Establish licensing requirements for undertakings in the financial sector Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

Your company wants to offer new services in the financial sector? You may need to clarify whether a permit is required for your business idea.

Various supervisory laws regulate the licensing requirements for transactions on the capital market in Germany:

  • the German Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz, KWG) regulates the permits for banking transactions and financial services
  • the Insurance Supervision Act (VAG) regulates the supervision of insurance companies
  • the Payment Services Supervision Act (ZAG) regulates payment services and e-money business
  • The German Investment Code (KAGB) regulates investment funds.

The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) examines whether transactions by new companies before they enter the market or new business models of companies already operating on the market require permission under statutory regulations. This is the case for most transactions in the financial sector and serves the integrity of the financial market and the protection of consumers.

Since the legal basis does not provide a reliable statement for every business model as to whether you as an entrepreneur or your company require a permit, BaFin must determine in these cases whether your business is subject to the permit requirement. The reason for this is the permanent and rapid development of business models in the financial sector as well as the variety of circumstances that must be covered by the law.

BaFin will determine whether you are subject to the licensing requirement on the basis of your application. You can submit this by e-mail or by post. Fintech companies also have an online contact form at their disposal.

  • detailed description of the business project
  • draft contracts and, if applicable, articles of association
  • advertising material

Forms: no
Online procedure possible: partially (only for Fintechs)
Written form required: no
Personal appearance required: no

Related Links

  • Kontaktformular für Fintechs


  • You are a company in the financial sector and
    • are about to enter the market or
    • are launching a new business model on the market and
    • it cannot be clearly determined on the basis of the relevant supervisory law whether your business model is subject to the licensing requirement under the supervisory laws.

Section 4 KWG, Section 4 para. 4 ZAG, Section 4 VAG and Section 5 para. 3 KAGB

Related Links

  • § 4 Kreditwesengesetz (KWG)
  • § 4 Absatz 4 Zahlungsdiensteaufsichtsgesetz (ZAG)
  • § 4 Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz (VAG)
  • § 5 Absatz 3 Kapitalanlagegesetzbuch (KAGB)

Related Links

  • Informationen zu Banken und Finanzdienstleistern auf der Internetseite der BaFin
  • Artikel "Erlaubnispflicht: Befugnisse der BaFin und Hinweise für Verbraucher" auf der Internetseite der BaFin

You should submit the application for the determination of the obligation to obtain a licence informally in writing or by e-mail (exception: fintech business models, see below).

  • Please compile the required documents and also include the following information
    • Notification of who wants to operate the business, how and in what form.
    • Company name of the business
    • Business address of the company
    • Name and address of the inquirer
    • Relationship of the inquirer to the company
  • Send your informal application by mail or e-mail to BaFin.
  • You will receive an email, a letter or the notice with the assessment of the permission requirement.

Fintech business models can also use the contact form for fintechs on BaFin's website.

If you have any questions regarding the procedure, please contact BaFin's Financial System Integrity (IF) department. Please include "Permission requirement for financial transactions" in the subject line of email inquiries.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Finance

Last update or date of publication