Series 63: The Registration Process

Taken from our Series 63 Online Guide

The Registration Process

To register at the state level as an investment adviser, persons must file the appropriate paperwork with the state through the federally run Investment Adviser Registration Depository system, or IARD for short. To register, an investment adviser must use this system to submit a number of forms including a Form ADV and a Form U-4. The applicant must also give permission for an appropriate background check to be performed and sign a “ consent to service of process,” which allows a state administrator to receive legal papers (summons, notice of lawsuits, etc.) on behalf of the adviser. Once the consent to service of process has been filed, it does not need to be renewed.

Part 1 of Form ADV (which is short for “Adviser”) is general information about the investment adviser such as:

  • information about the ownership and nature of their practice including the names of the principals involved
  • the location of the main office
  • the types of services offered
  • whether the adviser keeps custody of customer assets
  • the location of books and records
  • any relevant regulatory/disciplinary history

Part 2 of Form ADV includes information relevant to the customer such as:

  • fees or fee structure for the services provided
  • types of clients and investments
  • methods of analyzing investments (e.g., technical versus fundamental)
  • the educational and business background of the advisers

For state registration, firms submit Form ADV, Parts 1 and 2, to the Administrator. Federal covered advisers, however, submit only Parts 1 and 2A to the SEC, and save Part 2B in their records. Part 2A is the brochure; Part 2B is the brochure supplement.

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