Who needs a forex license?

Any entity or individual planning to establish a platform to operate as an intermediary, facilitating client orders in various financial markets, requires a forex license. This forex license is essential for those aiming to engage in activities across a broad spectrum of financial instruments, including but not limited to:

  • Currency (Forex Trading)
  • Contracts for Difference (CFDs)
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Derivatives
  • Commodities

Obtaining a forex license demonstrates a commitment to adhering to the highest standards of regulatory compliance, integrity, and transparency. It is a crucial step for businesses seeking to earn the trust of their clients and partners by ensuring a secure and fair trading environment.

Securing your Financial License

A forex license serves as a quality guarantee for clients, shareholders, and partners, facilitating access to reputable banking, software providers, and trustworthy clients. Navigating the complex regulatory landscape can be challenging and time-consuming, particularly for newcomers or those entering new markets —Legalaes is here to help.

To become a certified forex broker, dealer, or financial advisor, one must follow a detailed set of rules and protocols, adhere to AML/CFT policies, assess various risks, remain competitive, and uphold market integrity.

Financial regulation varies by region, with no universal license fitting all scenarios. Some broker licenses, more stringent than others, may incur higher compliance and maintenance costs. It’s crucial to understand local regulations to ensure your license is appropriate for operating in new areas without needing additional authorisations.

Financial regulators, typically government bodies, enforce compliance with legal standards to promote a fair market and protect investor interests and funds. Being regulated involves adhering to these standards and preparing for regular audits by regulatory bodies or external auditors.

Choice of Jurisdiction for obtaining Forex License

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Mauritius is considered an exemplary offshore license, having spiked in popularity among forex broker providers in recent years. Mauritius has chosen a path of top-tier compliance, offering the perks of an offshore entity. It is seen as a strong solution for facilitating successful operations in Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world.

South Africa

South Africa FSP License: is recognized for its balanced regulatory approach, making it attractive for forex brokerage operations. Governed by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), it ensures moderate compliance, allowing businesses to meet regulatory standards without high costs. This license appeals to those seeking to offer forex trading services efficiently and cost-effectively, positioning South Africa as a favorable location for brokers targeting both local and international markets.


The Labuan Securities License is a popular choice for investors targeting the SEA (South East Asia) Region. It has established itself as a tax-efficient solution (with just 3% corporate tax) and offers flexible terms for board members, including personal tax exemptions and no tax on dividends.


The Cyprus (CySEC) license is one of the most prestigious to hold, demonstrating a firm’s adherence to high compliance standards and a commitment to maintaining a clear investor protection scheme. Possessing this license is often viewed as a badge of honor by end customers. It is a logical choice for firms looking to launch in the European Economic Area (EEA), as it signals a high level of regulatory compliance and investor protection.


Seychelles is known for its minimal reporting requirements and swift application review timings by the commission. Its favorable tax regime and affordable company maintenance make it a great choice for foreign investors looking to expand their license pool.


Vanuatu has adapted its regulations over the last five years to enhance its value on the international market. These changes were driven by the need to adapt to global shifts in the forex and CFDs brokerage industry, as well as to ensure compliance with international standards for combating money laundering and terrorism financing. It stands out as a reliable solution for those targeting multiple geographical areas.

Saint lucia

Saint Lucia is considered a sandbox for forex brokerage, offering a platform to get a proof of concept before pursuing more substantial licensing. Its minimal compliance requirements and timeframes appeal to entry-level brokers, ensuring projects can launch with limited resources. The beauty of 0% corporate tax and the option to open bank accounts locally make it an attractive solution.

Making the right Choice

Choosing the most suitable security dealer license can be challenging, especially in the finance field, where each jurisdiction appears as a tax-efficient, easy-to-get, or affordable solution. Therefore, before making a final choice, you need to answer questions such as:

Geography of your potential customers

Passporting allows you to operate as forex company across some jurisdictions with a similar legal system, when some countries require a local forex license or prohibit such activity entirely.

Prestige of your Forex License

Making additional sacrifices is not always a bad thing, especially when it can significantly boost your forex company’s reputation. Entities with respectable licenses are seen as safer and more competitive solutions among clients and outside investors.

Minimum requirements

From getting a proof of concept to consciously expanding your business, you must define the amount of resources you are willing to allocate and the number of staff you will employ to comply with local regulations for establishing forex broker company.

Potential partnership with service providers

An important issue most applicants overlook is who will be your partners in terms of software, audit, liquidity providers, operational bank accounts, and payment processing companies. These providers usually have a list of countries from which they recognise a security license and are ready to establish a business relationship with.


Determining an operational start date can shed light on the most suitable forex licensing in terms of time taken to obtain it. Some forex authorizations can be obtained in as little as one month, while others can take up to a year to receive a final green light from a regulator.

Questions & answers

What Services I can provide with forex license?

Forex license often include services, but are not limited to, executing orders on behalf of clients, trading for speculative purposes, providing financial advice, managing portfolios of investments, or operating as a market maker. A forex license also enables you to offer derivative products such as options, futures, swaps, and contracts for difference (CFDs)

How long does it take to become licensed?

The timeframe for obtaining a forex license varies based on several factors, such as the readiness of your business concept, the current workload of the regulator, and your dedication to the project. Some projects could be completed in as little as four weeks, while others may require more extensive preparation and can extend to nearly a year

Can I obtain a forex license in other jurisdictions as a foreigner?

Yes, foreigners can obtain licenses in other jurisdictions, as there are no restrictions based on the residency of shareholders. However, before deciding to enter a market, it is important to consider the political climate and its compatibility with your country of residence

Are licensed entities eligible to open an operational bank account? If so, which banks are available?

Yes, licensed entities can open various types of bank accounts either during or after the forex license obtainment process. We collaborate with a selection of local traditional banks and a wide range of reputable financial institutions. Each bank account comes with a unique IBAN and supports multi-currency transactions, ensuring that your day-to-day operations are efficiently managed.

What documentation is required from shareholders and key personnel?

The specific set of documentation required from shareholders and key personnel varies from one country to another and type of forex license. However, there are standard documents typically requested, including but not limited to, identification proofs, proof of address, and professional qualifications. It is important to consult with qualified specialist in regards to the regulatory guidelines of the specific jurisdiction in which you are seeking a license for a comprehensive list of required documents.

Are there any annual fees associated with forex licensing?

Yes, annual fees for forex licensing vary depending on the jurisdiction. These fees typically include the cost of forex license renewal, payable directly to the local regulator, and the extension of the legal address. It’s important to note that all government fees, along with the legal address for one year, are included in our offer.

Who would be the ideal candidate for regulators?

There isn’t a straightforward answer to who would be the ideal candidate for regulators, as different regulators apply their own criteria during shareholder screenings. For those seeking a prestigious forex license, the ideal candidate would typically have prior experience in the field, no criminal charges in the past year, certifications that validate their education, and an impeccable reputation. This nuanced approach ensures that each candidate is evaluated based on a comprehensive set of standards reflecting both their professional background and personal integrity.

Forex market business models

Comparison table with Forex licensing options

MauritiusSeychellesVanuatuCyprusLabuanSouth-AfricaSaint Lucia
Share capital Requirement$14,000

$50,000$50,000$125,000$35,000Not fixed$0
Corporate Tax3%1,50%0%12,5%3% of audited
net profit
28% on net
Annual Fee$2,500$3,750$5,000$4,500$1,500$172None
Local Staff membersTwo Directors, AML OfficerCompliance OfficerKey individuals,
Compliance officer,
Risk management officer
Two full-time
Key Individual, DirectorNone
Physical OfficeRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredNone
Local Bank account
Project time frames 3-6 months3-6 months3-6 months8-12 months6-9 months6-9 months3 weeks

Roadmap for registration your Forex Business


Decide on Your Forex License’s Jurisdiction

Selecting the optimal location for your brokerage involves considering criteria such as your target market, tax preferences, timeframes, and the level of compliance you’re prepared to meet. Some forex licenses provide broader opportunities, a factor your counterparts—software providers, liquidity providers, and financial institutions—will consider. To find the best match for your business project, consult with Legalaes experts.


Document Gathering

At this stage, we create a customized roadmap for your project. We conduct initial due diligence on shareholders and team members to assess their suitability for the forex license. We also collect documentation from the applicant to prepare for the application, highlighting your project’s strengths.


Forex Company Registration

The application must be submitted by a legal entity registered in the application’s country or a branch of a foreign company, in accordance with local company laws.


Bank Account Opening

A bank account must be opened for the newly established entity to deposit share capital. Legalaes offers a variety of local and international banking solutions, including individual IBANs and multi-currency accounts.


Compliance Verification

We ensure compliance with the licensing criteria set by the local regulator. Requirements may vary by jurisdiction, including maintaining a local office and employing local staff.


Forex License Obtainment

We submit an application and a carefully prepared documentation pack to the local regulator.

Legalaes manages all inquiries and clarifications from the regulator, leveraging our previous interactions with the commission to avoid delays.

Your next step is to start operations in your target market – Our team offers guidance on expanding into new markets, ensuring a seamless start to operations.

Jegor Kupratsevits

Head of Finance Projects

    Forex license in Vanuatu 2024

    Business activity: Forex Trading, MT4/5, Assets management

    Forex license in Mauritius 2024

    Business activity: Forex Trading, MT4/5, Assets management

    Forex license in Cyprus 2024

    Business activity: Forex Trading, MT4/5, Assets management

    Forex license in Labuan 2024

    Business activity: Forex Trading, MT4/5, Assets management

    Forex license in Seychelles 2024

    Business activity: Forex Trading, MT4/5, Assets management

    Forex license in Saint Lucia 2024

    Business activity: Forex Trading, MT4/5, Assets management