Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a private non-profit dedicated to “safeguarding the investing public against fraud and bad practices” through the regulation of broker-dealers.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between FINRA and SEC?

While the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) does have regulatory powers, it is not a part of the government. Rather, it’s an independent nonprofit that handles the licensing and registration of broker-dealers in the United States.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), meanwhile, is a government agency that focuses on the integrity and protection of the securities market.

How do I get FINRA certified?

To become FINRA certified, securities professionals must register for and pass stringent qualification exams. Additionally, FINRA-certified brokers are required to complete Continuing Education (CE) programs every year.

What is a FINRA license?

A FINRA license demonstrates that you have completed FINRA exams and are authorized to carry out specific securities activities. However, it’s worth noting that individual states may have differing requirements for securities licensing.

Who must register with FINRA?

Anyone who is engaged in the securities function within a business must register with FINRA and pass the qualification exams. This often includes salespeople, branch managers, C-suite officers, directors, and department supervisors.

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