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.

January 6, 2017

Capital Acquisition Brokers

On January 3, 2017, FINRA began accepting applications for firms wishing to register as Capital Acquisition Brokers. FINRA encourages qualifying member firms and new firms to consider converting to CAB status. Switching to CAB status will help ensure that qualifying firms will be governed by a regulatory structure that is better suited to the limited nature of their business. Please visit the Capital Acquisition Brokers page for more information on the rule book and how to register.


January 4, 2017

2017 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.


November 16, 2016

Relief Provided to Broker-Dealers on Accounting for Operating Leases

The Division of Trading and Markets of the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a no-action letter on November 8, 2016, to provide limited relief from the negative impact on net capital, which would have resulted from a recently adopted Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) standard. The standard, and the relief provided, are discussed in the referenced no-action letter.


November 16, 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule Session From the Small Firm Conference

Recognizing that the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule is an issue that is top of mind for many firms, FINRA is making available video of the DOL Fiduciary Rule session from last week's Small Firm Conference at no cost. During the session, panelists—including two small firm CEOs and a DOL representative—provided an overview of fiduciary requirements and discussed how to firms can meet their fiduciary responsibilities.

Watch the video.


November 16, 2016

Reminder: 2017 Renewal Program

The 2017 Renewal Program began on November 14, 2016, when online Preliminary Renewal Statements were posted on FINRA’s Web CRD system. This annual program simplifies firms’ registration renewal process with FINRA and participating regulators by requiring just one payment to FINRA, which is due December 16, 2016.

See Regulatory Notice 16-42 and visit the 2017 Renewal Program page for details.


November 16, 2016

FINRA Rule 2273 Resources

Representatives who leave their firms often contact former customers and emphasize the benefits the former customers would experience by transferring their assets to the firm that recruited the registered representative (recruiting firm) and maintaining their relationship with the representative. FINRA Rule 2273 requires the recruiting firm to deliver to those customers a FINRA-created Educational Communication that highlights key considerations in transferring assets to the recruiting firm, and the direct and indirect impacts of such a transfer on those assets. The rule went into effect on November 11, 2016. Please visit the Broker-Dealer Recruitment Disclosures: Complying with FINRA Rule 2273 page for more information and FAQ.


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


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.