Skip to content

Renting (or Leasing) a License

Using the term “renting” to describe the process of becoming an agent or representative of a principal license holder (PLH) is generally discouraged by financial regulators worldwide, but especially in the United States. This is because “renting” implies a temporary or informal arrangement, while the process of sponsoring a license is a formal, legal arrangement with specific requirements that must be met. Despite this, the term is commonly used due to a lack of a more suitable synonym that accurately conveys the nature of the arrangement.

  • Definition of renting a MSB License: Renting a MSB (Money Services Business) License is when a person or business applies for a MSB license and allows another person or business to use it. The primary license holder must oversee the activities of the people or businesses that are renting the license.
  • Relevance of renting a MSB License in Worldwide, particularly in the United States: Renting a MSB license is becoming increasingly popular, as it allows businesses to expand their range of services more quickly and easily. This is particularly relevant in the United States, where there are many regulations and laws governing the activities of money service businesses.
  • Overview of the laws and regulations that must be followed: Before renting a MSB license, it is important to understand the laws and regulations that must be followed. This includes knowing the legal requirements for obtaining a MSB license, understanding the restrictions placed on those holding the license, and ensuring that all financial transactions are conducted in compliance with applicable laws. It is also important to understand the requirements for reporting suspicious activity to the relevant authorities.

Axioms of Renting a MSB License

  • Axiom #1: Client must legally belong to the principal license holder: In order to rent a MSB license, the client must legally belong to the primary license holder. This means that the client must be registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and must adhere to all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Axiom #2: Flow of funds must go through the principal license holder’s account: When renting a MSB license, it is important to ensure that all financial transactions are conducted through the primary license holder’s account. This ensures that all funds are properly tracked and monitored, and that any suspicious activity can be reported to the relevant authorities.
  • Axiom #3: Must be in the same business as the principal license holder: In order to rent a MSB license, the business that is renting must be in the same line of business as the primary license holder. This ensures that both parties are aware of any applicable regulations and laws, and that both parties have an understanding of their respective roles and responsibilities.

Benefits of Renting a MSB License

  • Increased access to services: Renting a MSB license allows businesses to access services that they may not have access to otherwise. This includes access to payment processors, banking services, and other financial services. This can help businesses expand their offerings more quickly and easily.
  • Regulatory compliance: Renting a MSB license helps businesses ensure that they are compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. This can help businesses avoid penalties and fines, as well as reduce their risk of being investigated by authorities.
  • Easier and faster to obtain license: Renting a MSB license is often easier and faster than obtaining one directly from FinCEN or a state regulator. This can help businesses get up and running quicker, allowing them to focus on growing their business rather than worrying about regulatory compliance.

Challenges of Renting a MSB License

  • Misalignment of goals: When renting a MSB license, it is important to ensure that both parties are aligned in their goals. If there is misalignment between the primary license holder and those renting the license, it can lead to misunderstandings or disputes down the line. It is therefore important for both parties to have an understanding of each other’s objectives before entering into an agreement.
  • Regulatory scrutiny: When renting a MSB license, it is important to understand that there will be increased regulatory scrutiny. This can include additional reporting requirements, audits, or investigations by authorities. It is therefore important for businesses renting a MSB license to ensure that they are compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Trusting the principal license holder: Trust is an important factor when renting a MSB license. Businesses need to trust that the primary license holder will adhere to all applicable laws and regulations, as well as handle financial transactions responsibly. It is therefore important for businesses to do their due diligence before entering into any agreements with a primary license holder.

In summary: Renting a MSB License can be beneficial for businesses looking to expand their range of services quickly and easily. However, it is important for businesses to understand and adhere to all applicable laws and regulations, as well as ensure that they trust their primary license holder before entering into any agreements. By taking these steps, businesses can ensure that they are compliant with all applicable laws while also taking advantage of increased access to services offered by renting a MSB License.

Contact us!

This page was last updated on January 5, 2023.