What is Forex License? Requirements and Its Categories

Brokerage firms must have a Forex licence to offer trading in the Forex exchange market. There are various requirements and conditions that a brokerage firm has to agree to for getting a Forex licence. Also, based on different regulatory bodies across the globe, the category of Forex licence may differ. This article sheds light on what a Forex licence is and its categories. 

Understanding Forex License Requirements

A Forex licence is an official authorisation granted by regulatory authorities, permitting brokerage firms to engage in legal operations in the currency market. This licence signifies adherence to specific standards and laws, ensuring a certain level of client protection and service. 

This licence is a mandatory requirement for three reasons:

  • Protection of Investors’ Interests: A fundamental aspect of a Forex broker licence is safeguarding investors’ interests. Through stringent requirements imposed on licensed brokers, clients are assured of transparent operations and protection against financial fraud.
  • Compliance with Regulatory Standards: Regulatory authorities establish guidelines including capital adequacy, security of client funds, transparency of operations, fair trading principles, anti-money laundering measures, and risk management. Brokers must comply with these standards to obtain and maintain their Forex licences, ensuring adherence to regulatory frameworks.
  • Building Reputation: For traders, the presence of a licensed broker signals credibility and professionalism, often influencing their choice of trading platform. Additionally, a licensed broker can extend its services across multiple countries, overcoming restrictions imposed on unlicensed entities in certain jurisdictions.

Overall, a Forex licence is the primary requirement for brokerage companies to conduct legitimate Forex trading activities, such as facilitating trades on behalf of clients or enabling independent currency trading. 

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Categories of Forex Licence 

There are four categories of Forex Licence. 

Category A – Main Market

Prominent jurisdictions like the United States and Switzerland constitute the main market category, offering access to the world’s largest Forex markets. Obtaining licences in these regions mandates substantial financial resources, with brokers required to demonstrate a minimum of $20 million in free access without client fund consideration. For brokers in Switzerland, complete monitoring is mandatory. This category is one of the most secured licence categories ensuring the highest possible reliability and credibility of brokers and stringent regulatory standards.

Category B – Universal Jurisdictions

This is for countries like Australia and the United Kingdom, where universal jurisdictions feature relatively less stringent licensing requirements. However, licences from these regions carry significant prestige within the Forex niche, emphasising the broker’s competence and financial stability.

Category C – Popular Jurisdictions

Jurisdictions such as Cyprus, New Zealand, and Malta fall under this category, offering favourable conditions for Forex brokerage firms. While physical presence and minimal reporting obligations are requisite for licensure, brokers enjoy greater flexibility in accessing and operating within the European market.

Category D – Offshore Jurisdictions

This includes territories like the British Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, and Belize. Offshore jurisdictions present an attractive option for Forex brokers seeking favourable market conditions and reduced regulatory burdens. Minimal documentation requirements and moderate tax rates characterise these jurisdictions. However, they also come with their own set of challenges, like opening a connecting bank account to facilitate trading. 


A Forex licence is crucial and mandatory for brokerage firms, serving as a hallmark of legitimacy and regulatory compliance. The categorisation of regulatory jurisdictions offers brokers a spectrum of options, each accompanied by distinct benefits and obligations. 

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