An application for a consumer credit licence can be made online by visiting the Office of Fair Trading application site. Before applying you will need to determine which licence category you wish to apply for. It is also important to remember that a credit licence is held by the legal entity which makes the application and it is not transferrable therefore you should think carefully about your business structure and whether you wish to be licensed in your own personal name or whether you wish to be licensed as a corporate entity.
As part of the application you will need declare any trading names or website addresses you intend to use in your business, disclose the controllers and owners of the applicant business, and provide details of any adverse history relating to either the applicant or any controller or owner. It is important to ensure that you consider the impact of the information you are providing on your application and the likelihood of a licence being awarded. Ultimately it is up to the applicant to demonstrate to the Office of Fair Trading that it is fit to hold a licence.
If you are applying for category A,B or C and your application is deemed to be high risk you will also be required to complete a Credit Risk Profile. If you are applying for any other category and your application is deemed to be high risk you will be required to complete a Credit Competence Plan. However the Credit Risk Profile and Credit Competence Plan will be combined into Credit Competence Form. It is important that these documents are carefully completed and the information that you provide is true and accurate. The Office of Fair Trading may ask for evidence of the information that you provide to it. Where such a request is made those documents must be sufficient in content and legally compliant in order to ensure that there is no detriment to the licence application.
The Office of Fair Trading, or Trading Standards, may wish to audit your business and inspect your records and documents before a licence is issued. Where such an audit is arranged you should ensure you have evidence available to demonstrate your fitness to hold a licence.
A licence is now normally granted without any expiry date although a further maintenance payment will be due to the Office of Fair Trading normally five years after the licence is issued.
If you need help in applying for a consumer credit licence or you need assistance in meeting your compliance obligations please visit www.scottrobert.co.uk for professional support or contact Scott Robert on 0844 736 5327.