Previously we covered Investment Advisor Registration in our blog When Do You Have to Register as an Investment Adviser?, discussing what the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 defines as an investment advisor and what triggers the registration requirements. In this blog, we will focus on the exclusions from the definition of investment advisor at the federal and state level.
Individuals looking to be in the business of giving investment advice for compensation will most likely need to register as an investment advisor representative (“IAR”). There are a couple of differences between becoming an IAR and a registered investment advisor(“RIA”). Most notably, only a natural person (a human being and not an entity) can be considered and IAR, and IARs never register with the SEC, only with the individual states. For an example of how to register with a state, check out the process for registering as an IAR with the state of Georgia on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.
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In our previous blog on Registered Investment Advisers (RIAs), “How to Register as an RIA: What is a Registered Investment Adviser?”, we discussed some important basics of RIAs – how does one define an RIA, what is Fiduciary Duty, why do RIAs need to register, what is the difference between state registration and SEC registration, etc. Today, we will return to the topic of state registration vs. SEC registration in order to provide a more thorough examination of the issue.
A Registered Investment Adviser, or “RIA” as it is commonly abbreviated, is a person or company engaged in the investment advisory business. That means that they engage in the regular business of providing, for compensation, either directly or through publication, advice on the value of securities or on the advisability of investing in, buying, or selling securities; or, they engage in the regular business of providing, for compensation, either directly or through publication, analyses or reports covering securities.