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Firm-based authorisation

Firm-based authorisationAs a firm or sole practitioner, you can help ensure the process of applying for authorisation or recognition runs smoothly and efficiently by learning about and understanding our requirements. To help you and your firm prepare to apply, we outline the authorisation process for firms and role holders, and explain how we assess applications and make decisions. We also offer risk assessment tips and examples.

New firms

Apply for authorisation or recognition of an applicant firm (Licensable Bodies, also known as ABSs, Legal Services Bodies and Sole Practitioners).

Risk is key: When making an initial application, start by thinking about risk. We have published guidance to help firms identify, assess and plan for risks, ahead of making their application. Refer to our Risk Outlook for more details on how we define and assess risk in all areas of our work.

Existing firms

Resources and help

Duty Provider Crime Contract applicants

On 27 November 2014, we published advice for firms applying to the Legal Aid Agency for a 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract. More

Where to get help

For help determining whether an organisation requires authorisation, or which individuals require approval, contact our Professional Ethics Guidance team.

Our Contact Centre can help with most other queries.

On-demand webinar

Webinar thumbnailA bite-sized guide
to firm-based authorisation
Watch this webinar

How we make authorisation decisions

We make decisions on authorisation based on a set of criteria, defined in our decision-making framework. Learn more about the criteria underpinning our decisions on authorisation and view examples of case studies on previous approvals and refusals.


Use www.sra.org.uk/authorisation to link to this page.