FINRA member firms are required to annually renew their registrations with FINRA, other self-regulatory organizations (SRO’s), and states/jurisdictions. The FINRA annual Renewal Program begins with the fourth quarter each year. Rather than require firms to submit each individual renewal payment to each individual regulatory body, FINRA collects all applicable renewal fees on behalf of itself and participating regulators.

It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the 2017 Registration Renewal Calendar. This calendar outlines the payment and filing deadlines for registration renewals. It also covers the availability of the WebCRD/IARD system during year-end renewal processing.

Located in the E-Bill system is your firm’s Renewal Account. Your firm must use your FINRA Renewal Account to pay its annual renewal fees. If your firm has sufficient funds to cover your total assessment in its Flex-Funding Account, FINRA will automatically transfer funds from the firm’s Flex-Funding Account to its Renewal Account beginning on the renewal payment deadlines.

Your firm has multiple options for renewal payment: electronic payment via E-Bill, ACH or Wire Transfer, or mailing in a check.

Beginning November 14, 2016, your firm can view and print its Preliminary Statement by logging on to the E-Bill system. Renewal statements are only accessible through E-Bill – they will not be mailed to your firm.

Before beginning the renewal process, your firm should review its registered persons to ensure that they have reported all appropriate information to WebCRD/IARD properly and in a timely manner. All appropriate information for open branch offices should be properly and timely reported as well, and your firm should ensure that all open branch offices have individuals assigned to them.

Beginning October 24, 2016, firms may begin to submit post-dated Forms U5 and BR Closing/Withdrawal. The forms must be dated 12/31/16.

Beginning November 1, 2016, firms may begin to submit post-dated Forms BDW and ADV-W. The forms must be dated 12/31/16.

As mentioned above, on November 14, 2016, Preliminary Statements and reports will become available for viewing and printing through E-Bill.

December 16, 2016 is the deadline for receipt of payment for Preliminary Statements.

On December 27, 2016 at 6:00 PM, Eastern Time, WebCRD/IARD will become unavailable due to Final Statement and renewals processing. December 27 is the final day to submit form filings prior to the end of the year.

On December 29 and 30, 2016, WebCRD/IARD are available in a limited capacity – QUERY-only and the creation of “Pending” files – but they become unavailable again on January 1 and 2, 2017.

Beginning at 5:00 AM Eastern Time on January 3, 2017, WebCRD/IARD are available with complete functionality again. This includes submitting form filings and approving registrations. Any overpayments are transferred to a firm’s Flex-Funding account. Any refund requests should also be made through the Flex-Funding Account.

January 3, 2017 is also the day that Final Statements and reports become available for viewing and printing through E-Bill.

January 20, 2017 is the deadline for the receipt of payment for Final Statements.

For more about FINRA’s annual Renewal Program, you may visit the FINRA website here.