Introduction to Crowdfunding Service Providers

A crowdfunding service provider is a legal person established within the European Union to provide crowdfunding services as defined under Regulation (EU) 2020/1503 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 October 2020 on European crowdfunding service providers for business, and amending Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 and Directive (EU) 2019/1937 (“Regulation (EU) 2020/1503”). Regulation (EU) 2020/1503 establishes an EU regulatory regime for crowdfunding service providers.

The Central Bank of Ireland is the competent authority in Ireland responsible for the authorisation and supervision of crowdfunding service providers pursuant to the European Union (crowdfunding)Regulations 2021 (S.I. No. 702 of 2021).

Background to Crowdfunding Service Providers

Regulation (EU) 2020/1503 entered into force on 10 November 2021. Prior to this, there was no uniform requirements in place for the provision of crowdfunding services across the European Union.

Regulation (EU) 2020/1503 provides this uniform set of requirements for:

  • The provision of crowdfunding services
  • The organisation, authorisation and supervision of crowdfunding service providers
  • The operation of crowdfunding platforms and
  • Transparency and marketing communications in relation to the provision of crowdfunding services in the European Union.

It applies to legal persons providing the crowdfunding service of matching business funding interests of investors and project owners through the use of a crowdfunding platform and which consists of any of the following activities:

  1. The facilitation of granting of loans and

  2. The placing without a firm commitment basis, as referred to in point (7) of Section A of Annex I to Directive 2014/65/EU, of transferable securities and admitted instruments for crowdfunding purposes issued by project owners or a special purpose vehicle, and the reception and transmission of client orders, as referred to in point (1) of that Section, in relation to those transferable securities and admitted instruments for crowdfunding purposes.  

It is important to note that crowdfunding services, as defined under Regulation (EU) 2020/1503, can only be provided by legal persons established within the European Union and authorised as a crowdfunding service provider in accordance with Article 12 of Regulation (EU) 2020/1503.

Once authorised under Regulation (EU) 2020/1503, a crowdfunding service provider can provide crowdfunding services across other member states in line with the cross-border requirements outlined under Article 18 of Regulation (EU) 2020/1503.

Any queries in relation to the application process should be sent to [email protected]. For queries in relation to the Online Reporting System and issues with submitting of Individual Questionnaires, please contact [email protected].

Industry Notice - Extension of Transitional Arrangements for Existing Crowdfunding Service Providers (November 2022)

A new EU wide regulatory regime for crowdfunding service providers was introduced in November 2021 when Regulation (EU) 2020/1503 (“the Regulation”) entered into force.  The Central Bank of Ireland ("the Central Bank") is the competent authority responsible for the authorisation and supervision of crowdfunding service providers operating from and based in Ireland. 

Transitional arrangements apply to those crowdfunding service providers who were providing a crowdfunding service within the State prior to Regulation (EU) 2020/1503 entering into force on 10 November 2021. The transitional arrangements initially allowed such crowdfunding service providers to continue to provide crowdfunding services included within the scope of the Regulation until the earlier of 10 November 2022 or the date that they were authorised under the Regulation.  This transitional period has recently been extended by a further 12 months to 10 November 2023 following the adoption of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/1988 of 12 July 2022 on 21 October 2022.

To ensure that all existing crowdfunding service providers, availing of the extended transitional arrangements, can complete the authorisation process in time, the Central Bank is advising these firms to engage with it as soon as possible and to submit an application for authorisation as a crowdfunding service provider by 10 May 2023 to allow the application process to be completed in advance of the expiry of the extended transitional period on 10 November 2023.  An authorisation must be obtained from the Central Bank by the end of the transitional period in order for these crowdfunding service providers to continue to provide crowdfunding services thereafter.  

The above applies to all existing crowdfunding service providers who are availing of the extended transitional arrangements provided for in Regulation (EU) 2020/1503 and who:

  • have not yet engaged with the Central Bank about seeking authorisation as a crowdfunding service provider; or
  • have had a preliminary meeting with the Central Bank but have not yet submitted an application for authorisation as a crowdfunding service provider.

Existing crowdfunding service providers availing of the extended transitional arrangements should also note the Central Bank’s expectation that clear progress should have been made towards meeting the requirements set out in the Addendum to the Consumer Protection Code 2012 published on 13 January 2022 and the Regulation by the time an application for authorisation as a crowdfunding service provider is submitted. 

Additional Information

For information and guidance in relation to the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2020/1503, please refer to the crowdfunding regulations FAQ document.

For information on how to report an actual or alleged infringement of Regulation (EU) 2020/1503, please see below.

For information on how to make a consumer complaint, please see below.

For information on the Central Bank's regulatory role, please see below.

See also: