The prospect of having your own company can be appealing. With recent legislative changes around tax, pensions and financial planning, financial advisers are expected to profit over the next ten years. Growing numbers of households are now seeking advice on investments, pensions, and insurance. Here are some tips on opening an advisory business.

1. Qualifications

The Level 4 Diploma of Financial Planning is the benchmark qualification, but people set up by themselves from many different routes. Be warned that advisers leaving firms to go it alone may face restrictive covenants and lose their client bank.

2. Name Your Business

Lots of financial advisers employ their own name when dedicating the business. This works if you stay as the sole provider, but should you want to grow the business and add new financial advisers, you might want to employ a more neutral name. Consider a name which clarifies the nature of the business, such as ‘123 Financial Advisory Service’.

3. Arrange Your Office Space

Some financial advisers prefer to phone their clients, while others see clients face-to-face. If you plan to work over the phone, you can set up a home office with a computer, internet service, desk, filing cabinet and business phone line. If you like to see clients in person, you may need to rent a commercial office for client meetings.

4. Write a Business Plan

Decide on your niche market, establish your marketing strategies and set out your objectives in your business plan.

Make contacts at product companies and request their marketing information. As financial advisers liaise with providers over the sale of insurance, mutual funds and other financial services and products, you need these marketing documents to share with clients, plus application forms for when a client agrees to purchase your service or product.

Useful software for IFAs includes, which will streamline your administration.

The Guardian offers advice on how to become a financial adviser here:

5. Build a Website and Online Portal

Make a website for your business that contains all of the financial services you provide to clients and their benefits. Share your experience and background to build an online CV which advertises your services. Add a blog as well as informational articles to boost your credibility as an expert.

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