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How to Apply

In order to become a member of FINRA, firms must follow the steps outlined on this page.

Step 1: Reserve Your Firm’s Name 
Step 2: Sign up for System Access
Step 3: Pay Your Application Fees
Step 4: Meet FINRA’s Standards of Admission 
Step 5: Submit Form BD Online
Step 6: Mail Hard-Copy Form BD 
Step 7: Submit All Additional Required Forms 
Step 8: Submit Fingerprints


Step 1: Reserve Your Firm’s Name


Request and reserve a proposed name for your firm prior to making any other submissions to FINRA. This name must meet a number of requirements.

To reserve a name, complete the Firm Name Reservation Form and send the completed form by fax or email to:

Fax: (301) 216-3710
Email: [email protected]


Step 2: Sign up for System Access


The Super Account Administrator (SAA) is responsible for creating and maintaining firm account administrator and user accounts for FINRA applications. Each firm must designate an SAA by completing the New Organization SAA Form. View FINRA’s Entitlement Program website for additional information, including on SAA responsibilities.

Once FINRA processes a firm’s SAA form, the firm’s SAA will receive FINRA Entitlement Program login credentials, the organization ID number and entitlement to the FINRA systems required to submit filings and electronically fund the firm’s Flex-Funding Account. The SAA will be able create and remove account administrators and user accounts, including consultants, and set access for these individuals.


Step 3: Pay Your Application Fees


Firms must pre-fund their Flex-Funding Account to pay the appropriate Membership Fee before submitting a New Member Application (NMA) to FINRA. To determine the required Membership fee, visit FINRA’s Schedule of Registration and Exam Fees page.

Firms can submit this initial payment by:

Funds for all subsequent required application, examination and registration fees must also be deposited into the Flex-Funding Account in advance.

Note: Check payments are not an option for this first Flex-Funding Account deposit.


Step 4: Meet FINRA’s Standards of Admission


Before filing an application with FINRA, firms must review the business plan to ensure it meets the Standards for Admission laid out in FINRA Rule 1014.


Step 5: Submit Form BD Online


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Form BD and other registration filings must be submitted and stored as part of the Central Registration Depository (CRD) program, which supports the licensing and registration filing requirements of the U.S. securities industry and its regulators. Some of the information collected in this filing is disseminated to the public via FINRA’s investor protection tool, BrokerCheck. Learn how to submit Form BD electronically:

Upon the electronic submission of Form BD, an analyst from Credentialing, Registration, Education and Disclosure (CRED) will review the filing for accuracy and completeness and email the Applicant acknowledgement of receipt.


Step 6: Mail Hard-Copy Form BD


Once Form BD has been submitted electronically firms must send a signed and notarized copy to:

FINRA
Regulatory Review and Disclosure Department
9509 Key West Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850


Step 7: Submit All Additional Required Forms


After Form BD has been submitted, Applicant firms must submit additional forms.

New Member Application

In addition to the SEC’s Form BD, firms must also submit FINRA’s New Member Application form (Form NMA). 


Individuals 

Form U4: Registered Representatives, Principals and Individuals Listed in Schedule A/B of Form BD: All representatives and principals who will be registered with the firm must have a Form U4 submitted on their behalf. Individuals listed in Schedules A and B on Form BD who will not hold registrations with the firm must have a Page 2 Form U4 filed on their behalf. 

Two Principal Registrant Requirements: Applicant firms must request principal registration for at least two qualified individuals and a Financial Operations Professional (FinOp). Applicants can file a request to have the two-principal requirement waived if the situation warrants the firm maintaining only one registered principal.


Branch

At least one branch office location must be registered by submitting Uniform Branch Office Registration Form (Form BR). Every registered branch must have a Supervisor or Person-in-Charge that is registered with the firm.

For a full list of all forms, documents and instructions your firm may need, visit the FINRA Registration Forms page. The CRD Quick Reference Guides provide system navigation support and technical guidance.


Step 8: Submit Fingerprints


Firms must submit fingerprints for individuals specified in Rule 17f-2 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. Firms can submit fingerprint information to FINRA electronically through FINRA's Electronic Fingerprint Submission (EFS) Program or by using hard copy fingerprint cards. Visit the Fingerprints page to learn more about fingerprint requirements, including submission deadlines.


Questions? Contact Us


If after reviewing the information in this section you need technical assistance, please contact FINRA’s Gateway Business Application Support (GBAS) group at (800) 321-6273.

Please note: Although an Applicant firm may retain multiple consultants or attorneys it can only designate one agent to act on its behalf during the membership application process. Whether an attorney or consultant, the designated agent will receive copies of all correspondence with the application firm.