Register your money services business (MSB)

Who has to register?

As a money services business (MSB) operating in Canada, you have to register with us at the start of your business.

  • There are no fees.
  • If you are licensed or registered as an MSB with a province or territory, you still have to register with us.
  • Certain individuals or organizations are not eligible to register and therefore cannot operate an MSB. See Who is not eligible to register?

Submit your initial registration

How to register

Steps to register your MSB

MSB registration system overview

What to expect once you sign in to the MSB registration system

Your other registration obligations

Update your registration information

Modify or add information such as contacts, agents, locations, and activities

Respond to clarification requests

What is a clarification request, how to respond

Renew your registration

When and how to renew, how to find your expiry date

Cancel your registration

Have you stopped offering MSB services?

Denial or revocation of registration

We can deny your registration request or revoke your money services business (MSB) registration for the following reasons:

You will be informed in writing of the reasons for the denial or the revocation of your registration.

If you do not agree with our decision, you can request a review of your file. See Reviews and appeals.

If you do not register, you may be assessed penalties or incur other consequences.


Administrative monetary penalties (AMPs)

Civil penalties that may be issued to reporting entities by FINTRAC for non-compliance with the PCMLTFA and related regulations. (pénalité administrative pécuniaire [PAP])


An entity is affiliated with another entity if one of them is wholly owned by the other, if both are wholly owned by the same entity or if their financial statements are consolidated. (entité du même groupe)

Attempted transaction

Occurs when an individual initiates a transaction and it does not result in the movement of funds or purchase of an asset because the transaction is not completed. For example, a potential client walks away from conducting a $10,000 cash deposit because they do not want to provide their identification. (opération tentée)

Beneficial Owner(s)

Beneficial owners are the actual individuals who are the trustees, and known beneficiaries and settlors of a trust, or who directly or indirectly own or control 25% or more of a corporation or an entity other than a corporation or trust, such as a partnership. The ultimate beneficial owners cannot be another corporation or entity; they must be the actual individuals who are the owners or controllers of the entity. (bénéficiaire effectif)


A beneficiary is the individual or entity who will ultimately benefit from a transaction and be the final recipient of the funds. (bénéficiaire)


A branch is a part of your own business at a distinct location other than your main office. (succursale)

Clarification request

A clarification request is a method used to communicate with money services businesses when we need more information about their registration form. This request is usually sent by email. If they do not reply to a clarification request, their registration can be denied or revoked. (demande de précisions)


A person or entity that engages in financial transactions through your business. (client)

Completed transaction

Is a transaction initiated by a person or entity that results in the movement of funds or purchase of an asset. (opération effectuée)

Compliance officer

The individual you appoint to be responsible for the implementation of your compliance program. Your compliance officer should have the authority and the resources necessary to discharge his or her responsibilities effectively. (agent de conformité)

Compliance policies and procedures

Written methodology outlining all of your obligations applicable to your business under the PCMLTFA and associated Regulations and the corresponding processes and controls you have put in place to address your obligations. (politiques et procédures de conformité)

Compliance program

All elements that you, as a reporting entity, are legally required to have under the PCMLTFA and associated Regulations to ensure that you meet all of your reporting, record keeping, client identification, and know-your-client requirements. (programme de conformité)


Clarifying a set of circumstances or providing an explanation of a situation or financial transaction that can be understood and assessed. (contexte)

Credit card acquiring business

A credit card acquiring business is a financial entity that has an agreement with a merchant to provide the following services:

  • enabling a merchant to accept credit card payments by cardholders for goods and services and to receive payment for credit card purchases;
  • processing services, payment settlements and providing point-of-sale equipment (such as computer terminals); and
  • providing other ancillary services to the merchant. (entreprise d’acquisition de cartes de crédit)

A document or information that is up to date and must not have been expired when the ID was verified. (document ou renseignement à jour)


With respect to a financial transaction, the disposition is what the funds were used for. For example, an individual arrives at a bank with cash and purchases a bank draft. The purchase of the bank draft is the disposition. (répartition de fonds)

Electronic funds transfer (EFT)

An electronic funds transfer (money transfer) means the transmission of instructions for the transfer of funds to or from Canada. An electronic funds transfer does not include the instructions for the transfer of funds from one place in Canada to another in Canada. (télévirement)


Can be a corporation, trust, partnership, fund, or an unincorporated association or organization. (entité)


Actual events, actions, occurrences or elements that exist or are known to have happened or existed. Facts cannot be opinions. For example, facts surrounding a transaction or multiple transactions could include the date, time, location, amount or type of transaction or could include the account details, particular business lines, or the client’s financial history. (faits)

Financial account

Refers to deposit, credit card or other loan accounts held by a financial entity. This does not include investment accounts such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs). (compte financier)

Financial entity

A financial entity includes:

  • a bank that is regulated by the Bank Act;
  • an authorized foreign bank, as defined in section 2 of that Act, in respect of its business in Canada;
  • a cooperative credit society, savings and credit union or caisse populaire that is regulated by a provincial Act;
  • an association that is regulated by the Cooperative Credit Associations Act;
  • a financial services cooperative, a credit union central, a company that is regulated by the Trust and Loan Companies Act;
  • a trust company or loan company that is regulated by a provincial Act; and
  • a department or an entity that is an agent or mandatary of Her Majesty in right of Canada or of a province when it is carrying out an activity referred to in section 45 of the PCMLTFR. (entité financière)

For the purposes of ascertaining client identity, the term "independent" means that the sources must be different; the information cannot be derived from the same source. (source indépendante)

Individual or person

A human being. (individu ou personne)

Institutional trust

An institutional trust is a trust that is established by a corporation, partnership or other entity for a particular business purpose and includes pension plan trusts, pension master trusts, supplemental pension plan trusts, mutual fund trusts, pooled fund trusts, registered retirement savings plan trusts, registered retirement income fund trusts, registered education savings plan trusts, group registered retirement savings plan trusts, deferred profit sharing plan trusts, employee profit sharing plan trusts, retirement compensation arrangement trusts, employee savings plan trusts, health and welfare trusts, unemployment benefit plan trusts, foreign insurance company trusts, foreign reinsurance trusts, reinsurance trusts, real estate investment trusts, environmental trusts and trusts established in respect of endowments, foundations and registered charities. (fiducie institutionnelle)

Inter vivos trust

Also known as a living trust, this is a trust that is not created by a will. This type of trust is established by a living individual for the benefit of another individual, such as a trust created by a parent for a child. Its assets can be distributed to the beneficiary during or after a settlor’s lifetime. (fiducie entre vifs)

Listed person

A listed person means anyone on a list published in the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on the Suppression of Terrorism issued under the United Nations Act. You can consult that list of names on the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions' Web site:

A listed person includes an individual, a corporation, a trust, a partnership or fund or an unincorporated association or organization that is believed to:

  • have carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity; or
  • be controlled directly or indirectly by, be acting on behalf of, at the direction of, or in association with any individual or entity conducting any of the above activities.(personne inscrite)
Minute book

A record that contains the corporate documents of a company. It can include documents such as the articles of incorporation, general operating by-laws, first director resolution, registers, forms, share certificates and minutes of shareholders and directors meetings. (registre des procès-verbaux)

Money laundering and terrorist financing indicators (ML/TF indicators)

Potential red flags that could initiate suspicion or indicate that something may be unusual in the absence of a reasonable explanation.[Indicateurs de blanchiment d’argent (BA) et de financement du terrorisme (FT) (indicateurs de BA/FT)]

Money laundering

The United Nations defines money laundering as "any act or attempted act to disguise the source of money or assets derived from criminal activity." Essentially, money laundering is the process whereby "dirty money"— produced through criminal activity— is transformed into "clean money," the criminal origin of which is difficult to trace. (recyclage des produits de la criminalité [blanchiment d’argent])

Money service business agent

An individual or organization that you have authorized to act on a money service business’s (MSB's) behalf. Do not mistake an MSB agent with a branch. If you are an MSB, an agent is a separate individual or organization that you authorize to deliver your services. (mandataire d’une entreprise de services monétaires)

No apparent reason

There is no clear explanation to account for suspicious behaviour or information. (sans raison apparente)


The job or profession of a client. For example, in the case of a person who is a sales representative, the occupation recorded would reflect sales, but should also reflect the area of sales such as "insurance sales representative". (profession ou métier)


An organization is an entity such as a corporation, a trust, a partnership, or an association. It does not include an individual. (organisation)


Original refers to any paper or electronic document as it is sent from the issuer directly to the client. (document original)


In regards to completing a suspicious transaction report (STR), the likelihood that a transaction may be related to a money laundering/terrorist financing (ML/TF) offence. For example, based on your assessment of facts, context and ML/TF indicators you have reasonable grounds to suspect that a transaction is possibly related to the commission or attempted commission of an ML/TF offence. (possibilité)

Principal business

The nature of the primary business of an entity. For example, in the case of an entity in the field of insurance, the nature of the principal business should specify the type of insurance, such as "health insurance". (entreprise principale)


The likelihood in regards to completing an suspicious transaction report (STR) that a financial transaction is related to a money laundering/terrorist financing (ML/TF) offence. For example, based on facts you have reasonable grounds to believe that a transaction is probably related to the commission or attempted commission of an ML/TF offence. (probabilité)

Production order

A judicial order that compels a person or entity to disclose records to peace officers or public officers. (ordonnance de communication)

Public body
  1. any department or agent or mandatary of Her Majesty in right of Canada or of a province;
  2. an incorporated city or town, village, metropolitan authority, township, district, county, rural municipality or other incorporated municipal body in Canada or an agent or mandatary in Canada of any of them; and
  3. an organization that operates a public hospital and that is designated by the Minister of National Revenue as a hospital authority under the Excise Tax Act, or an agent or mandatary of such an organization. (organisme public)
Purpose and intended nature (PIN) record

Record that documents the purpose and intended nature of a business relationship, and includes information that could help you anticipate the types of transactions and activities your client may conduct. (document sur l’objet et la nature projetée de la relation)

Reasonable measures

Reasonable measures means that you must take steps to collect certain information but it is not mandatory. For example, this can include doing one or more of the following:

  • asking the client,
  • conducting open source searches, or
  • consulting commercially available information. (mesures raisonnables).

In reference to a source, the term "reliable" means that the source is well known, reputable, and is considered one that you trust to verify the identity of the client. (source fiable)

Risk Assessment

A risk assessment is an analysis of potential risks and vulnerabilities that could expose your business to money laundering/terrorist financing (ML/TF) activities. This assessment will allow you to identify your inherent risk and will assist you and those authorized to act on your behalf in developing mitigation measures to deal with these risks. (évaluation des risques)

Senior officer

A senior officer of an organization can be:

  • a director who is also a full time employee;
  • a chief executive officer, chief operating officer, president, secretary treasurer, controller, chief financial officer, chief accountant, chief auditor or chief actuary, or any individual who performs these similar duties; or
  • any other officer who reports directly to the board of directors, chief executive officer or chief operating officer. (cadre dirigeant)
Service agreement

With respect to money services businesses (MSBs), a service agreement is an agreement between you and another organization for you to provide any of the following MSB services:

  • money transfers;
  • foreign currency exchange; or
  • issuing or redeeming money orders, traveller's cheques or anything similar. (accord de relation commerciale)

A settlor is an individual or entity that creates a trust with a written trust declaration. The settlor ensures that legal responsibility for the trust is then given to a trustee and that the trustee is provided with a trust instrument document that explains how the trust is to be used for the beneficiaries. A settlor includes any individual or entity that contributes financially to that trust, either directly or indirectly. (constituant)


The issuer or provider of information or documents for verifying identification. (source)


The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network is a global member-owned cooperative and an international provider of secure financial messaging services. (SWIFT)

Terrorist activity financing offence

A terrorist financing offence is knowingly collecting or giving property (such as money) to carry out terrorist activities. This includes the use and possession of any property to help carry out the terrorist activities. The money earned for terrorist financing can be from legal sources, such as personal donations and profits from a business or charitable organization or from criminal sources, such as the drug trade, the smuggling of weapons and other goods, fraud, kidnapping and extortion. (infraction de financement des activités terroristes)

Third party

Any individual or entity that instructs someone to act on their behalf for a financial activity or transaction. The third party is not the person who owns or benefits from the money, or who is carrying out the activity, but rather the entity or individual who gives the instructions to handle the money or conduct a particular activity. For example, a third party may instruct someone to deposit cash into an account. (tiers)

Training program

A written and implemented program for employees, agents or other individuals authorized to act on your behalf which outlines the ongoing training on your obligations under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and associated Regulations. (programme de formation)


A right of property held by one individual or entity (a trustee) for the benefit of another individual or entity (a beneficiary). (fiducie)


A trustee is the individual or entity authorized to hold or administer the assets of a trust. (fiduciaire)

Two year effectiveness review

A review of your compliance policies and procedures, risk assessment, and training program, conducted a minimum of every two years, to ensure that these are effective and that you are meeting all of your obligations under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and associated Regulations. (examen bisannuel de l'efficacité)


Refers to a document or information that appears legitimate or authentic and does not appear to have been altered or had any information redacted. The information must also be valid according to the issuer, for example if a passport is invalid because of a name change, it is not valid for FINTRAC purposes. (document ou renseignement valide)

Verify client identity

To refer to certain information or documentation to identify a client and ensure that their information matches what you know about them. (vérifier l’identité d’un client)

Very large corporation

Has minimum net assets of $75 million CAD on its last audited balance sheet. The corporation's shares have to be traded on a Canadian stock exchange or on a stock exchange outside Canada that is designated by the Minister of Finance. The corporation also has to operate in a country that is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). (personne morale dont l’actif est très important)

Working days

A working day is a day between and including Monday to Friday. It excludes Saturday, Sunday, and a public holiday. (jour ouvrable)

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