How can I prepare?

Planning your application

Look at the Stage-by-Stage Guide to see how you can plan to put your application together.

  • Have I got the necessary qualifications – Practice Rights?
  • What new business skills might I need – financial management, marketing, risk?
  • Who do I want to work with? Can I set up quicker by partnering?
  • Draft a Business Plan – what sort of firm do you want, what is your target market and what will make it successful. Make it concise and readable
  • Start putting policies and procedures together. Make them your own, for your firm
  • Think about client care information
  • It is a business, so cashflow is important. Start planning a 13-month forecast detailing the income streams and costs that will apply to the business. This is a good way to test the viability of your business – be realistic
  • Website and social media – think about how to meet the Transparency requirements and gain consumer interest

Application details

Your application will provide us with detail about:

  • the firm’s structure and processes and how you manage risk
  • details of the owners and managers – experience and skills
  • details of who is responsible for compliance – managing the practice and finances

What will my application look like?

  • Entity Application Form, covering your approved/compliance manager(s)
  • Business Plan and Budget
  • Policies and procedures
  • Client care information
  • PII quote


Once your application has been submitted, we will then arrange with you for any DBS checks to be carried out.

The application forms and the handbooks that guide you through their completion can be found in the Resource Library.

We will be moving to an online application in 2019.

Timescale for decision

Application received

  • After initial assessment we will address any gaps with you
  • Normally fully assessed within 30 days

Provisional authorisation

  • Allows you to decide when firm is to start trading
  • Arrange start date for PII
  • Sets out any conditions for authorisation

Full authorisation

  • Letter of Authorisation and Certificates sent
  • Access provided to digital logo

Authorisation declined

  • Letter advising decision sent
  • Advised of appeals process

Full details of the application and appeals processes can be found within the CILEx Authorisation Rules.

Application cost

Application fee

  • Based on turnover of the firm, structure and whether it holds client money
  • Covers first year’s entity practice fee

Compensation Arrangements fee

  • Provide redress to consumers who suffer loss due to the dishonesty or failure to account of a firm
  • Based on the firm’s turnover, whether it holds client money and the services it is authorised for

More information on fees is available here.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

  • All regulated firms are required to have qualifying PII
  • Information on how to obtain an insurance quote can be found here
  • Do not purchase the insurance until the firm is granted ‘Provisional Authorisation’