New firm applications

Updated 25 November 2019

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 of Firms Rules.

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

Help with your application

Contact Authorisation if you have any queries before you submit your application

Forms

The forms are editable PDFs and must be completed electronically. You must save a copy of the form to your computer before you start to fill it in. These forms are not compatible with Mac computers.

Firm

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

If you undertake financial services you need to notify us about the services you deliver, you can submit a form (FA8) with your application.

If you carry out services that are subject to money laundering regulations you need to apply for Anti Money Laundering authorisation, you can submit a form (FA10) with this application.

New legislation on Anti-Money Laundering came in on 10 January 2020 that will affect new beneficial owners, officers and managers (BOOMs) and BOOMs switching firms. When a BOOM applies to us for approval, we will need:

  • proof that they do not have any criminal convictions that would prevent them from becoming a BOOM
  • this proof to be in the form of a basic disclosure and barring service (DBS) check
  • the basic DBS check to be no older than three months on the date of application.

Read more information on how to source these checks.

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 13.5 of the SRA Authorisation of Firms Rules.

Add the details of any deemed manager(s), owner(s), compliance officer(s) or entity(is) 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 (FA3).

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 2019 1 November - 31 December 2019 1 January - 31 March 2020 1 April - 30 June 2020 1 July - 31 October 2020
£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 2019 1 November - 31 December 2019 1 January - 31 March 2020 1 April - 30 June 2020 1 July - 31 October 2020
£420 £1150 £863 £575 £288
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 person who needs SRA approval under rule 13.1 of the SRA Authorisation of Firms 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 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 the end of the current practicing year. 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.

Notice of Succession (NS1) (Editable PDF 1 page, 1.8MB)

Licensed bodies

The fee is £2,000.

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.

Notice of Succession (NS1) (Editable PDF 1 page, 1.8MB)

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.

Timescales

We aim to make a decision about your application within 90 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.