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.

FINRA Small Firm Conference
November 9 – 10, 2016
Phoenix, AZ

Register today for the Small Firm Conference, which focuses 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. Throughout the event, attendees have the opportunity to discuss small firm issues with FINRA senior staff.


May 23, 2016

Small Firm Cybersecurity Checklist

FINRA has created a Cybersecurity Checklist to assist small firms in establishing a cybersecurity program to identity and assess cybersecurity threats, protect assets from cyber intrusions, detect when their systems and assets have been compromised, plan for the response when a compromise occurs and implement a plan to recover lost, stolen or unavailable assets. This checklist is primarily derived from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework and FINRA's Report on Cybersecurity Practices. Use of this checklist does not create a "safe harbor" with respect to FINRA rules, federal or state securities laws, or other applicable federal or state regulatory requirements.


March 14, 2016

Now Available: On Demand Sessions From FINRA’s 2015 Small Firm Conference

Free recordings of all sessions from FINRA’s 2015 Small Firm Conference are now available to member firms and CRCP graduates. 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.


March 13, 2016

A Few Minutes with FINRA are brief video segments in which senior FINRA staff discuss timely regulatory topics and respond to comments from firms on specific areas of concern. Watch the latest installments on:

Digital Investment Advice Report

BrokerCheck Rule 2210

2016 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter


January 5, 2016

2016 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter

Each year FINRA publishes its regulatory and exam priorities to highlight significant risks and issues that could adversely affect investors and market integrity in the coming year.


Updated: November 18, 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.


Other Announcements

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.

Resources