structure, industrial strategy and related questions and advice as well as services relating to mergers and the purchase of undertakings.
    10. Money broking.
    11. Portfolio management and advice.
    12. Safekeeping and administration of securities.
    13. Credit reference services.
    14. Safe custody services.
    15. Issuing electronic money.

    Fund Licensing

    In the modern world, there is a great variety of different funds, which is why it is important to remember that before choosing a fund, it is also necessary to determine the reason why it needs to be founded, because the choice of fund type directly depends on the purpose.

    RLA Services selects the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the Cayman Islands as main directions for funds foundations.


    Funds in the Czech Republic.

    This type of fund is a collective investment tool. It is not intended for public investments, but for professional investors who must confirm their qualifications in investing into assets. The minimum investment of a qualified investor equals 1,000,000-00 CZK (one million Czech crowns). The equity of the fund must be at least 1,250,000 EUR (one million two hundred and fifty thousand euros) for over a year after obtaining a license from the Czech National Bank.

    Such fund must consist of at least 2 participants, while maximum number of participants is unlimited. Each investor must own a deposit that equals 1,000,000 CZK. The income tax of this fund is 5% in accordance with tax law of the Czech Republic. The fund is regulated by the European directive AIFM (Directive on the management of alternative funds) and MiFID (European Union Directive on financial instrument markets). The fund may be founded as an investment fund with a legal entity, a mutual fund, or trust fund.

    Company is registered in commercial court. Suitable for implementing development projects and creating investment portfolios. Such a fund is an obligatory VAT payer.

    This fund allows combining resources of investors, which are managed by an investment company (not a legal entity). Suitable for assets without mandatory VAT - land, stocks, securities, etc., because such mutual fund is not a VAT payer.

    Pool of assets managed by a trustee.

    SICAV - Joint stock Company with a variable share capital. A special legal form designed for creation of open funds, built on the basis of a regular joint-stock company, but allowing shareholders free entry and exit from the fund. Investment and charter parts of the fund are separated from each other by the statute. Such a fund has 2 types of shares - shares of founders and shares of investors, the difference is the lack of voting rights in case of regular investors. By organizing such type of sharing, the fund will obtain access to sub-funds creation.

    In order to create such fund – some basic things must be determined first:

    1. Type of fund and its goals / objectives

    2. Full names of directors and shareholders

    3. Fund strategy for one year (differs from point 1)

    4. Gathering primary documents. Business plans, recommendations, etc.

    5. Selection of banks

    6. Approval of the authorized capital according to paragraph 1

    7. Submission of required documents and obtaining final documentation

    Additional services:

    Nominee service, office rent, SWIFT, special accounts, etc.

    Funds in Switzerland.

    According to Swiss law, all funds (a.k.a. collective investment schemes) operating in Switzerland are subject to mandatory licensing requirements (permit or registration), in accordance with the Law on Collective Investment Schemes (CISA), as well as CISO and FINMA-CISO decrees.

    The type of licensing to which the fund belongs depends on the place of registration and the category of its target investors.

    1. Contractual Investment Fund

    2. Swiss variable investment company (SICAV)

    3. Swiss fixed capital investment company (SICAF)

    4. Swiss Limited Partnership company (LP)

    Each of types mentioned above as well as their products are being controlled by FINMA - Financial Market Supervisory Authority.

    A general requirement for recognition of the Fund as a Swiss one is its physical address and mandatory registration inside the country.

    General requirements for obtaining a FINMA license:

    1. All organizations conducting economic activity must have a good reputation and should confirm their professional qualifications.

    2. Qualified shareholders of the applicant (individuals or legal entities that directly or indirectly own at least 10% of the capital or have voting rights, or someone who can significantly influence the work of the whole organization) must have a good reputation and not influence organizational management negatively.

    3. To comply with the rules of Swiss Funds, the organization must come up with list of internal rules and organizational structure.

    4. The organization must have sufficient financial guarantees.

    5. Any additional requirements from the regulator must be taken into account.

    SICAV must have a capital of at least CHF 5,000,000 (Swiss francs) in a year after the start of operations.

    The minimum fund balance at any time should be at least CHF 500,000.

    Even though LP is not subject to such high capital requirements, the minimum share capital of the general partner must be 100,000 CHF and be fully paid.

    In order to create such fund – some basic things must be determined first:

    1. Type of fund and its goals / objectives

    2. Full names of directors and shareholders

    3. Fund strategy for one year (differs from point 1)

    4. Gathering primary documents. Business plans, recommendations, etc.

    5. Selection of banks

    6. Approval of the authorized capital according to paragraph 1

    7. Submission of required documents and obtaining final documentation

    Additional services:

    Nominee service, office rent, SWIFT, special accounts, etc.

    Funds in Liechtenstein

    Funds in Liechtenstein are divided into trust and others.

    Entered the legislation in 1926. Trusts have no prohibition on the accumulation of income and duration of trust existence. They may be established in accordance with foreign (in relation to Liechtenstein) legislation, but at the same time they cannot have more tax benefits than legislation of Liechtenstein allows.

    A trust can be created for commercial and non-commercial purposes, always supposing no laws and moral standards contradiction.

    The process of opening:

    1. Name selection.

    The name may be registered in any language. Before the name is approved, it is necessary to contact the trade register to obtain confirmation that no one has used this name. Note that using city and other geographical names as the main part of the company name is not allowed. The word “trust” (Treuhandfonds, Trust) should always be added to the name in full form.

    2. Trust establishment.

    The trust is established by signing a trust agreement (between the founder and trust manager(s)) or by a unilateral trust declaration when all parties consent to it. The contract can be drawn up in any language. A trust that exists over 12 months must be registered in the trade register. In the absence of registration, it is necessary to provide documents to the commercial register indicating the name or description of the trust, the date of establishment, validity period, as well as the full name and addresses of the trust managers), or provide the original of the trust agreement or a certified copy.

    Registration fee is 200 CHF. It should be paid upon registration of the contract.

    Any changes must also be registered in the Commercial Register. The registry is closed, which ensures confidentiality.

    The minimum amount of constituent capital is not fixed, for example, it may be 1000 CHF.

    Reporting to the tax office is not mandatory. However, the trust pays a minimum income tax of 1,200 CHF.

    A special purpose fund can be founded in the form of a family fund, a charity fund, a church fund, or a service fund. An autonomous fund forms its assets separately from the assets of the founder.

    A foundation may be created for both charitable and private purposes. A charitable foundation has the right to engage in commercial activities if the commercial activity leads to the achievement of charitable goals or is permitted by law.

    A private fund may still engage in commercial activities if it is necessary for the proper investment and asset management.

    The process of opening:

    1. Name selection.

    The name may be registered in any language. Before the name is approved, it is necessary to contact the trade register to obtain confirmation that no one has used this name yet. Note that using city and other geographical names as the main part of the company name is not allowed. The word “fund” (Stiftung, Foundation) should always be added to the name in full form.

    2. Fund establishment.

    Foundations in Liechtenstein are always created through an officially issued Fund Declaration. Funds engaged in commercial activities must be registered in the trade register. The trade register in Liechtenstein is public (with open access). If a private foundation does not conduct commercial activities, it is enough just to submit constituent documents to the court. A charitable foundation that does not engage in commercial activities must be registered in the trade register as well.

    The minimum of capital is 30,000 CHF / EUR / USD.

    Income tax is 12.5% of taxable income.

    The minimum income tax is 1200 CHF.

    Including the deduction of interest from the share capital, 4% is being deducted. If the fund is classified as a private property, then only the minimum income tax must be paid.

    Funds on Cayman Islands

    Regulated types of funds.

    The minimum capital of the fund should be at least 100,000 USD per each investor. A registered fund is able to place its shares on the stock exchange. The fund administrator is not obliged to be a resident of the Cayman Islands, but the fund must still have local auditors who monitor the activities of the fund and inform CIMA of any violations or threats of insolvency activities. After the end of the fiscal year it is necessary to submit an audited annual report and pay the annual fee within 6 months.

    Legal Forms of a Legal Entity are Company, Partnership, Mutual Investment Fund.

    A physical office is not required.

    The minimum number of directors is 2, and corporate governance is allowed as well.

    The fund is exempt from taxes on capital gains, on profits and on the repatriation of income.

    This type of fund requires the appointment of a special licensed administrator (resident of the Cayman Islands) and a physical office (provided by the licensed administrator) on the territory of Cayman Islands.

    The administrator of the fund takes most of the legal responsibility. The administrator must always inform CIMA if he/she suspects that the fund to which he provides the office may become insolvent or has already become insolvent. The administrator is also obliged to inform CIMA about the fund’s activities that are breaking the law, as well as about activities that could negatively affect lenders and investors. Moreover, he/she must warn CIMA in case of conducting business without making accounting records, because it may entail the inability to conduct an audit.

    The valid legal entity form for registering an administered fund is a company or partnership.

    The minimum authorized capital is not regulated by law.

    The administered fund must have at least 2 shareholders (legal entities can act as shareholders) and 2 directors.

    The fund is exempt from taxes on capital gains, on profits and on the repatriation of income.

    An investment fund managed by large reputable organizations that are qualified representatives of the investment process or trust companies registered as trustees under the Law on Banks and Trust Companies. Does not require a minimum subscription, as well as a physical office in the Cayman Islands. The minimum number of directors is 2. The presence of a corporate director is allowed, the manager and fund manager may be non-residents of the Cayman Islands. Local auditors will also be required to make reports to CIMA.

    There is no tax on capital gains, on income, on profit, on corporations and on the repatriation of income.

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