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Wisconsin Collection Agency License: Step-by-Step Guide

In Wisconsin, entities operating and engaging in the business of receiving and collecting payments for others are required to obtain a Collection Agency license with the state.


The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) - Division of Banking regulates, supervises, and issues Collection Agency licenses.

1

All application forms can be found online on the Licensed Financial Services Forms page via DFI. To apply for a WI Collection Agency license, complete the following:


  • Collection Agency license application form available here .


Note: Document links are updated regularly, therefore they may have expired. If you cannot access the forms, go directly to the Department of Financial Institutions page to find the application you need.


2

Fulfill Requirements and Obtain Required Documents

Along with your completed WI Collection Agency license form, you are also required to present the following documentation:


  • Financial Statements - Applicants are required to provide a balance sheet and income statement. The financial statement must show the applicant’s net worth (of at least $15,000) and working capital (of at least $7,500). The statement must be issued no more than 90 days before the date of the license application.

  • Solicitor/Collector Applications - An application must be completed by each solicitor/collector who will be working outside of the Collection Agency’s office. The solicitor/collector application form can be found on the Licensed Financial Services Forms page .

  • Solicitors/Collectors List - A list of all solicitors/collectors who will not be working outside the office (but will be using an alias when contacting debtors) must be provided, along with the license application. The list must also include the first and last name of each alias.

  • Certificate of Good Standing - All applicants organized or incorporated in another state are required to provide a certificate of good standing or a certificate of status.

  • Criminal History Report - Any individual who owns at least 10% of the Collection Agency – as well as any key officer, key member, or partner – must submit a criminal history report. The report must be obtained from the individual's state of residence Department of Justice or state police.

  • Officer/Director/Owner Resume - Any individual who owns at least 10% of the Collection Agency – as well as any key officer, key member, or partner – must submit a resume, including educational and employment experience.

  • Contracts - If applicable, submit copies of each contract between the license applicant and any independent contractor hired by the applicant.

  • Business Plan - All applicants who are not currently operating as a business are required to provide a business plan. Applicants currently operating as a business must submit a detailed description of the mode of operations.


3

Obtain Your WI Collection Agency Bond

License applicants are required to furnish an original surety bond signed by an owner, officer, member, or partner. The bond must state the exact name of the applicant and any trade name used by the applicant. The amount of the bond depends on whether the license applicant maintains their business records within the state.


The surety bond must be completed on the form provided by the Department of Financial Institutions. You can find the form on the Licensed Financial Services Forms page .


  • Bond Amount:

    • $25,000 if records are maintained in Wisconsin

    • $35,000 if any records are maintained outside of Wisconsin


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4

License Fees

All fees are non-refundable. Fees may be paid with a check made payable to the Department of Financial Institutions.


  • License Fee : $200

  • Investigation Fee : $1,000

  • Solicitor/Collector Annual License Fee: $15 for each solicitor/collector working outside of the office and for each solicitor/collector using an alias.


5

Submit Your Collection Agency License Application

The completed Collection Agency license application – along all additional documentation and fees – must be filed via mail.


Mailing Address:
Department of Financial Institutions
Division of Banking
PO Box 7876
Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7876


Courier Address: Department of Financial Institutions
Division of Banking
North Tower 4822 Madison Yards Way
Madison, Wisconsin 53705


For questions or further information, contact the Division of Banking at (608) 261-7578, or the Licensed Financial Services Section at (608) 267-3776.


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