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MSB license obtaining in Canada

In Canada, compliance with rules and requirements for financial services is critically important, especially if you plan to offer financial services as an MSB (Money Service Business). This article covers the process of obtaining an MSB license in Canada and the key stages that need to be completed.

MSB license obtaining in Canada

Posted 15 November 2023

Determining the need for an MSB License

The first step is to figure out whether your business falls under the MSB category according to Canadian legislation.

MSBs typically include organizations involved in the following activities:

  • Money transfers;
  • Currency exchange;
  • Cashing checks and other financial services within Canada (and other countries).

It’s important to understand that if your business falls under one of these categories, it might have to be licensed. GFLO Consultancy advisers can assist in reviewing your case and providing necessary initial information for your understanding of the further process.

Gathering necessary information

Before starting the MSB license registration process, you should gather essential information and documentation, including:

  • A detailed description of your business profile (the financial services you provide);
  • An Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) program outlining your strategies for preventing money laundering and terrorism financing (if needed, we can assist in its creation and provide an AML officer);
  • A complete list of directors and employees in your organization along with their contact information (if necessary, we can provide a local Canadian director who meets all requirements and other officers);
  • Information about your company’s ownership structure, including details about owners and controlling individuals.

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Diane, partner of GFLO Consultancy

Registering in FINTRAC

After registering your company (Ontario is an optimal choice as Canada’s financial center), structuring, and preparing all documents, we proceed to submit an application to FINTRAC.

We create an account on the FINTRAC portal and fill in all required application forms, providing all necessary documentation prepared in collaboration with you (the forms usually require detailed information about your organization, its activities, and AML/CTF programs).

MSB license application review

After submitting the application, FINTRAC conducts a review of the initial application and provided documentation. The review process ensures that the application is complete and meets the regulatory requirements.

Important:

Be prepared to face requests for additional information or documents if clarification or additional details are needed.

AML/CTF compliance

After successfully obtaining the MSB license, you are obligated to strictly comply with AML and CTF rules and regulations established by FINTRAC.

This includes implementing and maintaining effective measures to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing within your organization.

We assist in establishing this process and monitoring its ongoing compliance, if necessary.

Mandatory reporting

As an MSB, you will need to provide reports on certain financial transactions and activities to FINTRAC. These reports are crucial for regulatory authorities to monitor and prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.

As part of our service, we offer quality accounting support, so there should be no issues in this aspect.

Ongoing compliance and reviews

After obtaining the MSB license, it’s essential to maintain the relevance of your AML and CTF program to ensure its effectiveness and avoid inquiries from regulators.

GFLO Consultancy experts are pleased to assist and help you with any inquiries, just get in touch or leave a request through the form right below.

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