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The OFT closed on 31 March 2014 and this website is no longer being updated. The OFT's work and responsibilities have passed to a number of different bodies. Read more.

Apply for new credit licence

Credit regulation is changing. The OFT will continue to regulate consumer credit until 31 March 2014. After this date, responsibility for consumer credit regulation will transfer to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

If you apply to the OFT for a Consumer Credit Licence on or after 21 February, please be aware that, due to the limited time remaining before the transfer of responsibility to the FCA, it is very likely that we will not be able to process your application to completion. It will pass to the FCA to take forward.

To find out more, see Consumer credit changes.

If your business carries out activities relating to consumer credit or hire you may need a credit licence.

Please also be aware that regulation of consumer credit is changing. The Financial Conduct Authority will take over regulation of consumer credit from the OFT on 1 April 2014.

All firms who currently hold a Consumer Credit Licence (CCL) will only be able to trade under their existing CCL until the 31 March 2014.  All consumer credit licences expire on this date at midnight and if you have not taken action you will not be able to continue your licensable activities.

All firms who wish to continue trading after 31 March 2014 will need to be registered with the FCA.  From 2 September 2013, current OFT licence holders can register with the FCA for 'interim permission' to carry on regulated activities from 1 April 2014. 

For more information see credit changes.

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Things you should check before applying for a licence

To save yourself time and money, before you apply for a licence we recommend you check:

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Which category of licence do you need?

Credit activities fall into a number of categories. When you apply for a licence you will need to tell us which categories apply to your business. The categories are:

  • Category A - consumer credit business
  • Category B - consumer hire business
  • Category C - credit brokerage
  • Category D - debt adjusting 
  • Category E - debt counselling
  • Category F - debt collecting
  • Category G - debt administration 
  • Category H - provision of credit information services (whether or not it includes or excludes credit repair and if on a commercial or non-commercial basis)
  • Category I - credit reference agency.

For more detailed information on the activities that fall into each category, see Do you need a credit licence?

If you apply for a Category A licence, you may also need to register with the OFT for under the Money Laundering Regulations, check if you need to be registered.

For more information on the specified descriptions of businesses see General Notice 72 - Specified descriptions of business (pdf 47kb).

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Is your business high risk?

Some credit activities have been identified as being of higher potential risk to consumers. If your business is high risk you will have to fill in additional forms and may be subject to on-site inspections. Find out if your business is high risk.

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The online application form

Before you start filling in the online application form we recommend you:

Start a new application  (this link takes you to an external website)

For more information, see General Notice 71 (pdf 223kb)

If you are having problems please contact the Enquiries team on 08457 22 44 99 or email The office is open from 9am-1pm and from 2pm-5pm.

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