Obtaining a Forex license in Kazakhstan - YB Case 2024

Obtaining a Forex license in Kazakhstan

Obtaining a Forex license in Kazakhstan

Purchasing a Forex license in Kazakhstan: key features

Kazakhstan boasts one of the most stable economies in Central Asia, characterized by low inflation and sustained GDP growth. The country has a well-developed financial infrastructure, including exchanges, banks, and depositories. Its securities and forex legislation is relatively liberal and transparent, while the taxation system is favorable towards the forex industry. All these factors make this jurisdiction attractive for entrepreneurs.

Advantages of purchasing a forex license in Kazakhstan

A broker's ability to operate lawfully is validated by a license, which also builds customer confidence. Institutional investors are among the broader clientele that licensed forex brokers can contact. These businesses must adhere to strict guidelines for reporting and financial soundness, which gives customers more confidence. Furthermore, companies are required to keep customer assets in separate accounts to guarantee their protection. Having a license enhances the broker's reputation and increases its marketability.

Advantages of purchasing a forex license in Kazakhstan:
  • Low license cost: the cost of obtaining a forex license in Kazakhstan is significantly lower than in most other countries.
  • Low annual fees: the annual fee for maintaining a license in the country is also one of the lowest among the CIS countries.
  • Here are practically the lowest requirements for the minimum authorized capital.
  • Reporting requirements for forex firms are not as strict as in some other countries.
  • Access to the CIS market: obtaining a forex license in Kazakhstan provides the company with access to the CIS market
  • Stable and developing economy: the country has a stable and developing economy.

Disadvantages of obtaining a forex license in Kazakhstan

The process of acquiring a forex license can be lengthy, complex, and costly. Brokers must compile a dossier of documents that meet the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Regulation and Development of the Financial Market (ARDFM) requirements, undergo an audit, and pay various fees and charges. Licensed brokers are required to comply with a range of stringent regulations. This may lead to increased expenses for the broker, such as maintaining qualified personnel, implementing control and risk management systems. Local companies may be restricted in their activities by the ARDFM regulations. For instance, they may be prohibited from offering clients certain types of trading or using some marketing tools. The forex market in Kazakhstan includes many brokers, both licensed and unlicensed. Obtaining a forex license does not guarantee a competitive advantage for the broker.

Licensing

Forex activities are carried out on the basis of a license, which is divided into two categories:

  1. The first category grants the firm the right to manage client accounts and register various securities transactions. Structural requirements include the mandatory presence of a person responsible for executing transactions with various financial instruments, trading and settlement departments, a person responsible for transaction execution, and so on.
  2. A second-tier license does not grant firms the authority to register securities transactions, nor does it permit the management of client accounts. The structural requirements in this case are less stringent than those for a first-tier license.

To obtain any of the two license categories you must:

  • Comply with all legal requirements.
  • Collect a package of documents.
  • Successfully pass an inspection by an authorized body.

The process of obtaining a forex license

  1. Registration of a company: a forex broker must be registered as a legal entity in accordance with the law.
  2. Compliance with capital requirements: in the country, the minimum charter capital for forex brokers is set at 400,000 monthly calculation indices (approximately 1.5 billion tenge, equivalent to around 3.3 million USD).
  3. The acquisition of permission for conducting forex activities entails the firm's submission of an application to ARDFM, along with the provision of a document package comprising constituent documents, internal control rules, a business plan, qualification documents of the firm's management and staff, and other documents required by ARDFM.
  4. Passing an audit: before receiving a license, a forex broker must undergo an audit conducted by an independent audit company.
  5. Following the successful completion of all steps in the process, ARDFM grants a license to a forex broker for conducting forex operations.

Time frame for obtaining a forex license in Kazakhstan

The timeliness may differ based on several aspects, such as the correctness and completeness of the papers filed with ARDFM, the effectiveness of the relevant ARDFM units, and the need for follow-up inspections or information requests.

Typically, securing a forex permit in Kazakhstan can span from several months to around one year.

Forex business in Kazakhstan: current status and prospects

Over the past few years, the Forex market in Kazakhstan has undergone significant transformations. On one hand, it has become more sophisticated and accessible to traders: an increasing number of brokers offer convenient and functional online trading platforms. Traders can engage not only in currency pairs but also in other assets such as stocks and cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, regulatory measures governing Forex activities have tightened. As is well-known, operations in this sector are overseen by the ARDFM. Since 2020, stricter requirements have been imposed on Forex brokers.

Despite tightening regulations, the forex business in Kazakhstan exhibits certain prospects. An increasing number of individuals within the country are becoming acquainted with the opportunities presented by forex trading, rendering it a burgeoning field. Additionally, an increasing number of internet platforms are appearing that make it easier to enter the currency market. Furthermore, in 2018, certain limitations on currency transactions in Kazakhstan were removed, which would have made the forex market more alluring to traders from that country.

Choosing a legal form for a forex company in Kazakhstan

Choosing a legal form for a forex company in Kazakhstan is an important step that affects many aspects of your firm's activities, including:

  • Reporting: the scope and format of reporting may vary depending on the chosen legal form.
  • Liability: the extent of liability of company owners to creditors and others may vary.
  • Access to finance: some legal forms may have greater access to finance than others.
  • Governance: the governance structure may vary depending on the legal form chosen.

When choosing a legal form, there are a number of factors to consider:

  • Goals and objectives of the company
  • Number of founders
  • Level of responsibility
  • Taxation
  • Registration and maintenance costs

The following legal forms are available for forex companies:

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP):

It is rightfully considered one of the most popular forms of doing business in Kazakhstan.

Advantages of LLP:
  • Limited liability: participants in this form of company are liable for its obligations only to the extent of their contributions to the authorized capital.
  • Ease of registration and maintenance: the registration procedure is relatively simple and does not require much time, which is also an advantage.
  • Flexibility: an LLP can be created by one or several persons.
  • Autonomy: is an independent legal entity with its own property, accounts and seal.

Joint-Stock Company (JSC)

It is also a very popular form of company in the country.

Advantages of JSC:
  • Limited accountability: shareholders of a JSC bear responsibility for its commitments solely up to the value of their shares.
  • Raising capital: a JSC can raise capital by issuing shares.
  • Possibility of exiting the business: JSC shareholders can freely sell their shares to other persons.
  • Prestige: it is considered a more prestigious form of business compared to LLP.
Disadvantages of JSC:
  • Difficulty of registration and maintenance: the procedure for registering a JSC is more complex and takes more time than registering an LLP.
  • Higher cost: registration and maintenance of a JSC is more expensive than an LLP.
  • Strict regulation: the activities of JSCs are regulated by more stringent legal norms than the activities of LLPs.

Before deciding on the choice of legal form, consult with lawyers and tax advisors.

Taxation of Forex companies

Resident firms are subject to worldwide profit taxation, while non-resident firms operating through a permanent establishment (PE) in Kazakhstan are only liable for Kazakhstani CIT on the profit attributable to this PE.

Forex companies pay the following taxes:
  • Corporate income tax for residents is 20%.
  • The social tax rate is 2.5% of the wage fund.
  • The rate of mandatory pension contributions is 10% of the wage fund.
  • VAT: Forex companies providing services for currency transactions are not VAT payers.
  • Property tax: Forex firms pay property tax on the real estate they own or use.
  • Land tax: Forex firms pay land tax on land plots they own or use.

Laws regulating the activities of forex brokers

Securities Market Law

Resolution No. 168, issued April 28, 2012, by the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan, pertaining to the minimum permissible capital size of a licensee or applicant.

Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Joint Stock Companies

  • The Republic of Kazakhstan's law governing governmental oversight, control, and regulation of the financial industry and financial institutions.

Thus, from now on, firms wishing to provide services to access the trading and online investment market in the country must purchase the appropriate license.

To purchase this license, you must meet a number of requirements, including:

  • Availability of sufficient authorized capital.
  • Availability of experienced personnel with appropriate qualifications.
  • Developed risk management system.
  • Adherence to the stipulations of the legislative framework of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Obtaining a license is a guarantee that the brokerage company operates legally and in good faith.

Investors who cooperate with licensed brokers can be confident in the safety of their funds and the transparency of transactions.

The law is aimed at protecting the rights of investors and developing a civilized Forex market in Kazakhstan.

It is expected that the new requirements will tighten control over the activities of forex brokers, increase their level of reliability and transparency, and will also help create a safer and more attractive investment environment.

Residence permit in Kazakhstan for entrepreneurs

Forex entrepreneurs can obtain a residence permit in Kazakhstan based on:

  • To acquire a residency permit based on business, one must establish a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or operate as a sole proprietor in Kazakhstan and commit a minimum of $300,000 in investment.
  • Forex traders have the opportunity to secure a residency permit in Kazakhstan through an employment agreement with a Kazakhstani corporation.
  • Additionally, individuals can obtain a residency permit in Kazakhstan by injecting at least $500,000 into the nation's economy.
  • Family members of entrepreneurs who have been granted residency permits in Kazakhstan through business, employment, or investment routes are also eligible to obtain residency permits.

The procedure for obtaining a residence permit in Kazakhstan:

  • Establish criteria for acquiring a residency authorization.
  • Gather the required paperwork.
  • Present documents to the immigration office.
  • Undergo an interview.
  • Receive the residency permit.

List of required documents:

  • Passport for international travel.
  • Photographs.
  • Health declaration.
  • Certificate indicating absence of criminal record.
  • Proof of eligibility for residency.
  • Additional paperwork (varying based on residency eligibility).

Opening a bank account for a forex firm

Opening a bank account is a prerequisite for operating a Forex company in Kazakhstan. The company's account will store both its own funds and clients' funds.

  1. When choosing a bank you should pay attention to:
    • Reliability and reputation.
    • Conditions for opening and servicing an account.
    • Tariffs for banking services.
    • Experience working with Forex companies.
  2. Collect a package of documents.
    • Certificate of state registration of a legal entity.
    • Charter
    • The decision to create a company.
    • Information about beneficiaries.
    • Passports of managers and employees.
    • License to carry out forex activities.
    • Other documents upon request of the bank.
  3. Apply for opening an account.
    • An application for opening an account can be submitted at a bank branch or online.
  4. Undergo scrutiny.
    • The bank verifies the authenticity of documents and the company’s compliance with legal requirements.
  5. Conclude a banking service agreement.
    • The agreement will specify the conditions for opening and servicing the account.

Obtaining a Forex license in Kazakhstan with YB CASE

We employ qualified specialists who have extensive experience in helping Forex companies obtain a license.

We will assist you in selecting the organizational and legal form of your company, provide consultation on aligning all aspects with the requirements for your firm. We will aid in engaging with the local regulator, offer support in opening a bank account, and more. We will present you with personalized consultation and devise an individualized plan for acquiring a forex license.

Our advantages:
  • Experience and knowledge: our specialists have a lot of work in the financial sector and know all the requirements for Forex brokers in Kazakhstan.
  • Saving time and resources: we will take care of all the work of obtaining a Forex license, which will allow you to focus on other important tasks.

Contact us any time.

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