Industry sector: Business services

Accountant: Licences


There are no licensing requirements relating specifically to the provision of basic accountancy services.

However, you'll need to be aware of the following:

  • under the Money Laundering Regulations, accountancy services providers must register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if they are not supervised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or a professional body like the ICAEW
  • you will need a licence or authorisation from a professional body to act as an insolvency practitioner
  • to undertake public practice as a qualified accountant you will need a practising certificate
  • you must be authorised by your professional body to do audit or probate work
  • if you plan to undertake mainstream investment business you must obtain authorisation from the FCA. If you are already authorised by the FCA for investment business you must also get authorisation for general insurance and mortgage business
  • if you only intend to carry out non-mainstream investment business you must be licensed by a Designated Professional Body (DPB) - such as the ACCA or the ICAEW
  • you will need consumer credit authorisation if you carry out work such as credit brokerage, debt adjusting or debt counselling. The FCA is responsible for credit authorisation - but you may be covered by an existing authorisation through your professional regulatory body under the DPB licensing arrangements
  • businesses which keep records of individuals' personal details may need to register with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). From May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation has introduced additional protection for personal data