Virtual Assets Provider License
Any entity that engages with Virtual Asset activities within the Portuguese Territory is required to be registered and regulated by Banco de Portugal.
Find out how MC Contabilidade can manage your Virtual Asset Provider License Application
MC Contabilidade specialises in the acquisition of Virtual Asset Provider Licenses for organisations that conduct the transaction of virtual (cryptocurrency) assets within the Portuguese territory.
The following virtual activities and operations are required to be registered and regulated, including where the applicant exercises another profession or activity covered by law 83/2017 of 18th August 2017:
- The exchange of services between Fiat Currencies and Virtual Assets between one or more forms of virtual assets.
- Transfer of Virtual Assets
- Safekeeping and/or storage of Virtual Assets, or instruments that enable the control, ownership, storage, or transfer of virtual assets. These include private encrypted keys.
The following persons or entities are considered to operate within Portuguese territory:
- Legal Persons or Entities – those treated as legal persons incorporated in Portugal for the pursuit of activities with virtual assets.
- Natural or legal persons or entities treated as legal persons with domicile or establishment in Portugal engaged in activities with virtual assets.
- Other natural or legal persons or entities that are treated as legal persons, due to the pursuit of activities with virtual assets, are obliged to declare their activity to the Portuguese tax authorities.
Requirements and Terms for obtaining a Portuguese Virtual Asset License
Primary Requirements include:
- A detailed Business Plan and Operational Program that includes:
- 1. Organisational Structure
- 2. Geographical Realisation
- 3. 3-Year Financial Forecast
- 4. A detailed description of human and IT architectural resources
- Detailed description of IT System to register, including management and safe storing of client information and transactional details.
- Identify and control financial, operational, AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and CTF (Counter-Terrorist Financing) risks.
- Directors, beneficial owners and/or Officers that have a good reputation (i.e., without a criminal and administrative history).
- Be able to demonstrate that key members of the team (Directors, Managers and Shareholders) have experience with Cryptocurrency, Financial Markets, AML/CTF
- A physical presence in Portugal. This can include a local Director or a local employee
- Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Terrorist Funding Officer. This can be a director of the company or an employee with a special designation as AML/CTF Officer.
- Preparation of the application to the Bank of Portugal. We also provide assistance with ancillary documentation which must be included with the application:
- Manager KYC Documentation
- Business Plan
- Money Laundering Prevention Manual
- IT Systems Description
- We will need to understand the scope of any cryptocurrency activity within the business. Whether that be cryptocurrency investment, exchange services, or FIAT/Crypto/FIAT transactions. Virtual Asset licenses are primarily focused on the prevention of Money Laundering and may or may not be triggered depending on the business activity.
Main requirements for Virtual Asset Applicants
To engage in a virtual asset or cryptocurrency transaction, a company must adhere to the following requirements:
- Identify clients as well as their representatives. By law, request at least an identification card for Natural Persons or registration documents for Legal Persons.
- Take all reasonable steps to understand the structure and control of the customer.
- To be informed of the purpose and intended nature of the business relationship.
- Formation of the risk profile of the client depending on peculiarities of transactions, source, and destination of funds within the framework of the business relationship or a one-time transaction.
- Collect, store and update information about customers and transactions with cryptographic assets.
- Apply simplified or strict control procedures under certain conditions.
- Refuse to carry out the transaction if there is a risk of money laundering and financing of terrorism.
- Submit general reports, as well as cases related to the laundering of money derived from crime and the financing of terrorism.
- Provide training for personnel responsible for compliance with laws combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
- Copy of passports for all officers and beneficial owners (apostilled)
- Signed Power of Attorney (notarised and apostilled)
- Personal data and contact data for all Directors/Officers, Shareholders and Beneficial Owners
- Criminal and Administrative record certificate (legalization need depends on issuing country)
- Curriculum vitae and other relevant educational certificates for all officers and beneficial owners (in AML/CTF, crypto, finance fields, management of the business)
- According to the regulator, Directors or Managers must have knowledge and experience regarding the prevention of Anti-Money Laundering risk.
Even if the company decides to hire an additional AML officer, the Directors and Managers still need to have knowledge and experience in AML; hence that the regulator would expect at least one senior Director of Manager to attend a specialised course in Anti-Money Laundering prevention to accept the registration.
- Programme of activities and business plan (if any)
- IT system description, procedures, and policies (if any)
- Anti-Money laundering and counter-terrorism financing manual (if any)
MC Contabilidade will prepare a summary of the requirements applicable and assist you with the preparation and submission of the relevant documentation.
The package includes:
Portuguese Company Formation
Virtual Asset Provider License (commonly referred to as a crypto license)
Development of Anti-Money Laundering and KYC policies and procedures
Registration on SWIFT and LEI codes
Virtual Assets Provider License Application Process
Step 1 – Portuguese Company Formation
Requirement: Three choices for a Company Name, names of Directors/Shareholders, Proof of Address for Directors/Shareholders, Company Legal Address
Step 2 – Development of Business Plan, AML and KYC Policies and Procedures
Requirements - Scope of the activity, details of AML, CFT and KYC Officer experience
Step 3 – Application Submission
Time frame - Cryptocurrency License Applications can take between 4 and 6 months.
Step 4 – Application for SWIFT and LEI codes is submitted.
Step 5 – Virtual Asset Provider License is granted and the scope of activity in the Portugal can begin.
Complete the contact form and a member of the MC Contabilidade team will get in touch with you to discuss your specific circumstances.
+351 291 625 894
MC Contabilidade, Rua das Pretas 43, Andar 3, 9000-049 Funchal, Portugal
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