Existing firm applications

Updated 17 August 2016

Apply to change the legal entity of your firm

Example changes

  • Change a recognised sole practice to a limited company
  • Change a partnership to a LLP or limited company or vice versa

Eligibility

There must be no other material changes to the existing management, ownership or structure.

The existing body must cease at the time the new one starts to trade.

To make material changes, apply using our full new firm FA1 application form.

What are material changes?

  • splitting into two or more new entities
  • adding new managers and/or owners who are not deemed approved
  • key individuals not continuing their role in the new entity (the person qualified to supervise, a compliance officer, a sole lawyer manager or a sole non-lawyer manager/owner)
  • changing from an existing partnership or other entity that has more than one manager to a recognised sole practice
  • changing the management completely
  • creating a new entity if the existing entity and new entity are both LLPs or both limited companies
  • other regulatory changes (e.g. changing a recognised body partnership to a licensed body limited company, changing a licensed body partnership to a licensed body limited company operating under the new multi-disciplinary practice model)
  • creating a new entity if the training principal will not be part of the new structure

What are non-material changes?

A non-material change does not have a substantive impact on the ownership, management, or operation of a firm, and does not have the potential to destabilise or increase the risk of the firm.

Example of non-material changes include:

  • adding more than one deemed approved manager/owner if they meet the criteria set out in Rule 13.2 of the SRA Authorisation Rules 2011
  • the departure of non-key individuals (key individuals are the person qualified to supervise, a compliance officer, a sole lawyer manager or a sole non-lawyer manager/owner).
 

How to apply

Firm

You need to complete a FA1b Change of Legal Entity (CLE) application form. Save the form before you start completing it. The application form is an editable PDF document and needs to be filled in electronically.

Application forms

 

Form

Send your application to the email address on the form. Please specify "CLE firm authorisation" in the subject line.

Fee

The fee is £200.

Payment

Recognised body applications - send payment with your application (ways to pay).

Licensed body applications - we will issue an invoice after we have accepted your application.

What you can expect from us

We will acknowledged your application within one working day. We will let you know if your application is incomplete or ineligible.

Timescales

We aim to make a decision about your application within 30 days.

Confidentiality

Your application is confidential.

Withdrawing an application

You can withdraw your application at any time before we make a decision.

Use www.sra.org.uk/cle to link to this page.