Starting up your business
You have the expertise, the contacts, the capital. You have a business plan and you know it will succeed. It is time to leave the institutional arena and put your plans into action. Previously, finance, compliance and general administration may have been handled by other people in different departments, but now they are all going to be down to you.
The FCA application pack takes up a full lever arch file when printed out. The same set of forms can apply, whether you are a small firm or a global investment brokers. There are no unreasonable questions in the entire pack, but it is pretty daunting for those who have not seen it before, and not everyone understands all the technical terms.
A helping hand with FCA compliance requirements
We have assisted dozens of new businesses with their FCA compliance requirements. We take a very practical approach, which includes:
- advising you which sections of the application pack concern you directly, and which sections you do not need to worry about;
- similarly, advising you which areas of the FCA rule books concern you directly, and which you can safely ignore;
- explaining all the terminology;
- helping you to design and implement appropriate systems and documentation;
- preparing your compliance manual;
- preparing your compliance monitoring programme;
- calculating your minimum regulatory capital requirements;
- helping you to identify any examination requirements and advising on capital adequacy;
- explaining your personal responsibilities, which take effect from day one of FCA authorisation; and
- advising on client assets rules (CASS).
After we have talked our clients through the process, they usually opt to complete the straightforward parts of the pack themselves, and we complete the “difficult bits” based on their input. It’s one of those tasks that look arduous at the outset, but is not so bad with the benefit of professional advice.
Structuring your business
In addition to helping you with the administrative side to compliance there are many other matters you will need to consider, for example:
- Is it best to conduct the business individually, or as a company, or as a limited liability partnership?
- What is the most tax efficient ownership and remuneration structure?
- Is VAT registration required, and will there be full recovery of VAT incurred on expenditure?
We can assist on all of these questions and many more with regards to FCA compliance requirements and other accounting and tax related operations.
Continuing support post authorisation
Once you are authorised, we can help with:
- preparing your periodic reports to the FCA via their active portal (GABRIEL) , and getting them in on time;
- keeping you up to date with changes to the rules which affect your business (and not bothering you with those that don’t); and
- maintaining cost-effective compliance monitoring procedures and records.
We can also audit your accounts and make the various auditors’ reports to the FCA, such as the report on client assets and money (CASS).