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How to Become a Member - Membership Application Time Frames

Timeframe Requirements

FINRA is required to process the application within 180 calendar days from the date FINRA receives a substantially complete application for membership. Under NASD Rule 1012, applicants filing for new membership with FINRA have 60 calendar days to respond to the MAP Group staff's initial request for information, and must respond within 30 calendar days of any subsequent requests. If the applicant does not meet the deadlines, FINRA will terminate the application and the applicant must start the process anew. If the applicant wishes to continue to seek membership, the applicant must submit a new application and will again be subject to the application and registration fees. In addition, any examinations scheduled after the date of the lapse will be automatically canceled.

Firm Application Withdrawal (Form BDW)

To voluntarily withdraw a membership application, the Applicant must submit electronically via Web CRD a Form BDW (PDF 272 KB ). Application fees and forms will not be returned.

Individual Application Withdrawal (Form U5)

To voluntarily withdraw a Form U4 application filed on behalf of a registered individual, an Applicant (and member firm) should file Form U5 (the Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration) electronically via FINRA Gateway. A filing fee will be deducted automatically from the firm's Flex-Funding Account once filed, plus an additional fee if filed late. See the Schedule of Registration and Exam Fees for more information, including pricing. 

See Article V, Section 3 of FINRA By-Laws regarding the member firm's obligation to notify FINRA and the associated person of the termination, and the continuing obligation of the member firm to update the Form U5 after termination.

Application Lapse

Applications for membership and/or individual registration may be lapsed if an Applicant fails to demonstrate progress to satisfy FINRA requirements or reconcile membership filing or qualification deficiencies. Allowing scheduled examinations to expire without taking the examination, failing to schedule or reschedule an examination, failing to timely provide information or to satisfy any membership prerequisite, failing to appear at or participate in a scheduled membership interview or failing to timely return an executed Membership Agreement constitute grounds for lapse (see NASD Rule 1012(b) ). A lapsed application does not represent a decision on the merits. However, generally speaking, the Applicant would be required to file a new application (together with a new application fee for a new member application) if it wishes to pursue the application. 

Although unusual, it is possible to reinstate an application. Specifically, if an Applicant can demonstrate "good cause" as to why it failed to respond fully to a request for information, appear at a scheduled Membership Interview, or return an executed Membership Agreement, an application may be reinstated. Otherwise, the Applicant may initiate the process through a new filing with the payment of a new fee.