New applicants

Apply for authorisation of a new firm

We authorise the following types of entities:

  • recognised bodies
  • recognised sole practices
  • licensed bodies (including multi-disciplinary practices)

First, check whether your firm or proposed structure is eligible for authorisation by looking at the SRA Authorisation Rules 2011 and the SRA Practice Framework Rules 2011.

Information you need

About the firm

  • Professional indemnity insurance - quote or certificate
  • Firm structure details
  • For incorporated bodies, the incorporation details

About individuals

  • Personal details, work history, professional regulation, suitability to fulfil role
  • Certificates of Good Standing if regulated by another regulator
  • Individuals who are not SRA-authorised need to register on mySRA before you send in your application

Help with your application

Contact us if you have any queries before you submit your application.

Think about getting professional advice early if the nature of the business or application is not straightforward.

How to apply

Firm

You need to complete a firm authorisation application form (FA1).

Individuals and entities

Some individuals and entities do not need to be approved as manager, owners and compliance officer roles. Check the deeming criteria in Rule 13.2 and 13.3 of the SRA Authorisation Rules 2011.

Add the details of any deemed approved manager(s), owner(s), compliance officer(s) or entity(ies) in Section 2 of the FA1 form.

Individuals and entities who do not meet the deeming criteria should apply as follows.

Individual manager, owner and compliance officer

You need to submit separate individual approval forms (FA2) for each individual.

All individuals who are not SRA-authorised need to register on mySRA before you send in your application. Find out how to register.

Entity manager/owner

If another organisation will be a manager or owner, you need to apply for entity approval (application form FA3).

Any individual/corporate managers of this organisation need to be approved. You need to submit individual or entity approval applications for those managers.

Application forms

The application forms are editable PDF documents. Please complete this form using a Window based operating system. The PDF application must be created with Adobe PDF. Please note this form is not compatible with Mac computers. For help downloading or using the form(s), see "How to use the form" in our Firm authorisation guidance.

Form

Send your application to the email address on the form, along with supporting documents.

Payment

Recognised bodies - calculate the fee from the details below and send payment with your application (ways to pay).

Licensed bodies - we will invoice you after we have accepted your application.

Fee

For new recognised body and recognised sole practice applications

Application fee

The application fee is pro rata depending when you apply within the practising year. If authorisation is granted after the pro rata period, an additional fee or refund may be applicable. The fees below include a £200 handling charge.

1 July - 31 October 2017 1 November - 31 December 2017 1 January - 31 March 2018 1 April - 30 June 2018 1 July - 31 October 2018
£400 £1,000 £800 £600 £400

Do you intend to hold/receive client money?

You must make a contribution to the Compensation Fund as follows:

1 July - 31 October 2017 1 November - 31 December 2017 1 January - 31 March 2018 1 April - 30 June 2018 1 July - 31 October 2018
£137 £778 £583 £389 £194

Do you have any offices outside England and Wales?

There is a £200 fee per office.

For a new licensed body

The application fee is made up of:

  1. An initial payment of £2,000, and
  2. £150 for each individual who needs SRA approval under Part 4 of the Authorisation Rules.

We will send an invoice to the applicant contact and payment is due on receipt.

We will send you another invoice if your application incurs additional fees during the process.

Licensed Bodies must also to pay an initial periodical fee on authorisation. This is calculated in reference to the firm’s estimated turnover, paying one twelfth of that amount for each month (or part of a month) between the date of authorisation and 31 October 2016. For more information, see our Fees Policy.

Do you have any offices outside England and Wales?

There is a £200 fee per office.

Will your firm be a successor practice?

Recognised bodies and recognised sole practices

The fee is £200.

This fee applies only if the predecessor firm has paid a firm fee for the current practising year.

You need to submit a Notice of Succession form.

Licensed bodies

The fee is £2000.

If a licensed body has succeeded to the whole of the practice of an authorised body, we calculate the periodical fee accordingly. Please see our Fees Policy for more details.

Please also submit a Notice of Succession form.

What you can expect from us

We will acknowledge your application within one working day. We will let you know if your application is incomplete or ineligible.

Assessment

We process applications in five stages:

1. Assessment Is the application eligible? Is it technically complete? What are the risks associated with the application and has the applicant demonstrated how these will be mitigated?
2. Research We will conduct research to enable us to reach a decision on the technical issues and risks associated with the application.
3. Evaluation We will assess the results of our research, clarifying issues and resolving concerns.
4. Decision We will make a decision on the application (including all approvals, waivers and associated conditions).
5. Records We will issue the Certificate of Authorisation or Licence and update our records.

Timescales

We aim to make a decision about your application within 90 days. We usually decide within 60 days.

Confidentiality

Your application is confidential.

Withdrawing an application

You can withdraw your application at any time before we make a decision about it.

We may treat your application as withdrawn if there are outstanding queries and you do not respond promptly to our requests for information.

The application fee may not be refundable.

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