Small Firms Information

FINRA has created this page to provide information for the small firm community—those firms with 150 or fewer registered representatives. This page contains current and past communications, links of interest to small firms, and other information.


December 7, 2015

Tools and Resources for Complying With the BrokerCheck Link Requirements in Rule 2210

To help firms satisfy the BrokerCheck link requirements in Rule 2210, FINRA is providing optional tools and resources, as well as guidelines for using the BrokerCheck logo.

November 18, 2015

New Webinar: Cybersecurity Considerations for Small Firms

This one-hour free webinar tackles a top priority for small firms: building an effective cybersecurity program with limited resources. Panelists share best practices, with a focus on how small firms can apply the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework.

October 20, 2015

FINRA Elections: Ballots Due November 13, 2015

As a reminder, the voting period for the FINRA Small Firm Advisory Board and District Committee elections ends on November 13, 2015. FINRA encourages all eligible firms to vote using one of the methods described in the Election Notices. Please review each Election Notice for information about the voting methods and candidate profiles.

Updated: October 20, 2015

On-demand Webinars

FINRA's free on-demand video webinars include panel discussions with FINRA staff and/or industry experts, and feature online resource materials. The following webinars are available on-demand:

June 16, 2015

CRD Public Records Validation Initiative FAQ

Read FINRA’s update regarding the CRD Public Records Validation Initiative, which addresses FINRA’s review of possible unreported disclosures and measures that firms and their registered individuals should take to ensure their CRD records stay current.

May 28, 2015

Get Involved

Learn more about how firm executives can get involved with FINRA’s process through committee service, comment letters and other methods. FINRA has many opportunities for firms to be involved with its committees. The District Committees, Small Firm Advisory Board, National Adjudicatory Council, and Board of Governors all hold annual elections.

January 29, 2015

Now Available: Free Small Firm Conference Recordings

On-demand recordings of FINRA's 2014 Small Firm Conference now available to member firms for free. The conference focused on small firms’ practices and tips for complying with FINRA rules. Each session begins with a FINRA staff member highlighting key requirements of a rule, and then small firm panelists provide a step-by-step approach for complying with that particular rule. Featured topics have included supervision, suitability, anti-money laundering and outside business activities, among others.

January 29, 2015

Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter

FINRA’s 2015 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter, which highlights new and existing issues of importance to our regulatory programs is now available. FINRA publishes this letter to help firms assess their compliance, supervisory and ethics programs in the context of its key regulatory priorities.

Other Announcements

FINRA Rulebook Consolidation

To help firms keep track of the various phases of the rulebook consolidation, FINRA has created a special Web page that centralizes rulemaking activity for the FINRA Rulebook.

Quarterly Disciplinary Review

View the latest issue of the Quarterly Disciplinary Review, a summary sampling of recent disciplinary actions involving misconduct by registered representatives that call attention to, and remind registered representatives and firms of, specific conduct that violates FINRA rules and may result in disciplinary action.

FINRA Rule Filing Status Report

The FINRA Rule Filing Status Report provides firms with a comprehensive list of FINRA rule filings currently pending with the SEC, as well as FINRA rule filings approved by the SEC, filed with the SEC for immediate effectiveness, or withdrawn within the last six months.

Broker-Dealer Financial Reporting

Exemption Report (effective date: June 1, 2014)
Broker-dealers that claim an exemption from SEA Rule 15c3-3 under paragraph (k) must file an “Exemption Report” with the SEC. The Exemption Report must contain which provision under paragraph (k) the firm is claiming, if the broker-dealer met the provisions during the most recent fiscal year without exception, or if there were exceptions a description of nature and date of each exception.

The Exemption Report must be included as part of the annual report (i.e. annual audit) that the firm submits pursuant to SEA Rule 17a-5(d). The broker-dealer must also engage a PCAOB-registered independent public accountant to prepare a report based on a “review” of statements included in its Exemption Report.  

SIPC Filing Requirement (effective date: December 31, 2013) 
A broker-dealer that is a member of SIPC must also file its annual reports with SIPC. Visit SIPC’s FAQ for additional information.  

Form Custody (effective date: December 31, 2013)
All broker-dealers are required to file with FINRA (if FINRA is the firm’s DEA) a quarterly report called the “Form Custody” which identifies whether, and how, it maintains custody of customer securities and cash. The Form Custody is due the same due date as the FOCUS Report, currently the 17th business day after the quarter end.  

SEC/SRO Staff Review of Independent Public Accountant Work Papers of Clearing or Carrying Firms (effective date: June 1, 2014)
A clearing or carrying broker-dealer (includes broker-dealers who clear, but do not carry, via the use of a (k)(2)(i) account) must agree to allow SEC or SRO staff to review the work papers of the independent public accountant, if it’s requested in writing for purposes of an examination of the broker-dealer. Further, broker-dealers must allow the independent public accountant to discuss its findings with the SEC or SRO examiners.

Statement Regarding Independent Public Accountant Under SEA Rule 17a-5(f)(2) (effective date: June 1, 2014)
SEA Rule 17a-5(f)(2) requires firms to file a statement with the SEC and its DEA that it has designated an independent public accountant responsible for performing the annual audit. Firms should file the statement in hard copy with their regulatory coordinator (for more information see SEC’s FAQ 4). To assist firms with complying with this new requirement FINRA is working to make the submission of this statement online via Firm Gateway in the Financial Notifications section.SEA Rule 17a-5(f)(2) requires firms to file a statement with the SEC and its DEA that it has designated an independent public accountant responsible for performing the annual audit. Regulatory Notice 14-39 announces that FINRA made the submission of this statement available online via Firm Gateway in the Financial Notifications section.