Forex license in Hungary - YB Case 2024

Forex license in Hungary

Forex license in Hungary

Hungary, strategically situated in Central Europe, exhibits dynamic growth with an annual GDP increase of 5%. This nation serves as a pivotal railway hub, linking the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

For both non-residents and European residents, Hungary stands out as a premier jurisdiction within the EU, excelling in attracting foreign investment. Hungarian companies hold a high standing within the Western European community, benefitting from full EU membership. The nation's flexible tax system, legal provisions to avoid double taxation, straightforward bank account establishment, diverse banking products, and other favorable factors make Hungary an ideal choice for companies seeking to acquire a forex license.

Benefits and characteristics of acquiring a forex license in Hungary

Hungary is an appealing jurisdiction for forex brokers, offering several advantages, such as:

  • Stable economy: as an EU member, Hungary boasts a stable economic environment.
  • Advanced infrastructure: the country features a well-developed financial infrastructure, encompassing exchanges and banks.
  • Favorable tax regime: Forex brokers can benefit from advantageous taxation policies.

Advantages of securing a forex license in Hungary

  • Access to the EU market: a forex license in Hungary enables brokers to offer services throughout the EEA.
  • Enhanced reputation: possessing a forex license in Hungary enhances a broker's reputation and fosters customer trust.
  • Market competitiveness: holding a forex license in Hungary can provide brokers with a significant competitive edge in the market.

Disadvantages of securing a forex license in Hungary

  • Cost: acquiring a forex license in Hungary can be costly.
  • Time-consuming process: The licensing process can be lengthy.
  • Regulatory compliance: Forex brokers in Hungary must adhere to stringent regulatory requirements.

Criteria for a company to secure a Forex license

Hungary adheres to MiFID II, which sets forth uniform regulations for forex brokers operating within the EU. To obtain a forex license in Hungary, a company must:

  1. Legal entity registration: be registered as a legal entity in Hungary.
  2. Min. capital requirement: maintain a minimum authorized capital of €125K.
  3. Central bank approval: obtain authorization from the MNB - the nation's Central Bank.
  4. Compliance with MiFID II standards:
    • Ensure the availability of qualified management personnel.
    • Develop comprehensive internal policies and procedures.
    • Implement effective risk management systems.
    • Safeguard investors' rights.
    • Adhere to financial reporting and transparency requirements.

Given the complexity and duration of the licensing process, it is advisable to engage the services of an experienced attorney specializing in financial market regulation.

Step-by-step guide to acquiring a Forex license

The procedure for obtaining a forex license in Hungary involves several steps:

  1. Document preparation:
    • Complete and submit the forex license application to the MNB.
    • Provide a detailed business plan.
    • Submit audited financial statements for the past two years and future financial projections.
    • Furnish information about the management and ownership.
    • Outline the risk management system.
    • Additional documents, such as certificates of compliance and permits, may be required based on specific circumstances.
  2. Submission and fee payment:
    • Submit all required documentation to MNB and pay the applicable fee.
  3. Application review:
    • MNB will conduct a thorough review of the application, a process that may take several months.
  4. License issuance:
    • Upon approval by MNB, a forex license will be issued, valid for five years.

Required documentation for a Forex license in Hungary

  1. Completed application form:
    • Company information (name, address, legal form)
    • Details of the company's beneficiaries
    • Information about the company's management
    • Description of the company's activities
  2. Detailed plan of operation:
    • Company strategy in the forex market
    • Target markets
    • Products and services
    • Marketing strategy
    • Risk management plan
    • Financial forecast
  3. Financial plan:
    • Confirmation of the company's financial stability
    • Proof of the company's ability to meet its obligations to clients
    • Evidence of necessary reserves to cover potential losses
  4. Employee qualifications:
    • Resumes and diplomas of all personnel involved in forex activities
    • Documentation of industry experience
  5. Additional documentation:
    • Copies of the company's founding documents
    • Information about the company's owners and shareholders
    • Certificates of no criminal record for company management
    • Other documents as requested by MNB

The list of required documents may change, so it is recommended to verify the current list with MNB before submitting an application. All documents must be translated into Hungarian. Additionally, MNB may request further information or documents during the review process. Engaging a lawyer specializing in financial law is advisable to ensure proper preparation and increase the likelihood of obtaining a forex license in Hungary.

Cost of obtaining a Forex license in Hungary

The expenses associated with acquiring a forex license in Hungary encompass several components:

  1. State fee: €20K.
  2. Legal and consulting services: the cost of assistance from lawyers and consultants varies based on the complexity of your specific circumstances.
  3. Additional expenses:
    • Document translation in Hungarian.
    • Notary fees: certain documents may require notarization.
    • Account opening costs.

To determine the precise cost of obtaining a forex license tailored to your specific situation, consultation with our specialists is recommended.

Time frame for obtaining a Forex license in Hungary

Registering a company in Hungary typically takes several weeks, while obtaining approval from MNB may span several months. On average, the process to secure a forex license ranges from 3 to 6 months.

However, the exact duration may vary based on several factors, including:

  • Strategy complexity: a more intricate operational plan may extend the review period by MNB.
  • Volume of documentation: the greater the number of documents submitted, the longer the processing time.
  • MNB workload: if MNB is occupied with other applications, the review process may be prolonged.

Hungarian company forms suitable for obtaining a Forex license

Comparative overview

Criterion

Kft (LLC)

Nyrt (JSC)

Registration

Simple, time-efficient

Complex, requires more documentation

Management

One or more directors

Board of Directors and Supervisory Board

Liability

Limited to members' contributions

Limited to shareholders' contributions

Investor Attractiveness

Less attractive

More attractive, especially for large investors

Capital Raising

Limited

Broader, due to share issuance

Reporting Requirements

Less stringent

More stringent

Suitability

SMEs

Large enterprises

The MNB may impose additional requirements based on the chosen company form. It is advisable to consult a legal professional before selecting the appropriate structure.

Note! Hungary offers a program for entrepreneurs to obtain a residence permit through business registration. This program provides a legal basis for a one-year residence permit, which can be extended. After three years, applicants may apply for permanent residence and eventually citizenship.

Taxation of Forex companies

Type

Rate

Description

Income tax

9%

Levied on a company's net income.

Tax on dividends

0%

No tax on dividends paid to shareholders.

VAT

27%

Levied on the sale of goods and services.

Local government tax

0.4%

Levied on a company's income.

Stamp duty

0.2%

Imposed on certain corporate documents.

Social security tax

19.5%

Levied on employee salaries, partially paid by the employer.

Health tax

2.5%

Levied on employee salaries, partially paid by the employer.

LBT for Forex Companies

The LBT rate is capped at 2% by law. For the tax year ending 2022, the maximum LBT rate was 1% for micro, small, and medium-sized businesses, even if the municipal ordinance prescribed a higher rate. However, from January 1, 2023, the LBT deduction rate no longer applies. LBT is levied on business activities, including those of forex companies. The LBT rate varies by municipality, ranging from 0% to 2%, and is based on gross income from business activities, including forex trading. Certain activities may qualify for preferential LBT rates or exemptions.

LBT calculation for SMEs

Effective January 1, 2023, new rules apply to the calculation of LBT for small businesses in Hungary. A company is classified as a small business if its annual income does not exceed 25 million forints. For retail companies, the threshold is 120 million forints.

The tax base varies according to the income category:

  • Up to 25 million forints: The tax base is 50% of gross income.
  • From 25 to 120 million forints: The tax base is 75% of gross income.

The minimum business tax is 50,000 forints, payable annually without the need for a tax return.

Opening a bank account in Hungary

The process of opening a bank account for a forex company can differ significantly from that of an individual. Here are the key considerations:

Selecting a bank

Not all banks in Hungary are willing to work with forex companies. It is essential to identify a bank experienced in the forex industry and familiar with the specific requirements of forex businesses. Consulting with a lawyer specializing in financial law is highly recommended to find a suitable bank.

Required documents

The documentation requirements may vary between banks, but typically include:

  • Certificate of company registration
  • License to conduct forex activities
  • Passports and residence permits of all directors and shareholders
  • Financial statements
  • Business plan of the company

Compliance requirements

Forex companies must adhere to several compliance requirements to open a bank account in Hungary. These may include:

  • AML/CFT regulations
  • KYC protocols
  • Suspicious transaction reporting

Expenses

Bank account maintenance fees for forex companies may be higher than those for individuals. It is advisable to check with the chosen bank regarding the specific rates for servicing forex company accounts.

Currency

Accounts can be opened in Hungarian Forints (HUF) or other currencies. For those planning to trade in multiple currencies, a multi-currency account will be necessary.

Our services

YB CASE offers comprehensive support for companies seeking to obtain a forex license in Hungary. Our specialists provide guidance on all aspects of obtaining a forex license, including assistance with selecting the appropriate company form, registration, and preparation of necessary documentation for application submission. Additionally, we represent your company’s interests at MNB, and assist in ensuring compliance with MNB requirements post-licensing.

Our team has extensive experience in acquiring forex licenses, with profound knowledge of Hungarian legislation and regulatory practices in the forex sector.

Contact us at any time for expert assistance.

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