If I wanted to invest on my friends behalf for a percentage commission to them, do I need a license to do this?
Is it as simple as registering with someone if this is the case?
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Once you start taking commission, then you're a financial adviser. You need to be registered with the FCA.
Do you have the appropriate qualifications to register? Do you have liability insurance to pay out in case your advice turns out to be bad, and they sue you for their losses?
The chances are that getting everything in place will cost you far more than you will ever get back in commissions.
Not familiar with the laws in UK, but I could imagine that it is indeed a problem. In germany, you usually sign to your broker that you only act in behalf of yourself.
But I don't think that nothing prevents you from loaning money from your friend and negotiating a variable interest rate which is somehow defined via an index. (I don't say anything about that being a good or a bad idea.)