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Posted Tue, 08 Nov 2022 16:02:18 GMT by Alex
Hello, I've developed an ecommerce platform (marketplace) for people to perform other people's tasks (something like Fiverr). One group of users will deposit real money to their virtual balance, this money will then be paid to the people who work on their tasks. The workers will be able to withdraw money. I'm thinking of allowing them to withdraw to a bank account using IBAN or to PayPal account (money will be sent by us, the company). I'll register an LTD (not registered yet). My question is: do I need to obtain any financial licences or not? Both people posting tasks and workers will be from all around the world. Do I need to obtain some money-laundring related documents? Thank you in advance, 
Posted Fri, 11 Nov 2022 11:45:20 GMT by HMRC Admin 32

Please refer to guidance below to see if your type of business falls into a category that requires one.

Apply for Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorisation

Thank you.
Posted Fri, 11 Nov 2022 12:35:07 GMT by Alex
Hello, Thank you. I've read it, as well as [[admin removed link] . From what I understood I will not need to apply for the FCA authorisation. The only question I've got is about the "accepting deposits" point. From what I understood online, this is something to do with lending/interest. However, my platform will never lend or collect interest, so this seems to be not related. It also says that FCA is needed for "Issuing electronic money", however, this doesn't apply to me, as per your handbook, as the "virtual" money users get on their balance on my platform can only be spent within the platform. For the rest, nothing else seem to be related to my platform. Here is the more in-depth description of the money flow: User A deposits, say, $10 to their virtual balance on the platform. His virtual balance now becomes $10. They cannot withdraw this balance at all, this is written in the T&C, this money is only meant to be spent on topping up the users' task balance. User B with $0 virtual balance successfully performs a task that User A created and receives $5 as a reward. User B can now withdraw $5 to their real bank account. There are 2 different types of virtual balances: Ad balance (money can only be deposited to it from a real bank account, but money can't be withdrawn from it) and Earnings balance (users can withdraw money from it). Does it mean I do not need any licence at all and as soon as I setup an LTD and a bank account, the company is ok to start operating accepting and issuing funds? Thank you in advance, Alex
Posted Tue, 15 Nov 2022 13:41:16 GMT by HMRC Admin 17

Please refer to :

Licence finder   .

Thank you.
Posted Tue, 15 Nov 2022 14:23:26 GMT by Alex
Hello, Thank you. It doesn't seem to have the activity that I need.. the closest is "Web design and development". It doesn't have any option about collecting payments neither.. If I choose "Process personal information about any individuals including customers, employees etc", it suggests that I need the ICO license, however, the "ICO's digital assistant" says that I don't needed it... If I collect only name and IBAN to make payouts, do I need the ICO license? What if I collect only email to make payout to PayPal (without collecting name or IBAN) - do I still need the licence? Thanks. 
Posted Thu, 17 Nov 2022 16:51:38 GMT by HMRC Admin 20
Hi Alex,

This is not so much an income tax question, as perhaps something to do with the Financial Conduct Authority, as they regulate financial services.  

Welcome to the Financial Conduct Authority

Thank you.


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