Handbook for Registering Canadian and International Money Services Businesses (MSBs)
Are you initiating a money services business in Canada? Or perhaps you’re already in operation and contemplating the vital step of acquiring a Canadian MSB license. Enrolling as a Money Services Business (MSB) with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) isn’t just a legal obligation; it’s a preventive measure against money laundering and terrorist financing activities.
White and Partners stands as a reputable legal firm with extensive expertise in aiding businesses like yours in navigating the intricate realm of money services. We’ve successfully guided numerous Canadian and international businesses in securing their Canada MSB (Money Services Business) registration. Our seasoned team specializes in unraveling the complexities of regulatory compliance, dedicated to streamlining the registration process seamlessly and effectively for you.
Whether you’re commencing your venture in money services or endeavoring to formalize your business operations, acquiring comprehensive insights into MSB Registration in Canada is pivotal. With our adept guidance, you can confidently navigate the prerequisites, comprehend your obligations, and ensure seamless compliance with the necessary regulations.
Which Enterprises Need Registration with FINTRAC?
According to the PCMLTFA, your business must hold a Canada MSB (Money Services Business) Registration if it involves any of the following activities:
A. If you provide these services:
- Foreign Exchange Dealing: Engaging in transactions where you convert one currency into another (e.g., exchanging USD for CAD).
- Remitting or Transferring Funds: Transmitting funds from one person or entity to another through an electronic funds transfer network or other methods like Hawala, Hundi, Fei ch’ien, and Chitti. This includes remitting funds as directed by clients through credit/debit cards if the beneficiary has an agreement with the payment service provider for goods and services.
- Issuing or Redeeming Money Orders, Traveller’s Cheques, or Similar: Issuing or redeeming money orders, travellers’ cheques, or comparable negotiable instruments, excluding cashing cheques for specific entities or individuals.
- Dealing in Virtual Currency (Cryptocurrency): Providing virtual currency exchange or transfer services, including:
- Exchanging funds for virtual currency,
- Exchanging virtual currency for funds, or
- Exchanging virtual currency for another virtual currency.
- Transferring virtual currency as requested by a client, or
- Receiving a transfer of virtual currency for remittance to a beneficiary.
- Crowdfunding Platform Services: Engaging in both virtual currency exchange and virtual currency transfer services.
B. You have a business presence in Canada if:
- You’re incorporated in Canada,
- Have a physical location in Canada, or
- Employ individuals, agents, or possess branches in Canada.
Additionally, you’ll require a Canada MSB (Money Services Business) License if:
- You hold a permit or license linked to the mentioned services,
- You’re registered as a provider of these services,
- Advertise engagement in these services through various media,
- Offer money transfer services or conduct foreign exchange transactions for over $1,000 in a single transaction within 24 consecutive hours, or
- Issue or redeem negotiable instruments exceeding $1,000 in a single transaction within 24 hours.
Excluding from Canada MSB Registration: If you act solely as an agent for a money services business or conduct money services business activities while providing other services as a reporting entity, the PCMLTFA might not apply to you.
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