SEC vs. State Registration

RIA firms can be regulated by the SEC or by the various State Regulators in which the RIA has offices or clients depending on a number of factors including the size or type of business that is being conducted.

Generally speaking, an RIA that is required to register in multiple states will be better off registering with the SEC to minimize the impact of having to submit to the compliance requirements of multiple state securities departments. However, firms don’t have a choice of filing with the SEC. There is a list of prescribed conditions that govern when a firm MUST register with the SEC; otherwise they need to file with the states.

Understanding when to file with the SEC, identifying which states in which to file, and knowing the varying filing requirements of the states are all critical to the ability of your firm to conduct business. The industry-experienced professionals at AdvisorAssist can help guide you through the filing process to ensure your firm is compliant with state and federal requirements.

Advisors file applications for registration with the SEC or the various State Regulators by filing Form ADV through the Investment Advisor Registration Depository (IARD).

AdvisorAssist can manage all aspects of the initial registration and ongoing requirements for your firm and its employees.

Qualifications and Exams

RIA are required to pass and keep current a Series 65 license, a Series 66 license or qualify for an exemption based on professional qualifications. For more information on examinations, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Initial Registration Process

AdvisorAssist can guide you every step of the way through the SEC or State RIA registration process. For more information, visit our Registrations & Transitions section.

Annual and Ongoing Registration Process

RIAs are required to renew their registration annually and update their registration for any changes in their business throughout the year. State Registered Advisors that take on clients in another state may be required to register in that state and will have certain guidelines to learn and follow. The state will require initial and annual filing fees for the firm and all IARs doing business in that state.

SEC Registered Advisors will be required to notice file and pay fees for the firm and the IARs as well. For more information, visit our Registrations & Transitions section.