Regulatory licence

Projective Group helps financial organisations obtain a regulatory licence.

Regulatory licence applications

To provide financial services in the Netherlands, you need a licence from one of the regulatory authorities: AFM or DNB. Applying for a licence involves a lot of work and thorough preparation. To obtain a licence, an organisation must meet a number of requirements. For example, directors and supervisors are checked for reliability and suitability. Its operations must also comply with a large number of legal requirements.

Licence applications that are complete and of good quality are most likely to be successful. We assist financial institutions in applying for or renewing a licence.

Acquiring a licence

We have extensive experience of many different licence applications including:

  • Investment institution (private equity, hedge, real estate, equity and bond funds (AIFMD);
  • Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS);
  • Investment firms, such as asset managers, brokers etc. (MiFID II);
  • Payment institutions and payment service providers (PSD2);
  • Electronic Money institutions (EMIs);
  • Crypto service providers (MiCA);
  • Financial service providers, such as providers of consumer credit, investment objects, insurance brokers

13-step guide

Applying for a licence is a complex process that requires specialist knowledge and extensive preparation. Our ‘Licence Application Roadmap’ is designed to help financial institutions prepare for their application. We outline the thirteen key steps to obtaining a licence, including useful tips and potential pitfalls.

What our clients say

’’Projective Group is a great sparring partner. Their knowledge of and experience with the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) has important added value in the successful completion of a complex licence application.’’

How can we help?

Our specialists are uniquely qualified to assist you with the application process for a new licence or the extension of an existing licence. We can assist you at every stage, from setting up procedures and preparing documentation to liaising with the regulatory authority. We are here to help:

  • Qualifying your services to determine your licence category
  • Advising on the costs and timeline of a licence application
  • Preparing the licence application
  • Drafting or reviewing the necessary documents, policies and procedures
  • Preparing board members for the application process

Starter package for
financial service

For smaller businesses, applying for a licence can seem like an expensive and time-consuming affair. Our goal is to simplify what can be a complex process. We even provide starter packages for specific (small) financial service providers.

These packages give you a complete understanding of the steps involved in the licence application process. You have the freedom to choose where you want assistance, which lets you stay in control of your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need a licence from the AFM or DNB?
Companies that offer financial services or products, such as asset managers, crowdfunding, fund managers, banks, pension funds and insurers, need a licence from the DNB or the AFM to carry out activities in the Netherlands. There are different licences and registers for each type of activity. The following activities require a licence from the AFM or DNB: 1. Advising on a financial product. 2. Intermediation in a financial product 3. Mediating reinsurance 4. Acting as a (sub-)authorised insurance agent 5. Advising on and/or transmitting orders for shares in investment institutions 6. Offering credit 7. Offering investment products
Who grants licences for financial services?
A licence must be applied for from the AFM or DNB. The AFM is responsible for supervising the conduct of financial undertakings and grants AFM licences to, for example, investment firms, crowdfunding, fund managers and financial service providers. The DNB is responsible for prudential supervision and issues licences to, among others, payment institutions and insurance companies. Many financial institutions are supervised by both the AFM and DNB. The AFM and DNB therefore cooperate in the assessment of executive and supervisory directors.
What is the cost of an AFM licence?
The cost of an AFM licence is divided into one-off costs and ongoing surveillance costs. The one-off costs include, for example, the costs of processing the application and carrying out tests such as the reliability test and the suitability test. As the licensing authority carries out work from the application onwards, there are always costs associated with a licence application, even if an application is withdrawn or rejected. In addition, licensed parties must pay annual fees for supervision by the AFM and DNB.
What is the procedure for applying for a licence?
Applying for a DNB or AFM licence is complex and requires thorough preparation. You can apply for a licence via the AFM portal or via DNB’s Digital Desk. The application form and the required documents can be submitted online, and some steps are carried out by the applicant, while other steps are carried out by the AFM or DNB. For example, the AFM/DNB checks if the application is complete, if the policy is assessed and the applicant may be invited for an interview. Most licences are subject to a statutory decision period of 13 weeks. This period can be extended by eight weeks if necessary (under the General Administrative Law Act). If a licence is granted, it is entered in DNB’s or AFM’s public licence register.
How is a licence application assessed?
To qualify for a licence, a company must meet a number of requirements. Most of these requirements are laid down in the Financial Supervision Act (Wft). For example, a licence will only be granted if a company meets the conditions for good corporate governance and is financially sound. The exact conditions differ for each target group. They include the structure of the company’s operations, its equity capital and the suitability and reliability of the decision-makers. Applications that are complete and of good quality are most likely to be successful.