The Solicitors Regulation Authority has published a guide to help prospective owners of alternative business structures understand what steps they will need to take to earn an operating licence.
The move comes shortly after the Ministry of Justice announced that it expected to designate the SRA as a licensing authority for ABS by the end of 2011.
Organisations will be able to apply formally to the SRA once this designation is made. The SRA said this meant it would likely begin licensing ABSs in early 2012.
The guide – which can be found here – contains information about which firms need to be authorised as an ABS, essential requirements and details about the application process.
Mike Jeacock, Executive Director of Authorisation at the SRA, said: "The guide provides a useful summary and should provide prospective owners with valuable information to help them prepare their applications.
" Protecting the public is our first priority, so there will be a robust authorisation process to ensure that only those that meet all the criteria will be awarded a licence."