New law firms—applying for SRA authorisation

The following Practice Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • New law firms—applying for SRA authorisation
  • The requirement for SRA authorisation
  • Does my business need to be authorised by the SRA?
  • Can my business be authorised by the SRA?
  • Applying for authorisation
  • Firm authorisation form (FA1)
  • Section 1—Application details
  • Section 2—Post and role holder details
  • Section 3—Organisation information—Business Structure
  • Section 3—Organisation information—Separate businesses
  • More...

New law firms—applying for SRA authorisation

This Practice Note provides guidance on applying to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for authorisation to run your business as an SRA-regulated recognised sole practice, recognised body or licensed body (including multi-disciplinary practices) and completing the SRA’s firm authorisation application form (Form FA1). This Practice Note also identifies specific precedents within Practice Compliance and Practice Management you could use or adapt to support your application to the SRA, and highlights subtopics you may wish to read for further information about key sections of the form.

The requirement for SRA authorisation

Prior to the introduction of the SRA Standards and Regulations (also known as the ‘StaRs’) in 2019, if you wanted to set up a new law firm in England and Wales you had to apply to the SRA for approval to operate as a:

  1. recognised body, ie lawyer-owned/managed law firm

  2. licensed body, ie an alternative business structure (ABS)

  3. recognised sole practitioner

One of the key changes made by the StaRs was to the ways solicitors can practice. Not every legal services business now needs to be regulated by the SRA.

For further information about the StaRs more generally, see Practice Notes: SRA Standards and Regulations, SRA regulatory regime—from 2019 and SRA Code of Conduct for individuals and firms.

Does my business need to be authorised by the SRA?

You will need to apply for SRA

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