How to Register With FINRA
How to Register With FINRA
FINRA’s secure online licensing system, the Central Registration Depository (CRD®), enables entitled users, typically individuals from a firm’s registration or compliance department, to register individuals with FINRA, other self-regulatory organizations and state regulators. In addition to registration and licensing information, the CRD system includes qualification, employment and disciplinary histories for registered and previously registered individuals.
FINRA makes some of the information you provide through the CRD system available to the public through BrokerCheck®, a free tool that, among other things, helps investors make informed choices about the FINRA-registered representatives and brokerage firms with which they conduct or may wish to conduct business. BrokerCheck may also contain information about you that has been submitted to the CRD system by FINRA, other self-regulatory organizations and state regulators. BrokerCheck provides both a high-level summary and a full report that contains more detailed information on brokers and firms. Personal information, such as your residential address and Social Security number, is kept confidential and is not provided in the reports offered through BrokerCheck. Visit the About BrokerCheck Reports page for more details on what information is contained in a BrokerCheck report.
Another FINRA system you should familiarize yourself with is the Financial Professional Gateway (FinPro), which is a secure system for current and former registered representatives that offers various tools for managing your registration information. In addition to viewing the information filed in CRD, FinPro streamlines access to the following functions:
- Complete and Return Forms to Your Firm: Users can retrieve, complete and return draft filings electronically to their brokerage firm.
- Schedule Exams: Users can make exam appointments online with the test vendor.
- Complete Continuing Education (CE): FinPro links directly to the CE Online system, so users can complete their CE requirements.
- Update Residence: Former registered representatives can update their residential information.
- View U5: Users can view and print a copy of their Form U5.
FINRA is developing additional FinPro tools to help individuals manage their securities registration requirements.
Note: Functions can vary depending on your registration status and what your firm permits.
For you to become registered as a securities professional, your firm must file a Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer, commonly referred to as the Form U4, via the CRD system. The Form U4 collects administrative information (e.g., residential history, employment address, other business activities) and disclosure information (e.g., criminal, civil judicial, financial events). It is important that all of the information you supply on your Form U4 is complete, up-to-date and accurate. If FINRA discovers that relevant information has been omitted from the Form U4 or any information reported on the form is misleading, FINRA may take a regulatory action against you and/or your firm.
In addition to providing administrative and disclosure information via the Form U4, you are also required to provide your Social Security number and a fingerprint card (Rule 17f-2 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) in order to continue the registration process. FINRA forwards your fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for processing. If your fingerprint check results in the return of Criminal History Record Information (CHRI), you are afforded an opportunity to review the CHRI and, if you believe it is inaccurate, you may challenge it. The procedure to challenge (i.e., to change, correct or update) CHRI is administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is set forth in 28 CFR §16.34. Please see the FBI’s website for more information on the challenge process.
Once you register, you will receive a unique CRD number that you will use throughout your career in the securities industry.
It is also important that your firm amend your Form U4 in a timely manner (i.e., within 30 days) when an event or proceeding occurs that renders a previous response inaccurate or incomplete. This includes not only disclosure events but also administrative information such as employment address, residential address and other business activities. Speak with your firm to receive a copy of your Form U4, or access FINRA’s Financial Professional Gateway (FinPro) to view your record. Then review the Information with your supervisor and supply your firm with any updated or missing information. If your firm does not update disclosure information on your Form U4 in a timely manner (generally no later than 30 days after learning of the facts or circumstances giving rise to the amendment), your firm will be assessed a late disclosure fee. FINRA understands that some firms may ask a representative to pay the late disclosure fee.
Only a firm can update Forms U4 and U5 (see the Termination section for information about the Form U5). If you find inaccurate information in your Form U4 or U5, you should first contact the firm that filed the inaccurate information. If working with the firm is not possible or successful and the information is disclosed through BrokerCheck, you may contact FINRA to dispute the accuracy of the information. To initiate a dispute, you must submit a BrokerCheck Dispute Form and supporting documentation. FINRA will review the information you submit, investigate the matter (if eligible) and make any warranted changes to the information displayed through BrokerCheck. Please see the BrokerCheck dispute process page on FINRA’s website.
If your Form U4 or U5 contains disclosure information, FINRA reviews it to, among other things, determine whether you are subject to a statutory disqualification. During the review of disclosure information, FINRA may request additional information or documentation from you. Pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, certain types of disclosure events can render a person subject to a statutory disqualification. Persons subject to a statutory disqualification must obtain regulatory approval before being permitted to work in the securities industry. For the definition of statutory disqualification, a list of disqualifying events and an overview of the process by which persons subject to disqualification may seek to obtain such approval, see the Statutory Disqualification Process page.
In limited instances you may seek to have a reference to a customer complaint or arbitration removed from your record in the CRD system. The process of removing this information from the CRD system is called “expungement.” FINRA Rule 2080 contains the standards that must be met to expunge customer dispute information from CRD. The rule generally requires, among other things, that a court of competent jurisdiction confirm an arbitration award granting expungement relief. Prior to seeking an expungement from the CRD system, please review the FINRA Rule 2080 FAQ on FINRA’s website.