Canadian MSB (Money Services Business) Registration:
Guide on How to Easily Secure Your MSB License in Canada

Your Ultimate Guide to Canadian

and Foreign Money Services Business (MSB) Registration

Are you starting a money services business in Canada? Or perhaps you're already running one and now considering the crucial step of obtaining a Canadian MSB license. Registering as a Money Services Business (MSB) with Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) is a legal requirement that helps prevent money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

Patrola Law is a reputable Canadian law firm with extensive experience in helping businesses like you navigate the intricate landscape of money services. We have assisted numerous Canadian and international businesses in securing their Canada MSB (Money Services Business) registration. Our team of experts is well-versed in the intricacies of regulatory compliance and dedicated to streamlining the registration process smoothly and efficiently for you.

Whether you're at the beginning of your money services journey or seeking to formalize your operations, it's crucial to gain valuable information about MSB Registration in Canada. With our expert guidance, you can confidently navigate the requirements, understand the obligations, and ensure compliance with the necessary regulations.

What Businesses Need to Register with FINTRAC?

Pursuant to the PCMLTFA, you are required to have a Canada MSB (Money Services Business) Registration if your business involves any of the following:

A. If you are providing any of the following services:

1. Foreign Exchange Dealing

Conducting transactions where you exchange one type of currency for another (for example, exchanging USD for CAD).

2. Remitting or Transferring Funds

Remitting or transmitting from one person or entity to another using an electronic funds transfer network or any other method such as Hawala, Hundi, Fei ch'ien, and Chitti. This includes remitting or transmitting funds (as instructed by your clients) carried out by means of a credit/debit card if the beneficiary has an agreement with the payment service provider that permits payment by that means for the provision of goods and services.

3. Issuing or Redeeming Money Orders, Traveller’s Cheques or Anything Similar

Your business issues or redeems money orders, travellers' cheques or other similar negotiable instruments. This does not include cashing cheques made out to a particular person or entity.

4. Dealing in Virtual Currency (Cryptocurrency)

This includes both virtual currency exchange and virtual currency transfer services.

Virtual currency exchange services include exchanging:

  • funds for virtual currency, 
  • virtual currency for funds, or
  • virtual currency for another virtual currency

Virtual currency transfer services include:

  • transferring virtual currency at the request of a client, or
  • receiving a transfer of virtual currency for remittance to a beneficiary.
5. Crowdfunding Platform Services

This includes both virtual currency exchange and virtual currency transfer services.

B. You have a place of business in Canada:
  1. You are incorporated in Canada;
  2. You have a physical location in Canada; or
  3. You have employees, agents or branches in Canada.

You will also require a Canada MSB (Money Services Business) License if:

  1. You hold a permit or licence related to any of the above-mentioned services.
  2. You are registered as someone offering any of the above-mentioned services.
  3. You advertise (by any means, including newspaper, television, Yellow Pages, internet, any other media, or by an interior or exterior sign) that you engage in any of the above-mentioned services.
  4. You do not advertise any MSB services, but you:
  • offer money transfer services in any amount;
  • conduct foreign exchange transactions for more than $1,000 during a single transaction with the same person or entity. For these purposes, a single transaction is defined as two or more transactions related to a foreign exchange transaction of less than $1,000 each that are made within 24 consecutive hours and that total $1,000 or more; or
  • issue or redeem money orders, traveller's cheques or other similar negotiable instruments for more than $1,000 during a single transaction with the same person or entity. For these purposes, a single transaction is defined as two or more transactions related to the redemption of money orders, travellers' cheques or other similar negotiable instruments of less than $1,000 each that are made within 24 consecutive hours and that total $1,000 or more.
    • You report the income of any of the above-mentioned services as income from a separate business for tax purposes.

Who does not require a Canada MSB Registration?
The PCMLTFA does not apply to you if you are simply acting as an agent for a money services business or carrying out a money services business activity in the course of providing other services for which you are a reporting entity.

Understanding Canadian MSB Regulations:

In Canada, businesses involved in foreign exchange, fund remittance, virtual currency, and crowdfunding are required to register with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA).

The PCMLTFA regulations aim to combat money laundering and terrorist financing by establishing a framework that ensures businesses follow strict compliance procedures. By registering with FINTRAC, businesses demonstrate their commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity and accountability in their financial transactions.

Compliance with the PCMLTFA is not only a legal requirement but also a vital step in safeguarding your business against potential risks. By obtaining the necessary Canada MSB Registration, you protect your business from legal liabilities and demonstrate your commitment to maintaining a safe and secure financial environment.

Non-Compliance and Consequences

Not adhering to the PCMLTFA and securing registration as an MSB in Canada can result in serious repercussions, such as:

  • Legal Penalties - Non-compliance may result in criminal charges, monetary fines, and imprisonment for individuals involved in the business.
  • Reputation Damage - Operating without proper registration can tarnish your reputation and undermine trust among customers, partners, and financial institutions.
  • Business Disruption - Non-compliance may lead to business disruption, including the suspension of operations, frozen assets, or legal action initiated by regulatory authorities.

Note: Failure to register with FINTRAC and comply with PCMLTFA regulations can result in severe consequences, including criminal penalties such as fines and imprisonment. 

4 Easy Steps to Secure Your Canadian MSB License:
Registration Process and Requirements

Determine if you are an MSB

You can use the FINTRAC self-assessment tool to help you decide if you are a Money Services Business. If you are not sure, consult with our expert lawyers who specializes in MSB registration.

Gather the required information and documents

You will need to provide information about your business, such as:

  • Legal name and address
  • Business structure and ownership
  • Contact details and authorized representative
  • Services offered and locations
  • Banking information and financial statements
  • Compliance regime and policies

You will also need to provide supporting documents that prove your identity:

  • Proof of identity and address for the owners and directors of the business
  • Articles of incorporation or partnership agreement
  • Business license or permit
  • Audited financial statements or tax returns
Submit the registration form with the requirements and wait for the confirmation letter

FINTRAC will review your application and send you a confirmation letter within 30 days of receiving it. The letter will contain your registration number, expiry date, and instructions on how to renew your registration. You are obligated to renew your registration every two years.

Comply with the MSB regulations

Once you are registered, you need to follow the rules and obligations that apply to MSBs in Canada. These include reporting certain transactions, keeping records, verifying customer identity, implementing a compliance program, and undergoing audits.

Quick Turnaround, No Surprise Bills

At Patrola Law Corporation, we understand the importance of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Our experienced team, including lawyers and staff, works diligently to complete your MSB registration within 2 to 4 weeks, or even sooner. We aim to deliver exceptional service with no hidden fees or surprise bills. We provide transparent and competitive flat-fee quotes for our services, ensuring that you have clarity on the costs from the start.

Secure Your Canadian MSB Registration with
Patrola Law - Your Trusted Legal Partner

The MSB registration process can be complicated, that is why we want you make things easier for you. At Patrola Law, we handle the entire application process with FINTRAC, ensuring a seamless experience for you. Our services include:

Application Assistance and Guidance

Our team of experts will walk you through the entire application process, ensuring that all required information is collected and submitted to FINTRAC promptly. We handle the paperwork, so you can focus on running your business.

Follow-Up and Approval

We follow up with FINTRAC and keep you updated on the progress of your application. Once approved, you receive your Canada MSB Registration and can legally operate your money services business.

Record-Keeping Documentation

We assist in developing effective record-keeping procedures, enabling you to maintain accurate and organized financial records. Our guidance will ensure that you meet the record-keeping requirements outlined by FINTRAC.

Collecting and Submitting Required Information

We gather all the necessary information and submit it on your behalf, saving you time and effort.

Compliance Program Development

We'll draft a comprehensive compliance program tailored to your specific business needs. This program will help you meet the requirements of the PCMLTFA and FINTRAC, ensuring that your operations align with regulatory expectations.

Additional Legal Support

Unlike most consultants, we are a full-fledged business law firm. Alongside MSB registration, we can assist you with other legal matters that may arise, saving you from the hassle of seeking legal advice elsewhere.

Start Your MSB Registration Today

Take the first step towards a secure financial future. Simply fill out the form and we’ll be in touch to help you with your MSB registration.

Get Your Free MSB Lawyer Consultation!

Join our growing list of satisfied clients  


Patrola Law helped us obtain MSB Registration in Canada with FINTRAC. They also provided the advice and help we needed to establish our MSB Compliance Program and continues to help us remain in good standing. We happily depend on Patrola Law Corporation as our cherished business partner. 

Bryan W.

B-Liquid Cryptos 


Patrola Law Corporation not only demonstrated a profound understanding of the legal intricacies of my case but also exhibited a genuine commitment to my well-being throughout the entire process. They combine legal expertise with genuine care for their clients, making them the best choice for any legal matter. 

Mohammed S. 



Patrola Law recently represented our company for the MSB Registration in Canada with FINTRAC. It's been a pleasure working with the team, with quick turnarounds, professional advice, and great communications. There are no hidden costs, and we got all the services as expected.

Lu Q.

Quan Media

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