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Should I go AR or DA?

This is a question many people ask but unfortunately it isn't a simple question and answer.

The first part of the process in finding your direction is to know what is most important to you and how you run your business, where you want to take your business and what support may be needed, both in terms of growth and regulatory matters. It's also very important to be honest with yourself about where you may need to strengthen knowledge, or require assistance. Equally, you will need to know what is expected of you by either a network or the FCA, along with each of the application requirements. By exploring this, you may find that you rule one route out very quickly. 

Whichever way you feel is best for you, Network Consulting is here to help.

To help you with the decision process of "should I choose AR or DA", we have created a list of positive and negative considerations for both AR and DA in the two boxes below. This is in no way extensive or conclusive, it is purely there to stimulate thought, so you can evaluate the attributes that are most important to you and your business. In turn, this will help you formulate your ideas and prioritise key factors, it may even eliminate some features that you initially felt important.

Taking the step to go DA means you personally are accountable and the buck stops with you, so it's extremely important to understand the requirements and responsibilities before taking that path. By getting the right regulatory guidance, tailored to your own requirements will minimise your personal time investment, along with the exposure to risk. Just considering these points, illustrates that it is vital that you get the right support in place from the start.  

Taking the AR network route could make things a whole lot easier, with ready made structure, processes and oversight framework in place but it may mean that you could have some choices restricted, which will result in a probable compromise. If you feel the AR route is better for you, then you will need to evaluate all the offerings and make a decision on which AR proposition and culture best fits your business. 

Network Consulting can help you find the Network which best fits your requirements.

Directly Authorised 


Freedom to adopt own regime.

Freedom on future direction.

Greater profit margin.

True whole of market.

Choice of restricted, should you wish. 

Full autonomy and control.

Choice of tech solutions.

Choice of mortgage clubs.

No deductions on fee's and commissions. 


Obtaining appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Full responsibility lies with you. 

Increased compliance costs.

Oversight responsibility. 

Capital adequacy requirements.

Higher level of reporting. 

Application fee.

Arduous application process.

Appointed Representative


Established and assured compliance regime.

Professional Indemnity Insurance provided.

Established sales processes.

Panel provided (researched).

Can be whole of market.

Regulatory changes implemented. 

Use economies of scale to negotiate with service providers.

Bespoke events, both field and virtual. 

Field support.

Business development & growth.

Help with recruitment.


Restrictive processes.

Network deductions applied to fees and commissions.

Can adopt low risk regime.

Risk appetite can change.

Technology & research tools can be dictated.

Ownership may affect direction.

Can be restricted offering. 

Can enforce change.

Considerations if you're thinking of going Directly Authorised

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