To conduct securities transactions and business with the investing public in the United States both firms and individuals must be registered with FINRA. Firms must apply and meet certain membership standards to become a FINRA-registered broker-dealer. The New Member Application Form (Form NMA) is used by FINRA’s Membership Application Program (MAP) Group to assess whether an Applicant meets those standards.
The form contains 12 sections modeled after the first 12 standards of FINRA Rule 1014. Form NMA does not elicit specific information regarding standards 13 and 14 Rule 1014. Applicants wishing to provide information they believe pertinent to either of these standards may do so by providing additional information in Standard 1.
Ensuring an Application is Substantially Complete
MAP Group staff will not commence review of an application until it is substantially complete. Form NMA identifies information required in the initial filing with a red asterisk and performs a completeness check. Applicants are required to address any missing items flagged before being permitted to submit the application.
Upon receipt of the submitted Form NMA, FINRA will conduct an initial review. Applications may be deemed “not substantially complete” for one or more of the following reasons:
- Failure to submit a completed Form NMA and all attachments and information designated in the Form NMA as required;
- Failure to submit sufficient information and documentation to allow the staff to commence a meaningful review of the application. Required documents include but are not limited to the following:
- Written Supervisory Procedures (WSPs);
- Evidence of a firm’s source of funding (e.g., prior 3 months bank statements);
- All corporate documents, including exhibits;
- A complete ownership chart;
- A complete supervisory chart; and
- A detailed description of the proposed business model.
What Happens if an Application is Deemed “Not Substantially Complete?”
Where the application for membership is deemed "not substantially complete," FINRA will provide the firm with a list of documents that were omitted from the filing and will provide five days for the firm to provide the requested documentation. If the firm does not provide the information/documentation, the application will be rejected and removed from the docket. FINRA will send the Applicant a written notification of that determination along with the reasons.
FINRA will also refund the application fee, less a $500 processing fee. Any fees already disbursed for state registration(s) and any other non-refundable fees (e.g., fingerprint processing fees) will not be returned.
An Applicant that decides to continue seeking membership will be required to submit a new application and fee.
After You Apply
Learn what to expect after you apply, including how to amend an application and what to expect from the membership interview.
Questions? Contact Us
All general communications and inquiries regarding the processing of the Form NMA should be directed to the Gateway Business Application Support group at (800) 321-6273.