Carrying on Financial Services Business Without a Licence

The Maximum Penalty For This Offence Is Two Years Imprisonment And/Or An $22,000 Fine.

What Court is Likely to Hear the Matter

This matter is indictable but may be dealt with by either the Local or District Court.

Common Ways in Which this Might Occur

  • Your work has gradually expanded from matters that do not require an AFSL, such as accounting, to matters which do, such as insurance broking or financial advice.
  • You have begun to work for yourself after a period working for someone else under their AFSL.

What the Prosecution Must Prove – The Elements of the Offence:

  • You carried on the business of providing financial product advice;
  • You did not hold the relevant license (under Section 913B of the Corporations Act) covering the provision of that financial advice.

Financial services licenses are needed for a broad range of financial activities including facilities through which people make financial investments or manage financial risks, such as insurance, stock broking and investment planning.

The Law

It is an offence under the Corporations Act to carry on a financial services business in this jurisdiction without being licensed to do so. That is, without holding an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL).

For more information:

Contact one of our team of specialist corporate crime lawyers at Armstrong Legal on 1300 038 223.



If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in corporate crime and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.


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