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For businesses hoping to participate in the European and international electronic payments market, obtaining an EMI license in England is an essential first step. The UK has certain benefits that set it apart from other countries when it comes to EMI license opening. First and foremost, the UK's advanced financial infrastructure and sound economic foundation foster an environment that is conducive to the expansion of fintech businesses. Furthermore, English law that regulates the operations of electronic money institutions is transparent and predictable, providing enterprises with a precise grasp of regulatory compliance requisites.

Until Brexit, businesses possessing an EMI license had an unrestricted entry to the European Economic Area (EEA). However, since then, the UK has established its own regulatory framework, managed under the supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). As a result, EMI license holders are no longer eligible for EEA passport benefits, and they must now find alternative means of offering their services to European consumers.

Even so, it is very advantageous to explore EMI licensing prospects and UK regulatory landscape, as the UK continues to uphold its esteemed reputation as a prime destination for foreign investment, offering diverse financial services and agile regulatory adjustments to cater to forward-thinking enterprises.

 Legal basis for EMI in the UK

Legislation and regulations

An important piece of legislation that directly affects EMI operations in the UK is the Electronic Money Regulations of 2011, which governs the issue of EMI licenses in England. The capitalization, management, operations, and transparency criteria for electronic money institutions are set forth in these rules. The necessity for registration with the Financial Conduct Authority, the regulatory organization in charge of policing monetary solutions in the United Kingdom, is a significant component of this legislation.

Moreover, the Money Laundering Regulations, which are designed to stop the use of financial systems for financing criminal organizations and money laundering, apply to EMI's operations in the UK. Electronic money institutions must put in place thorough internal control mechanisms, including protocols for customer identification and verification, in order to comply with these rules.

Acquiring an EMI license in England also entails conformance with a range of other legislative acts and regulatory documents, including but not limited to data protection legislation and rules pertaining to consumer rights. All these elements create a multi-level legal framework within which electronic money institutions must conduct their operations, ensuring a high level of protection for their clients and compliance with stringent regulatory requirements.

Responsibilities and capabilities of the Financial Conduct Authority

Issuing and rescinding permits for the use of electronic money is the FCA's primary responsibility. Before being given an e-money license in the UK, companies must demonstrate that they comply with the regulator's strict standards. In addition to steps to prevent money laundering and terrorist funding, these rules also address issues of financial stability, management structures, and client fund protection.

Examining financial records on a regular basis, evaluating risk management systems, and auditing internal processes are just a few of the tasks that the FCA monitors for regulated institutions. By doing so, the regulator is able to promptly detect any possible dangers or infractions and implement corrective measures, up to and including license revocation.

Furthermore, via establishing standards for fairness and openness in the services offered by e-money providers, the FCA contributes significantly to the protection of consumer rights. The regulator has the power to look into complaints from customers and punish businesses that break the law.

As part of the FCA's operations, obtaining an e-money license in the UK requires becoming a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). In the event that the licensed institution faces financial difficulties or declares bankruptcy, this program offers extra assurances for the security of clients' finances.

The FCA has a big impact on electronic money institutions in the UK. They set high standards and make sure these are followed through careful supervision. This helps keep trust in the financial sector and protects everyone involved.

Protocol for gaining an EMI license

Process of initiating an EMI license in the UK

The procedure of registering an electronic money license in England involves several steps and demands meticulous planning and attention to detail.

Preliminary consultation with the FCA

Consultations with the FCA are required in the first phase to go over the company plan and comprehend license requirements. By doing this, businesses may better define the specifics of their application and determine how likely they are to succeed.

Drafting and presenting the formal submission

A business strategy, financial projections, proof of enough funding, details on owners and management, risk management, and compliance with AML regulations are just a few of the documentation the firm has to compile and prepare at this point.

Performing an FCA compliance assessment

Following application submission, the FCA thoroughly examines the data that was supplied. The regulator may ask for more information or explanations about the filed papers during this examination.

Business appointments and dialogs with key personnel

FCA may occasionally visit the company's headquarters and have meetings with the management and key personnel. These gatherings serve to enhance comprehension of the business's internal processes and operational activities.

FCA's resolution

A license is issued by FCA only after it has reviewed the application and carried out the required checks. If the outcome is positive, an official notification is provided to the company allowing it to continue operating in the electronic money sector.

Categories of EMI licenses


Full license (AEMI)

Simplified license (SEMI)


Allows for the provision of all electronic money and payment services by enterprises, including EEA.

Intended for small businesses who only engage in minor operations and don't offer services to customers inside the EEA.

Authorized capital

> 350,000 EUR

The minimum authorized capital is significantly lower, amounting to about 2% of revenue.

Transaction volume

Limitless, permits processing of extensive sums.

The highest transaction volume allowed is 3 million EUR, hence the average monthly transaction volume shouldn't go beyond that amount.

Governance Control

Subject to yearly FCA audits and stringent regulatory oversight.

Subject to less strict regulatory control than AEMI, however crucial legal prerequisites and specifications should still be fulfilled.

Securing an e-money license in the UK

Requires the FCA to conduct a more thorough and drawn-out verification process that includes evaluating the company strategy, financial soundness, and risk management procedures.

A license can often be obtained more quickly and easily, which makes it more accessible to startups and small businesses.

Documentation for obtaining an EMI license

Companies in Britain should submit paperwork to the FCA in order to acquire an EMI license.

  • A thorough business plan that contains financial projections for the following 3 years, development plans, and an outline of anticipated activities.
  • Proof of the starting capital's sufficiency, with accompanying financial documentation, must total at least EUR 350,000.
  • A clarification of the internal rules, procedures, and risk management measures, including AML/CTF.
  • Details on each of the founders, stockholders, and individuals with substantial managerial influence, together with verification of their dependability and pertinent experience.
  • Details on data security and privacy, including client privacy and personal information protection strategies.

Obtaining an EMI license in the UK requires careful planning and attention to detail. Companies must ensure that all paperwork is authentic and complete to ensure a successful registration process. Depending on the circumstances and the type of company, the FCA may request additional documentation or explanations.

Timelines for application processing and potential delays

An entire set of documentation must typically be submitted to the FCA in order to start the EMI licensing process in England. The authority may decide whether to grant the license at any time within the next 3 months. In the event that the FCA seeks further details or clarification when reviewing the application, this time frame can be extended. To prevent additional delays in such situations, applicants should provide the relevant information as soon as possible.

Getting an EMI license in the UK might take longer because of several reasons. Delays can happen due to additional data verification, financial checks, internal control reviews, and ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering regulations. Every application is different and needs a personalized approach, which can prolong the process.

Tax regime for EMI license holders in England

In the UK, obtaining an EMI license necessitates adhering to specific tax requirements set down for electronic money institutions.

  • Corporate income tax: businesses that make more than £250,000 in revenue must pay 25% of their profits in taxes. Tax rates are 19% for enterprises whose profits are less than £50,000.
  • VAT: companies can also need to register for VAT and pay the relevant tax, based on the services they offer. In the UK, the standard rate is 20%. Nonetheless, certain categories of financial services could not be subject to VAT.
  • Income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs): Employers are mandated to deduct income tax and NICs from employee earnings, salaries, and bonuses. Various factors, such as the amount of payments made, influence the rates of income and net income tax.

It is significant to remember that the requirements for assessing and paying taxes could vary based on the particulars of the company, its activities, and the business plan it has chosen. Therefore, we advise speaking with specialists from our company to have a thorough grasp of all tax responsibilities and chances for tax payment optimization for businesses with an EMI open license in the UK.

England's requirements for updating an EMI license

In the UK, obtaining a license for e-money activities entails both the original application and any later procedures for license renewal. Companies looking to renew their EMI license usually need to take into account a few important factors, even if the exact requirements for doing so may change according to the FCA's current regulations and rules.

Companies must, first and foremost, show that they consistently abide by all legal constraints placed on electronic money operations. This includes upholding appropriate capital levels, putting in place efficient risk management procedures, adhering to AML/CFT regulations, and making sure that client money is protected.

Second, in order to maintain an e-money license in England, businesses need to show that they are financially stable and that they can go on offering services that meet the strict guidelines established by the FCA. Providing financial statements, audit reports, and other records attesting to the company's financial status are a few examples of how to achieve this.

Thirdly, companies who have made significant changes to their operations since the last license update may be required to report them to the FCA. Changes to the company structure, managerial approach, service offerings, and business strategy may be necessary.


Securing an e-money activities permit in the UK is increasingly becoming a crucial stage for enterprises aiming to establish themselves in the digital transactions sector and expand internationally. The FCA's rigorous inspections and long list of standards may make the license procedure appear complicated, but in the end, it offers a lot of chances for the enterprise's long-term growth and development. Getting an EMI license in England opens doors for innovation and the introduction of cutting-edge monetary products and services by increasing the company's trustworthiness with customers and business partners.

Conformity with legal obligations, upholding openness, and guaranteeing the security of all financial transactions are necessary for the online transaction industry to function successfully. It is vital to keep an eye on any changes to the legal and regulatory landscape in order to adjust to new circumstances and take advantage of new possibilities.

Getting and keeping an EMI license in the UK creates several opportunities for advancement in the financial technology industry and fosters growth and innovation globally. This necessitates continuing efforts to uphold the strict standards established by the regulatory body in addition to fulfilling the initial compliance obligations.

Our professionals are prepared to offer complete assistance and all the information required for a fruitful EMI license application procedure in England. Kindly get in touch with us via the selected mode of contact specified in the contact details section.