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Finance and technology are those industries that have long been flourishing separately on their own. What can happen if they become connected? Nowadays, we just see the results of the connection. The area has become so popular, and so many entrepreneurs are eager to register a fintech company in the United States, that with every new hundred of startups that enter the market on a monthly basis, it becomes more and more difficult to find a place in this competition. However, if you decide to do so, it will be better if you take care of your legal preparation in advance with our reliable legal support services for registering fintech companies.

This article will be useful to anyone who decides to establish a fintech business in the United States. Here, we will consider the legal aspects of regulating fintech and crypto business in the United States, as well as discuss some issues related to information protection and intellectual property protection.

Fintech regulation in the USA

Products and services created on the basis of a fintech company registered in the USA may fall under the jurisdiction of a number of regulatory bodies, including:

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);
  • Financial Crime Prevention Network (FinCEN);
  • Federal Audit Council for Financial Institutions (FFIEC);
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
  • Bureau of Financial Consumer Protection (CFPB);
  • And more.

US Financial Business Licensing

There is a huge number of firms whose legal activities require financial licensing in the United States. In particular, the following types of activities can be added to the list:

  • Offer of securities;
  • Forex activity - brokerage operations with futures contracts, options, etc .;
  • Transfer of currency;
  • Storage of funds owned by others;
  • Lending;
  • And more.

Consumer and peer-to-peer lending

Consumer lending is regulated by many federal and state laws. These include, among others, the disclosure of information on the creditworthiness of the consumer, the calculation of interest and much more.

As for peer-to-peer lending in the United States, there are no special federal laws governing relations between equal entities. At the same time, it should be noted that the CFPB has enforcement powers regarding those for whom a significant number of complaints have been received.

Investment activity in the USA

In general, all collective investment schemes are subject to regulation in the United States. If a fintech company is positioned as an investment company, then such a company must be authorised by SEC or CFTC.

US crowdfunding

According to the Securities Act of 1933, the offer and sale of securities must be registered or exempted from registration. However, in 2015, the SEC adopted a special crowdfunding Regulation, which stipulates that eligible companies can raise capital using crowdfunding in the United States. In this case, certain requirements must be observed.

Providing payment services in the USA

If you plan to register a company for the provision of payment services, then for legal activity, according to the Law on Electronic Transfer of Funds, you will have to go through a financial business licensing in the USA.

It is also worth noting that entities that are not financial institutions may also be subject to this law. We are talking about those firms that issue debit cards that can be used to access an account located in a financial institution.


The offer of insurance products by fintech companies is not regulated at the federal, but at the local level. Accordingly, if you plan to register a fintech company to provide insurance services in the United States, you will need to carefully study the relevant legislation of the state in which you plan to operate.

Certification and local presence

Unfortunately, the regulation of financial services in the United States is designed in such a way that it does not recognize certification. At the same time, it is worth noting that a local presence is not necessary to obtain a license.

The use of artificial intelligence technologies in business. U.S. Crypto Regulation

The use of AI in business in the United States is regulated by SEC or CFTC. It's the same with blockchain: many states have passed laws that allow the use of blockchain technology in business.

Cryptocurrency regulation in the USA. Regulation of ICO

There is no specific legislation in the United States governing the use of digital currencies or virtual wallets. However, many states have licensing requirements for digital currency exchange.

The same applies to the ICO, which in most cases is perceived by SEC as an offer of securities, which, as we noted above, must be registered, or exempted from registration.

Information Security Regulation and Cybersecurity

Personal data protection is regulated in certain sectors only. However, even in those sectors where there are no essential requirements regarding the personal data processing, companies must comply with their own privacy policies. The violation of privacy policies may be subject to enforcement actions by regulatory authorities.

Also, in the United States, no specific cyber security standards have been adopted that could be applicable to the fintech business.

U.S. Intellectual Property Protection

The concept of IP protection in the United States, in general, repeats the concepts of other states. If the IP was created by the company contractor or consultant, then, in the case where the parties have not agreed otherwise, this IP belongs to the contractor or consultant. In terms of copyright, such work may qualify as a “work for hire” and may belong to the customer.

Interestingly, one can get a patent for software in the USA. However, it should be noted that this is not a common practice.

Copyright protection for IP created by a company employee

Copyright for work performed by a company employee belongs to the company. At the same time, if the employee was not hired, but the invention was created using the material base or finances of the employer, then he has the right to this invention.

US Intellectual Property Co-Ownership

If the patent is jointly owned, each of the co-owners has the right to use or license the invention without the consent of the other owners.

If copyright is jointly owned, not one of the co-owners has the right to use or license the work without the consent of the other co-owners.

US Trade Secrets Protection

Trade secrets protect the information, which is valuable due to the fact that it is unknown to competitors, and cannot be easily disclosed. The misappropriation of trade secrets is considered an offense. In this case, in accordance with the law, the owner of a trade secret can count on damages and an injunction to prevent further use of this information or its disclosure.

In some cases, the theft of trade secrets may be qualified as a criminal offense with all the ensuing consequences.

Trademark Protection in the USA

Trademark Law protects US trademarks, which can be obtained by registering with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It is worth noting that in the United States, unlike many other countries, trademark protection requires its use, and not just registration.

U.S. IP Rights Protection

The copyright holder has the right to damages reimbursement, as well as to an injunction to prevent the misuse of intellectual property or its appropriation.


The United States accounts for about 57% of the global financial technology market. And this industry is transforming the US financial sector. On average, one in three active consumers in the United States uses two or more fintech products.

In the future, financial technologies will be increasingly utilized in combination with mobile technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and other digital benefits. All this opens up amazing opportunities for fintech startups with truly innovative ideas and products.

In conclusion, we note that this article was prepared and published for informative purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any questions on how to start a fintech business in the United States, you can discuss them with IQ Decision UK experts during a personal legal advice session on fintech business in the United States.

Our company also provides legal support services for registering fintech companies, and is ready to help you obtain a license for your type of activity, open a corporate account in an American bank, and provide other legal services .

You will learn more about our services by leaving your application through the feedback form, or by contacting us right now.