A corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship (unincorporated business) that wishes to deal and trade in mortgages in Ontario as a mortgage brokerage must apply for a licence, unless granted an exception.
New: You can submit your application for a mortgage brokerage licence through the Online Services Portal. It’s fast, easy, and convenient.
About the licence
Under the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006 (the Act), as amended, a mortgage brokerage must be licensed to deal and trade in mortgages unless exempted from doing so. In order to obtain a mortgage brokerage licence, a business must complete the Mortgage Brokerage Licence Application.
All Individuals (including directors, officers, partners, the directors and officers of corporate partners, employees or agents) of a brokerage who would be engaged in dealing or trading in mortgages on the brokerage's behalf, must obtain a mortgage broker or mortgage agent licence. A mortgage broker or agent licence authorizes an individual to work for only the brokerage named under the licence. An individual cannot be licensed to work for more than one brokerage.
The CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CEO of FSRA) will use the information obtained in this application to determine whether a company meets the prescribed eligibility requirements, and is suitable for a licence to operate as a mortgage brokerage. As an applicant, you will be required to submit supporting documents about the company and its sole proprietor or directors/officers/partners.
To ensure a timely and efficient review of your application, please provide complete and correct information, as well as all the required supporting documents.
A separate application is required to be licensed as a mortgage administrator.
You are required to pay a fee to complete the application process. The fee is not submitted with the application, but is collected at the end of the application process.
Fees are collected through FSRA's online licensing system, when the applicant submits the application for a broker’s licence for the business's Principal Broker. The amount of the fee is prorated based on when the Principal Broker application is submitted. There is no separate fee payable for that broker’s application. This is to avoid one-person brokerages (sole proprietors or corporations) from paying a fee twice (first as a broker and second as a brokerage).
Fees are payable annually with respect to all applications for licences, other than for the brokerage’s Principal Broker.
To simplify the payment and reconciliation process, brokerages are also required to pay fees on behalf of each of their agents and brokers. These fees are paid electronically when the brokerage submits licence applications for its brokers and agents through the online licensing system.
Once licensed, every brokerage must pay an annual regulatory fee. This fee is due every year on March 31. The brokerage must also pay these annual fees on behalf of each of its agents and brokers, other than the Principal Broker, when they renew their agent or broker licences.
For more information on fees, please review our Fee Rule document.
Requirements for getting a licence
Before you begin the application, you will need:
- To identify your Principal Broker and contact information for this individual, including an email address.
- Official documentation for your business, such as articles of incorporation if it is a corporation, the partnership agreement if a partnership, the Master Business Licence if the business uses a business or trade name, and a list of its directors/officers/partners, as applicable.
- A copy of the business’s errors and omissions (E&O) insurance certificate and policy.
- An Ontario mailing address for service or to receive registered mail; this cannot be a post office box.
Ready to apply?
An incomplete or unclear application submission may result in processing delays or your application being rejected. You can submit your application for a mortgage brokerage licence through the Online Services Portal, by mail or email. If you are submitting by mail or email, please use the PDF application form.
When completing the application, please remember the following:
- The application submission must be legible. Please complete the form using the fillable PDF capabilities and then print and sign the application.
- When supporting documents or other information are required, please attach copies and not originals.
- Your application form and supporting documents may be sent to FSRA by mail or email to the following addresses:
Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario
25 Sheppard Avenue West, Suite 100
Email (for electronic copies): [email protected]
Once you complete the application and submit it to FSRA, you will receive an email confirming receipt. FSRA will advise you if the application can proceed to the next step in the process.
When you receive approval to proceed, you must prepare and submit an application to license the business's Principal Broker. Then, prepare and submit online declarations for all the company's directors/officers/partners through FSRA’s online licensing system. All directors/officers/partners or a sole proprietor (DOPs) are required to provide confirmation of their suitability for licensing of the brokerage.
The brokerage licence will only be approved or issued when all the declarations from the business's DOPs are received and reviewed by FSRA. Once the mortgage brokerage licence has been approved, an email will be sent to the Principal Broker to provide the brokerage’s licence number. No paper licence will be issued. At this point, the brokerage may prepare and submit applications to license its other brokers and agents through FSRA's online licensing system.
Mortgage brokerage licensing information
FSRA is required to maintain a public registry of licensed mortgage brokerages.
FSRA collaborates with other organizations, including other regulators, fraud prevention organizations and law enforcement agencies, as part of its role in protecting the public interest. Please be advised that the licensing information of you and the brokerage business (e.g., licence number, licence status, legal business address and the names of the directors/officers/partners or sole proprietor) may be shared with organizations that collect and use this information, only as reasonably necessary, for the purposes of detecting, suppressing and preventing fraud, and for other law enforcement purposes.
Detailed instructions for completing your application
The Mortgage Brokerage Licence Application has six parts:
- Part A—Attestation, consent and notification
- Part B—Applicant information
- Part C—Business information
- Part D—Suitability for a licence
- Part E—Directors/officers/partners
- Part F—Application checklist
Parts A, B, C and D of the application must be completed. Part E must be completed if the business is of a type other than of a sole proprietorship. Part F is a checklist to ensure your application package is complete.
Part A—Attestation, consent and notification
A director/officer/partner or the sole proprietor of the business must sign this application. The individual signing the application must declare that the statements, declarations and answers provided, including attachments, are true and complete.
Any false, deceptive or misleading statement or omission in an application or supporting material may result in refusal or revocation of the licence, prosecution or other sanctions.
Any false, deceptive or misleading information provided to the CEO or a person designated by the CEO with respect to matters of the Act or its regulations is an offence under section 45 of the Act, as amended.
The individual signing the application is providing consent on behalf of the applicant for the collection and validation of the information in this application and to share and disclose any of the information to other licensing authorities, regulatory bodies or law enforcement agencies for any purpose related to law enforcement.
Part B—Applicant information
This part of the application collects key pieces of information about the applicant that will be included in FSRA's registry for identification and administrative purposes. FSRA may share items 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8 with the public.
1. Business type and legal name
The licence must be held by a business in one of three accepted types. Choose one of the following:
- Sole Proprietor (unincorporated business)
State the full legal name of the corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship:
- Corporation—the name specified in the articles of incorporation or the latest articles of amendment, articles of amalgamation or articles of continuance.
- Partnership—the name as it appears on the partnership agreement, registered as the firm name with Ontario's Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (if different than the full name of the partners). List the names of all partners within the partnership, and the type of partnership.
- Sole Proprietor—the sole proprietor’s legal name in Canada (must be a Canadian resident).
In the case of a partnership in which not all partners are individuals, an organizational chart identifying the partners and the type of the partnership must be provided. In the case of a limited partnership, identify the general partner and each of the limited partners. For corporate partnerships, list the officers or directors for each partner.
2. Registration/jurisdiction information (applies to corporations/partnerships only)
When the business type is a corporation or partnership, provide the following information:
- Corporation Number—provide the Ontario Corporation Number issued by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services or the corporation number issued by the Government of Canada.
- Jurisdiction of Incorporation—if your brokerage is a corporation, provide the jurisdiction of incorporation (federal or provincial/territorial).
- Jurisdiction of Formation—if your brokerage is a partnership, provide the jurisdiction of formation (name of the province or territory).
3. Registered business name/trade name
If your corporation/partnership/sole proprietorship will be conducting business in a name other than, or in addition to, its legal name, specify the name. A brokerage may use one other name in addition to its legal name. The name must be registered to the corporation/partnership/sole proprietorship under Ontario's Business Names Act.
A licence cannot be issued to a corporation/partnership/sole proprietorship using a name that is confusingly similar to that of another licensed brokerage or that is otherwise objectionable on public grounds. It is an offence for a brokerage to carry on business in a name other than the name in which it is licensed.
4. Participation in a franchise
If a corporation/partnership/sole proprietorship intends to carry on business using a franchise name, the franchise name must be included in either its legal or the registered business name. The corporation/partnership/sole proprietorship must have authorization from the franchisor to use its franchise name.
5. Name of proposed Principal Broker
Provide the name and email address of the proposed Principal Broker for the business. This person will be addressed as the Principal Broker.
6. Licensing system user
Provide the name and email address of the primary licensing system user for the business. The Principal Broker and the primary licensing system user can be the same individual or different individuals.
The licensing system is the online application system that will be used by the brokerage to submit applications for its agents and brokers and declarations for its directors, officers, partners or the sole proprietor. The first application to be submitted by the brokerage is the broker application for its Principal Broker.
Primary licensing system user:
Your business's designated primary licensing system user is responsible for implementing, and exercising security precautions to control access to and use of the brokerage's licensing system, and for password protection. This designated individual will do so with at least the same degree of care, and to the same standards as exercised by the brokerage for the brokerage’s own confidential and proprietary information. The primary licensing system user shall make certain that only they, and the other brokerage’s administrative users (if any), will be permitted access to and use of the licensing system's administrative features.
In the event that the primary licensing system user becomes aware of any unauthorized access to the licensing system, this individual must promptly notify FSRA by email at [email protected]. FSRA will discontinue the brokerage’s access to the licensing system until security is re-established by the brokerage to the satisfaction of both FSRA and the primary licensing system user.
The primary licensing system user will be responsible for approving all data entered by them or by other administrative users (if any). The primary licensing system user is the central contact for the brokerage on any and all matters related to the licensing system.
The primary licensing system user has the ability to provide access to other users. Depending on the security access granted to administrative users by the primary licensing system user, administrative users can initiate new applications, approve applications for submission to FSRA, initiate/approve renewal applications and initiate/approve reports regarding change of status. Administrative users can also be provided with access to all the reporting features available on the licensing system.
7. Principal place of business in Ontario
This is the address in Ontario where your corporation/partnership/sole proprietorship will carry out its mortgage brokerage activities and/or maintain its records. A business address cannot be a post office box number.
8. Mailing address for service in Ontario
A licensed brokerage must have a mailing address in Ontario. This address cannot be a post office box number and must permit service by registered mail.
9. Business contact information
Brokerages must have and continue to have an operating telephone number.
Notices and legal documents are considered to have been served by FSRA if they were sent by fax to the number listed in FSRA’s records.
10. Branch offices
If your corporation/partnership/sole proprietorship will have any offices open to the public in Ontario (branch offices) other than its principal place of business, list the address(es) and telephone numbers of these branch offices.
11. Finance company
Indicate if your business is a “finance company,” which is a corporation or partnership other than a financial institution that satisfies both of the following criteria:
- The corporation's or partnership's material business activity involves making or refinancing loans, or entering into other similar arrangements for advancing funds or credit.
- Shares or ownership interests of the corporation or partnership, or of another person or entity with which it is affiliated, are listed on a stock exchange in Canada or outside Canada that is a prescribed stock exchange for the purposes of the federal Income Tax Act.
If the business meets these criteria, specify the stock exchange on which the corporation or the shares of an affiliate corporation are listed, including the name of the affiliate and its trading code.
If the finance company is affiliated with a company listed on a stock exchange, in addition to your application you must attach a supporting document with an organizational chart showing the relationship between the finance company and its affiliate.
Part C—Business information
This part of the application collects relevant information about the business to determine if it meets the eligibility requirements to obtain and hold a brokerage licence. You can also use this section to keep track of information that must be kept up to date for the licence.
1. Business policies and procedures
Brokerages must comply with standards of practice and reporting requirements under the Act and its regulations. This section highlights key requirements to maintain a licence in good standing and requires you to confirm the business's awareness of such requirements.
2. Conducting business with licensed brokers or agents
You must declare that the brokerage will only accept or conduct business with its licensed mortgage brokers and agents, or individuals representing businesses that are licensed as mortgage brokerages or that are exempt from holding a licence.
3. Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance
Brokerages must have E&O insurance from an approved issuer with extended coverage for loss resulting from fraudulent acts, covering the brokerage and its brokers and agents.
For more information on E&O insurance and the approved list of issuers, review these E&O insurance requirements.
4. Trust account
Every brokerage that receives or handles money in trust must have a trust account. All funds held in trust (trust funds), must be maintained separately from the brokerage’s operating funds and held in a trust account. This must be designated as a mortgage brokerage trust account, at a bank, credit union or loan and trust company.
When completing the application, you must indicate whether the brokerage handles or intends to handle trust funds in connection with its business.
Your brokerage must only have one trust account unless it has obtained FSRA's approval to open other accounts. If the brokerage wishes to have more than one account, it must make the request in writing.
Any money that is received by a brokerage, directly or indirectly, from a borrower, lender or investor is deemed to be trust funds. Except for money that has been clearly earned for services that have been completed or expenses actually incurred.
Brokerages that receive trust funds are required to file audited financial statements and an auditor’s report on the trust account annually. They must also conduct monthly trust account reconciliations. Brokerages that have not received any trust funds in the fiscal year must provide a declaration to that effect annually.
When completing your application, you must confirm that you are aware of the requirements for brokerages in relation to its trust account(s).
5. Designated person to receive complaints
Your brokerage must respond in writing to all written complaints it receives. In this section, indicate the person designated by the business's administrator to receive complaints. Provide a name, email address and contact information for this individual as well.
6. Is any other type of business conducted from the business premises?
Provide details if other business is conducted from the business's premises.
7. Does the business hold any other licence(s)?
Provide details if the business holds any other licences under another regulatory regime in Ontario or elsewhere.
8. Does the business intend to operate a Mortgage Investment Corporation (MIC) this year?
A MIC is an investment/lending company designed specifically for mortgage investing or lending in Canada and governed by the Income Tax Act. A MIC is organized for investing in pools of mortgages, primarily residential, and manages a diversified and secured portfolio of mortgages. Profits generated by the MIC are distributed to its shareholders according to their proportionate share of ownership. You must answer yes or no as to whether the business intends to operate as a MIC in the year of the application.
Part D–Suitability for a licence
This part of the application collects information to assess the applicant's suitability to hold a brokerage licence. To assess suitability for a licence, FSRA is required to consider all relevant information. This includes for example, information about criminal records, current charges and convictions under any legislation or by any regulatory body and information about other registrations or licences and bankruptcies.
1. Other licences/registrations
Provide details as to whether the business (the corporation/partnership/sole proprietorship) had a licence or registration refused, revoked, suspended or cancelled under the Act, or under another regulatory regime in Ontario or elsewhere. Also provide details if the business has been the subject of a disciplinary proceeding that resulted in a penalty being imposed, such as suspension, termination, reprimand, surrender or a monetary penalty.
Provide details as to whether the business has ever declared bankruptcy, made a voluntary assignment in bankruptcy, made a proposal under any legislation related to bankruptcy or insolvency, or if it is presently party to bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings. If yes, describe the circumstances and indicate if the bankruptcy has been discharged or not. In all cases, provide a list of the amounts owing, the creditors and the status of the matter.
Attach supporting documents, if applicable, such as:
- A certified copy of the discharge of bankruptcy.
- A copy of the assignment in bankruptcy and creditor list.
Provide details as to whether the business has any outstanding judgments against it as of the date of your application. If the answer is yes, describe the circumstances and specify (1) the amount owing at the time of the judgment, (2) amounts currently owing, (3) the person to whom the judgment is owing, and (4) repayment dates and arrangements.
Provide details as to whether the business, a subsidiary of your brokerage or a related business has ever pleaded guilty or been found guilty under the laws of any province/territory, state or country, or if it is currently the subject of any charges.
5. Conduct—relevant lawsuit and complaints
Provide details whether the business in the last five years has ever been successfully sued or a complaint has ever been made against the business, and its directors/officers/partners or employees acting on its behalf, to a regulatory body in any province, territory, state or country that was or is based, in whole or in part, on fraud, theft, deceit, misrepresentation, forgery, or similar conduct; or based, in whole or in part, on professional negligence or misconduct (including claims by the E&O insurance carrier or bonding company). Also provide details as to whether the business is currently the subject of such lawsuits or complaints.
6. Conduct—relevant inappropriate conduct
Provide details as to whether the business in the last five years has had any business relationship terminated because of its conduct, or for the conduct of its directors/officers/partners or employees for breach of confidentiality, breach of trust, fraud, misappropriation of funds, theft, forgery or similar actions.
You must complete this section if the applicant is a type of company other than a sole proprietorship. This part collects information about the names and roles of all officers, directors and partners of your brokerage. All officers, directors and partners of your brokerage listed must complete a declaration through FSRA's online licensing system. Your brokerage's primary licensing system user will be notified when to start this step in the application process. The declaration from each individual is required to provide confirmation of the suitability of licensing the brokerage.
Part F—Application checklist
This part provides an application checklist to ensure that your application package is complete.
For more information on mortgage brokerage licensing, view the latest news and updates on Ontario's mortgage brokering sector or contact:
Manager, Licensing Approvals
Licensing and Market Conduct Division
25 Sheppard Avenue West, Suite 100
Toll free: 1-800-668-0128
Email: [email protected]