Cryptolicense in the United Kingdom: Growth and Stability

Disclaimer: the term "cryptolicense" in this text refers to registration of cryptoasset business. The use of the term "cryptolicense" is intended solely to simplify the perception of the text by clients and website visitors.

The United Kingdom (UK) offers comprehensive crypto asset regulation focused on protecting consumer rights and countering illicit activities while fostering innovation in the digital asset space. Cryptocurrency businesses operating in the UK are required to adhere to strict AML/CFT rules, overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Obtaining a cryptolicense in the UK ensures a high level of legitimacy and consumer trust for crypto businesses, opening up opportunities for expansion and collaboration with other countries within the global financial ecosystem. The British cryptolicense is a mark of quality and reliability for companies working with cryptocurrencies.

Thus, having a cryptolicense in the UK not only ensures legal compliance but also promotes business development, opening doors to international cooperation.

Cryptoregulation in the UK is transparent, and most processes can be completed online

Key Numbers about Cryptolicense in the UK

up to 6 months

term of setting up new project

25%

corporate income tax (CIT) rate

£1

minimal contribution for share capital

20%

withholding tax (WHT) rate

no

maximum number of shareholders

10%

capital gains tax (CGT) rate

Legal Opinion about Cryptolicense in the UK

Ganna Voievodina

Manimama, CEO

"A cryptolicense in the UK is an excellent choice. It combines access to a constantly growing market with over 65 million potential customers, as well as the reliability and stability of the jurisdiction itself. With this cryptolicense, you can attract clients from all countries where there are no substance requirements for the company. Contact Manimama, and we will help you open your crypto business in the UK and beyond”.

Types of activities with a License in the UK

Cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency exchange: companies that have received a cryptolicense from the FCA are authorized to facilitate the exchange of various virtual assets, including utility tokens and coins, providing diversification of trading opportunities.

Custodial storage services: with a cryptolicense, you can offer secure storage of cryptocurrencies on behalf of users, while operators can open wallets while maintaining control over private keys.

Fiat to cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency to fiat exchange: with a cryptolicense, you can perform conversions between cryptocurrency and fiat, offering clients flexibility in making transactions in multiple currencies.

Crypto ATM operator activity: the FCA cryptolicense allows you to operate equipment that uses automated processes to exchange crypto assets for fiat or fiat for crypto assets.

Benefits of Obtaining a Cryptolicense in the UK

Legitimacy and trust:
  • Obtaining a cryptolicense in the UK confirms the legitimacy of your business in the eyes of clients and investors, increasing trust in your business.
  • The UK cryptolicense is recognized by the international cryptocurrency community, ensuring prestige and recognition for your brand.
  • Client base and investments:
  • Obtaining a cryptolicense can increase interest from potential clients and investors in your business.
  • Investors seek projects with legal status that have the potential for stable and long-term profits.
  • Ensuring client safety:
  • A cryptolicense enables you to ensure the safety and protection of your clients' interests.
  • Adherence to Security Standards: The license requires you to adhere to strict security standards and maintain confidentiality of client data.
  • Flexibility in development:
  • A cryptolicense opens doors to a wide range of financial services and innovative opportunities for your business.
  • With access to the UK market, you can expand your capabilities and utilize new strategies for business development.
  • Reduced legal risk:
  • An official license helps avoid legal problems and conflicts with regulators and legislation.
  • The legality of your business reduces potential risks and provides access to legal support if needed.
  • Attracting talented personnel:
  • Legal status helps attract highly qualified professionals and specialists to your team.
  • Employer Prestige: Being the owner of a crypto license makes your company more attractive to professionals and experts.
  • Choose the Package of Services

    Advanced

    Full setup of the company's infrastructure to start operations

    €35,000

  • Company formation in the UK
  • Obtaining a cryptolicense from the FCA
  • Full set of required documents
  • Individual AML/KYC policies
  • Registered address for 1 year
  • Communication with the FCA
  • Opening a payment account for cryptocurrency operations
  • Order now

    Basic

    FCA cryptolicense in accordance with minimum regulatory requirements

    €30,000

  • Company formation in the UK
  • Obtaining a cryptolicense from the FCA
  • Full set of required documents
  • Standard AML/KYC policies
  • Order now

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    Step by Step Description

    Step 1. Preparation

  • Preliminary assessment of the project to obtain a cryptolicense
  • Collection of necessary documents for preliminary KYC check
  • Creation of a business model
  • Duration: up to 5 days

    Step 2. Company registration

  • Checking the availability of the chosen company name in the Commercial Register
  • Preparation of necessary corporate documents in accordance with the business model
  • Entering company data into the Commercial Register
  • Duration: up to 3 days. At this stage, you can start activities not related to cryptocurrency (for example, software development)

    Step 3. Obtaining a cryptolicense

  • Preparation of a full package of necessary documents for obtaining a license
  • Recruitment and training of an AML director/officer for the company (if necessary)
  • Submission of an application to the FCA and communication to maximize the chances of obtaining a license
  • Duration: up to 6 months (including FCA assessment)

    Step 4. Opening corporate B2B and C2B accounts

  • Initial assessment and identification of a suitable financial institution to open a corporate account
  • Preparation of notarized corporate documents required to open an account
  • Early discussion with the payment institution and ongoing assistance to the client during the account opening procedure
  • Duration: up to 3 weeks

    Understanding Legal Requirements in the UK

    Obtaining a cryptolicense in the UK is a challenging but straightforward process. It involves submitting a comprehensive list of documents

    British cryptocurrency legislation is strict, but the UK market is very attractive from a financial point of view, being one of the largest economies in the world with an exceptionally stable political system.

    Cryptocurrency businesses in the UK should be prepared for thorough scrutiny before obtaining a cryptolicense. Despite this, the UK market offers significant opportunities due to its stability and high-level clients.

    Obtaining a cryptolicense in the UK opens the door to providing a wide range of services, including cryptocurrency exchange, custodial wallets, and others, both in the UK itself and in other countries. The UK is an excellent platform for expanding and starting the growth of your business.

    Requirements for Obtaining a Cryptolicense in the UK

    The list of requirements may be extended at the request of the FCA

    To get a cryptolicense, you must provide the following main documents and information:

  • Program of activities and business plan
  • Structural organizational chart
  • List of jurisdictions where services are planned to be provided
  • Description of IT systems and information about the company
  • Data on individuals, beneficial owners, and close contacts
  • Management and internal control mechanisms
  • AML/CTF system, company and client risk assessment
  • Financial promotions, travel rule
  • Open keys/wallet addresses of crypto assets
  • Client onboarding process, funds flow chart, and client journey
  • Ongoing monitoring and transaction monitoring procedures
  • Record keeping and recording procedures
    • This list may be expanded at the request of the FCA.

    Taxes in the UK

    The UK tax system is characterized by transparency and simplicity. The state supports businesses and strives to minimize difficulties in interacting with them

    Corporate tax:
    • Rate:the standard corporate tax rate in the UK is 25%.
    • Taxable base:the tax is levied on the company's worldwide profits, including income from trading activities, investments, and asset sales.
    Withholding tax:
    • Dividends: generally, the UK does not tax dividends paid to non-residents.
    • Interest:usually, a 20% withholding tax is applied to interest payments to non-residents. However, double taxation treaties may provide for tax exemptions or reduced rates.
    • Royalties: similar to interest, a 20% withholding tax is usually applied to royalty payments to non-residents, but double taxation treaties may provide for exemptions or reduced rates.
    • Taxable base:it is applied to certain types of income (dividends, interest, royalties) paid to non-residents.

    Obtaining a cryptolicense in the UK entails obligations to comply with tax laws, including paying corporate tax and, if necessary, withholding tax.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • What is a cryptolicense in the UK, and why is it needed?
      A cryptolicense in the UK is an official authorization from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), confirming that a company meets strict standards in the areas of anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing, and consumer protection. Without this license, activities related to cryptocurrencies are considered illegal.
    • What specific activities fall under the cryptolicense requirement?

        A cryptolicense is required for a wide range of activities, including:

      • Exchange of cryptocurrencies for fiat money and vice versa
      • Providing custodial services (storing cryptocurrencies on behalf of clients)
      • Organizing and conducting ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings)
      • Managing investment funds related to cryptocurrencies
      • Providing consulting services in the field of cryptocurrencies
    • Who is eligible for a cryptolicense in the UK?
      Both British and foreign companies are eligible for a cryptolicense, provided that they are registered in the UK and meet all FCA requirements.
    • What are the requirements for companies wishing to obtain a cryptolicense?

        The FCA imposes strict requirements on cryptolicense applicants, including:

      • Having a robust risk management system capable of detecting and preventing suspicious transactions
      • Compliance with AML/CFT rules, including conducting comprehensive customer due diligence (KYC) and transaction monitoring
      • Having qualified personnel with the necessary knowledge and experience in cryptocurrencies and financial regulation
      • Having sufficient capital to cover potential risks
    • How long does the process of obtaining a cryptolicense take?
      The process of obtaining a cryptolicense can take from several months to a year, depending on the complexity of the business model and the company's readiness to comply with FCA requirements.
    • What documents need to be submitted to get a cryptolicense?

        The list of required documents may vary, but usually includes:

      • Business plan with a detailed description of the proposed services and target audience
      • Organizational structure of the company and information about the management
      • AML/CFT policies and procedures
      • Financial statements
      • Proof of sufficient capital
      • Documents confirming the qualifications of personnel
    • What are the costs of obtaining a cryptolicense?

        The cost of getting a cryptolicense includes:

      • FCA registration fee
      • Legal and consulting fees
      • Costs for developing and implementing AML/CFT systems
      • Costs for staff training
      • The total amount can vary significantly depending on the specific circumstances.
    • What are the benefits of a cryptolicense in the UK?

        A cryptolicense in the UK opens up a number of opportunities for companies:

      • Increased trust from customers and investors, which can lead to an increase in the client base and attract investment
      • Access to banking services, which makes it easier to conduct business
      • Ability to legally operate in one of the largest and most developed financial markets in the world
      • Participation in shaping the regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies in the UK
    • What are the consequences for companies operating without a cryptolicense?

        Operating without a cryptolicense is illegal and can lead to:

      • Fines and other financial sanctions
      • Criminal prosecution
      • Prohibition of activities in the UK
      • Loss of reputation and trust from customers and investors
    • What changes in cryptocurrency regulation are expected in the UK?
      The FCA continues to actively work on improving the regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies. It is expected that in the future, additional requirements will be introduced for companies working with cryptocurrencies in order to increase transparency and protect investors.
    • Is it possible to obtain a cryptolicense for activities related to NFTs (non-fungible tokens)?
      Yes, a cryptolicense may be required for activities related to NFTs if it falls under the definition of regulated activities by the FCA. For example, if a company is engaged in NFT trading, provides custodial services for NFTs, or organizes the sale of NFTs as part of an ICO or IEO, then it will most likely need a cryptolicense.
    • What sanctions can be applied to companies that violate FCA requirements after obtaining a cryptolicense?
      The FCA has a wide range of sanctions that can be applied to companies that violate requirements after obtaining a cryptolicense. For example, public warnings - the FCA may publicly warn a company about a violation and require it to take measures to eliminate the problem; financial penalties - the FCA may impose significant fines, the amount of which depends on the severity of the violation; restriction of activities - the FCA may restrict the company's activities, for example, prohibit it from offering certain services or working with certain clients; revocation of a license - in case of serious or systematic violations, the FCA may revoke the company's cryptolicense.

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