About BrokerCheck

BrokerCheck is a free tool from FINRA that can help you research the professional backgrounds of brokers and brokerage firms, as well as investment adviser firms and advisers.

Where BrokerCheck Information Comes From

The information about brokers and brokerage firms that you find in BrokerCheck comes from the Central Registration Depository (CRD®). All brokers must be licensed and registered by FINRA, and CRD is the securities industry online registration and licensing database. Information in CRD is obtained through forms that brokers, brokerage firms and regulators complete as part of the securities industry registration and licensing process.

The information about investment adviser firms and representatives comes from the Securities and Exchange Commission's Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD) database.

What You’ll Find in a BrokerCheck Report

A BrokerCheck report for a broker who is currently registered with FINRA or a national securities exchange, or who has been registered within the last 10 years, contains:

  • A report summary that provides a brief overview of the broker and his or her credentials.
  • A broker qualifications section that includes a listing of the broker's current registrations or licenses, if any, and industry exams he or she has passed. To be registered in the securities industry, individuals must pass a qualification exam. After October 1, 2018, most persons seeking a representative-level registration must pass the new Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and one or more specific qualification exams. Individuals holding a representative-level registration will be credited with the SIE exam, with a “Date Passed” of October 1, 2018. Individuals registered within the last four years also will be credited with the SIE exam, with the “Date Passed” set as the date of the termination of their last registration.
  • A registration and employment history section that consists of:
    • A list of registered securities firms where the broker is currently and/or was previously registered.
    • The broker's employment history for the last 10 years—both in and outside the securities industry—as reported by the broker on his or her last Form U4 (which securities firms use to register brokers with self-regulatory organizations (SROs) and states). Employment history includes full and part-time work, self-employment, military service, unemployment, and full-time education.
  • A disclosure section that includes information about customer disputes, disciplinary events, and certain criminal and financial matters on the broker's record. Some of these items may involve pending actions or allegations that have not been resolved or proven.
  • The broker's most recently submitted comment(s), if any.

A BrokerCheck report for a broker whose registration with FINRA or a national securities exchange terminated more than 10 years ago generally contains:

  • A report summary that provides a brief overview of the broker and his or her credentials.
  • A broker qualifications section that includes a listing of the broker's prior registrations or licenses, and industry exams he or she has passed.
  • A registration and employment history section that consists of two types of information:
    • A list of securities firms where the broker was previously registered. Please note that one or more of these securities firms no longer may be registered with FINRA or a national securities exchange.
    • The broker's employment history for the last 10 years—both in and outside the securities industry—as reported by the broker on his or her last Form U4 (which securities firms use to register brokers with SROs and states). Employment history includes full and part-time work, self-employment, military service, unemployment, and full-time education.
  • A disclosure section that includes information about certain criminal, regulatory, civil judicial, or customer complaint events involving the broker. For an event to be included in a BrokerCheck report for a broker terminated more than 10 years ago, the broker must have been:
    1. the subject of a final regulatory action;
    2. convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to certain crimes;
    3. subject to a civil injunction involving investment-related activity or found in a civil court to have been involved in a violation of investment-related statutes or regulations; or
    4. named as a respondent or defendant in an arbitration or civil litigation in which the broker was alleged to have committed a sales practice violation, and which resulted in an award or civil judgment against the broker.
  • The broker’s most recently submitted comment(s), if any.

A BrokerCheck Report for a brokerage firm contains:

  • A report summary that provides a brief overview of the firm and its background.
  • A firm profile that describes where and when the firm was established, and lists the people and organizations that own controlling shares or directly influence the firm's daily operations.
  • A firm history that details any mergers, acquisitions or name changes affecting the firm.
  • A firm operations section that lists the firm's active licenses and registrations, the types of businesses it conducts and other details pertaining to its operations.
  • A disclosure section that contains information about any arbitration awards, disciplinary events, and financial matters on the firm's record. Some of these items may involve pending actions or allegations that have not been resolved or proven.

To learn more about adviser information contained in BrokerCheck, visit the SEC's Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD).

How current is the information contained in BrokerCheck?

Generally, active firms and brokers are required to update their professional and disciplinary information in CRD within 30 days. Under most circumstances, information reported by firms, brokers and regulators is available in BrokerCheck the next business day.

What information is NOT disclosed through BrokerCheck?

Information that brokers have not reported, or are not required to report. This could include, for example: (1) non-investment-related civil litigation, including, for example, civil protective orders; (2) customer complaints that do not allege sales practice violations, fraud or theft; (3) certain personal or confidential information (for example, Social Security Numbers, residential addresses); or (4) arrests that did not result in a charge or conviction, and misdemeanor charges or convictions that are not investment-related or do not involve theft or a “breach of trust,” including, for example, disorderly conduct or assault. Previously reported information that is no longer required to be reported (such as judgments or liens that have been satisfied) is also not disclosed through BrokerCheck.

In addition, FINRA reserves the right to exclude confidential customer information, offensive and potentially defamatory language or information that raises significant identity theft or privacy concerns that are not outweighed by investor protection concerns.

Under FINRA's current public disclosure policy, in certain limited circumstances, most often pursuant to a court order, information may be expunged from the CRD system.

Supplements to BrokerCheck

FINRA provides the following two databases as supplements to BrokerCheck:

  • FINRA Arbitration Awards Online - This database provides the full text of arbitration awards issued by arbitrators at FINRA and at other forums.
  • FINRA Disciplinary Actions Online - This database provides FINRA disciplinary actions that were issued during 2005 or later, and are eligible for publication pursuant to FINRA Rule 8313 (Release of Disciplinary Complaints, Decisions and Other Information). The database also includes opinions issued by the SEC and federal appellate courts that relate to FINRA disciplinary actions that have been appealed.