Get a Forex Brokerage License in South Africa 2023

Facts & Figures

Those who are seeking a swift and affordable on-shore Forex license should look no further than South Africa. As a G20 nation and globally respected jurisdiction, South Africa offers everything a growing Forex business could hope for – while having some of the lowest capital requirements and monthly expenses of all on-shore jurisdictions.

The process

The costs

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About the South Africa Forex License

Table of Contents

South Africa, one of the must economically successful nations on the African continent, is swiftly rising as a top choice for offshore forex brokerage licenses due to its strong regulatory environment and the benefits that come with having a on-shore license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the process of obtaining a forex brokerage license in South Africa, discussing the various steps, requirements, and potential challenges, with expert insights from our specialists at

The Economy of South Africa

The economy of South Africa is an upper-middle-income economy, the third-largest in Africa by nominal GDP, and is considered one of the most industrialized countries in Africa. The economy is primarily based on mining, manufacturing, services, agriculture, and tourism.

Notably, South Africa has a strong financial sector and is a significant hub for financial services and investment in Africa. Its government has introduced various economic reforms in recent years, ranging from the liberalization of the foreign exchange market to the legalization of cannabis – highlighting the nations drive to innovate. South Africa has also attracted substantial foreign direct investment, particularly from Europe, the United States, and China. 

These characteristics have led to an influx of fintech companies over the coming years – with Forex brokers, payment processors, and others moving into the South African market.

How South Africa Regulates Financial Markets

South Africa regulates financial markets through the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). The FSCA is responsible for the licensing, supervision, and regulation of all financial services providers, including banks, insurance companies, securities dealers, and collective investment schemes. The FSCA also regulates the activities of non-bank financial institutions, including money lenders, foreign exchange dealers, and money transfer services. As such, it is the most important authority when it comes to Forex companies.

Taxation in South Africa

Taxation in South Africa is managed by the South African Revenue Service (SARS). 

Like with most other nations, personal income taxation in South Africa is based on a progressive tax system. The tax rate for individuals ranges from 18% to 45%. For companies, the regular tax rate is 28%.

However, there are various tax incentives that can apply to the company tax rate. For example, banking, insurances, petrol, and telecommunication companies are only subject to a 10% corporate tax. Addtionally, South Africa has Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) that come with their own tax rates (which are usually much lower than the regular rate).

Benefits of the South Africa Forex License

South Africa has become a favored hub for obtaining forex brokerage licenses due to its robust regulatory environment, strong financial services sector, and numerous tax incentives. In detail, its benefits include:

  1. South Africa offers a well-regulated financial sector overseen by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). The FSCA ensures that forex brokers adhere to strict guidelines and standards, promoting transparency and accountability – to a much greater extend than many off-shore jurisdictions. This robust regulatory framework helps build trust among investors and traders, making South Africa a desirable location for forex brokers.

  2. It’s not a secrete that the licensing process in South Africa is relatively cost-effective. The initial and ongoing fees are very competitive, making it an attractive destination for forex brokers, especially those seeking an on-shore license. The South African forex license also has a transparent and predictable approval process, which allows brokers to commence their operations in a timely manner. At, we believe South Africa is one of the best forex licenses to get in 2023 due to the low cost and transparent process.

  3. Those who are seeking to access African customers definitely won’t get around the South African license. As a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union, South Africa offers forex brokers excellent opportunities to expand their business and clientele across these regions.

  4. In contrast to off-shore destinations such as Seychelles, South Africa has a highly educated and skilled workforce, with a strong emphasis on finance, accounting, and information technology. Forex brokers who choose to set up their operations in South Africa can benefit from a local talent pool that is well-equipped to handle the demands of the forex industry. Additionally, many South Africans have European origins and obtained work experience in global business hubs such as London, Sydney, and New York.

  5. South Africa is recognized for its political stability and strong economic performance. The country has consistently implemented reforms that promote economic growth, attracting foreign direct investment and developing a strong financial services sector. Forex brokers operating in South Africa can enjoy the benefits of a stable environment that supports the growth of their business.

  6. South Africa has established itself as a reputable international financial center, thanks to its robust regulatory framework, skilled workforce, and commitment to economic growth. Forex brokers who obtain a South African forex license can leverage the country’s positive reputation to attract clients and investors who are confident in the quality of services offered.

Who is eligible for a South Africa Forex License?

To be eligible for a South Africa forex brokerage license, applicants must provide a spotless criminal record and must not be from a high-risk country, which includes North Korea, Iran, and a handful of other nations. Politically exposed persons may also face difficulties in obtaining a license, as is the same with most other licenses. Only after all applicants underwent a thorough background their eligibility can be verified.

Applying for a New Forex Brokerage License: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Register a Company 

The first step to obtaining a forex brokerage license in South Africa is to register a company. This requires registering a company name, preparing a Memorandum of Incorporation, obtaining a business registration number, registering the company with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), and opening a corporate bank account. This is something your attorney or service provider (such as will do on your behalf.

Step 2: Prepare the Required Documentation 

Next your consultants will help you prepare the required documentation for the license application. This includes a detailed business plan, internal policies and procedures, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing policies, risk management policies, and proof of the company’s capital adequacy. The company’s directors and key individuals must also provide their professional qualifications, experience, and proof of integrity.

Step 3: Submit the Application to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) 

The application for a forex brokerage license must be submitted to the FSCA. The application must include all the required documentation, along with the application fee. The FSCA will review the application and may request additional information or clarification. The review process can take several months.

Step 4: Undergo a Fit and Proper Test 

The FSCA will conduct a fit and proper test to assess the integrity and competence of the company’s directors and key individuals. This includes a background check, a review of their professional qualifications and experience, and an assessment of their financial stability. The FSCA may reject the application if any of the directors or key individuals fail the fit and proper test.

Step 5: Obtain the License 

Once the application has been approved, the FSCA will issue the forex brokerage license. The company must comply with all the conditions of the license and adhere to the regulatory standards set by the FSCA. The company is also required to pay an annual license fee to the FSCA.

Step 6: Start Operating 

With the license obtained, the company can start operating as a forex broker in South Africa. The company must maintain its compliance with FSCA regulations, submit regular reports to the FSCA, and ensure that it remains adequately capitalized at all times.

While the process of obtaining a forex brokerage license in South Africa is straightforward, it can be complex and time-consuming.

It requires a thorough understanding of the regulatory environment, the preparation of a detailed business plan and internal policies, and the ability to demonstrate the company’s capital adequacy. For these reasons, it is recommended to work with experienced consultants or legal professionals who specialize in South African forex licensing to ensure a smooth and successful application process. offers a full suite of services to assist with the process of obtaining a forex brokerage license in South Africa, including company formation, preparation of the license application, and ongoing compliance support. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you establish your forex brokerage in South Africa.

Comparing South Africa to Other Jurisdictions

South Africa is increasingly becoming a favored destination for forex brokerage licenses due to its robust regulatory environment, burgeoning economy, and strategic geographic location. Compared to other jurisdictions, South Africa offers a competitive edge for businesses in terms of its robust financial services sector and access to a vast market of potential forex traders.

While the process of obtaining a forex brokerage license can be more complex and time-consuming in South Africa compared to some other jurisdictions, the benefits of operating in this well-regulated and economically strong country often outweigh these challenges. Therefore, for many forex brokers, South Africa is an attractive option for establishing their operations.

Key Benefits of a South Africa Forex Broker License

  • No withholding taxes
  • G20 nation
  • Bridge to African market
  • On-shore

Ready to Move Forward?

Book a free consultation with one of our experienced specialists to get your license application start or learn more about the Mauritius Forex License.