Advertising Regulation Electronic Files

Advertising Regulation Electronic Files (AREF) is a Web-based application that enables FINRA member firms to file communications with the public for review by FINRA's Advertising Regulation Department. In addition, firms may use AREF to view, print, and save letters about communications filed for review. Firms may also access real time filing fee information via AREF.

Effective September 28, 2015, FINRA migrated AREF to a new platform that allows firms to submit advertising-related files through a wide variety of formats and to submit larger files.

The enhanced AREF system provides firms with the ability to:

  • submit audio and video files in formats such as mp4, wmv and wav, as well as files in MS Office formats such as Excel and PowerPoint and, not be limited only to PDF files;
  • submit file sizes up to 500MB where the limit was previously 50MB;
  • save filings in draft status prior to submission to FINRA;
  • upload more than two supporting documents on an initial filing; and
  • perform improved searches and filtering functions on filings submitted.

Use of the systems is voluntary. FINRA will continue to send comment letters by mail (and, for expedited filings, by facsimile) unless you choose to receive electronic copies only.

  • You may go directly to Firm Gateway via the following URL:
  • Questions regarding obtaining access to the system can be directed by phone to (800) 321-6273 or by email.
  • Questions regarding the comment letters that appear on AREF or about the advertising rules may be directed to the Advertising Regulation Department staff at (240) 386-4500.

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