Legal Enquiries about Business Models
Are you looking to operate a new business model in the future and have specific questions relating to supervisory law? The FMA strives to handle your enquiry as rapidly as possible. For questions about whether such business models require a licence and the licencing requirements, the requirement to publish a prospectus, compliance or anti-money laundering regulations, how FMA procedures are conducted and costs incurred, using this form provides you with a central point of contact to reach all the divisions concerned within the authority. We are only able to answer your enquiry if you explain about your business model in detail. It is not intended to replace being given legal advice, but is intended to provide feedback about supervisory law in relation to your specific intention. In order to be able to ensure that your enquiry is answered as quickly as possible, we would kindly ask you to take the following points into account:
- This contact form is intended for persons and companies that do not hold licences. Entities that already hold licences are requested to direct their enquiry to their respective contacts (to their Single Point of Contact (SPOC) in the case of institutions, or the competent division within the Insurance Supervision department for insurance companies).
- The FMA is unable to answer abstract legal enquiries. You are therefore requested to address a specific set of circumstances.
- Please explain about your business model including all involved cooperation partners and also submit the relevant documentation (sample contracts, general terms and conditions (T&Cs), information brochures etc.). Please explain as applicable what part of your business model may in your opinion require a licence or the publication of a prospectus, or why you believe this not to be the case.
- Advice about specific business models and their design is reserved for persons from professions providing advisory services, such as e.g. lawyers. The FMA is therefore unable to provide advisory services.
- Enquiries from professions providing advisory services may only be answered following disclosure of the brief and if accompanied by a statement containing the submitting party’s own legal appraisal.
- The FMA is not ultimately in the position to decide whether or not a specific transaction requires a prospectus, since this decision is reserved for the ordinary courts pursuant to the Capital Markets Act (KMG).
- The FMA is also not the competent authority for the enforcement of the Alternative Financing Act (AltFG – Alternativfinanzierungsgesetz), this competence being held by the local administrative authorities. The same applies for the enforcement of the relevant provisions in the Commercial Code (GewO – Gewerbeordnung) regarding the activities of insurance intermediation by insurance agents and insurance brokers as well as commercial financial advisers.
- Please note that the provision of business activities requiring a licence without holding the required licence, as well as the unauthorised exercising of activities addressed in the Commercial Code (including insurance mediation and providing financial advice on a commercial basis) are punishable under administrative penal law. A breach of the requirements to publish a prospectus is even subject to criminal sanctions. Please therefore enquire before commencing the conducting of your business activity.
- The FMA has established a separate point of contact for FinTech. Please therefore read the information contained on this website at www.fma.gv.at/en/cross-sectoral-topics/fintech/ and as necessary use the dedicated form for FinTech business models, to allow your enquiry to be processed directly by the competent division.
The contact form can be opened via this link or can be filled out directly here:
Contact Form for Legal Enquiries about Business Models