Series 65 Registration


I am currently studying for Series 65. If I pass, I’d like to know more about how you register as an IAR.

I have no plans to work for an RIA firm and I do not plan on starting my own Investment Advisor firm.

For people in this situation (upon passing), can/do we still register in our home states (or SEC?) or do most people just say they passed and I assume evidence of that would show up on my FINRA account.


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Hi @Shaky_tan_grouse, welcome, and thanks for posting.

I’m not sure I understand your question… if you don’t plan on working for an RIA or starting one yourself, who would you be working for?

We wrote a blog article about starting your own RIA - not all of it will be relevant to your situation, but it might help shed some light on the different parts of the registration process.

Let me frame the Q differently.

I passed my Real Estate exam and got licensed as a RE agent. I did not go ahead and work for a principal broker, I really just did it to improve my resume and gain knowledge.

My home states RE Commission allows you to register as a RE Agent under “inactive status.” So yes, I tell people I’m a state-registered RE agent who “could sell houses if he wanted to,” but doesn’t.

So can I file form 4 with my state department and say I’m a IAR or is that not possible if you have no plans to “use” the license

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Hi @Shaky_tan_grouse - I’ll try my best to answer your question.

To the best of my knowledge, you must be registered with an investment adviser firm to operate as an IAR in the industry. This could be your own firm you establish, which we discuss in the blog @Justin linked above. You may be able to operate independently in the real estate industry, but it sounds like the securities industry operates differently.

One thing worthy of pointing out - we are experts in preparing our customers for FINRA and NASAA licensing exams, but do not actually operate in the industry. We don’t execute securities transactions, provide advice on securities, or take part in the registration process (none of us at Achievable are registered). I personally have industry experience (I worked for Fidelity from 2007 - 2018), but never took part in the registration process (other than filling out and signing my U-4 and U-5). Your question is a bit beyond our expertise, so there may be an obscure exception to my statement above.

The best source of information for your question is either a professional with compliance experience (e.g., a compliance officer or lawyer with expertise in securities regulations) or your state administrator. This link will take you to NASAA’s website and link you directly to the administrator of your state.

Good luck with your search!

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Thanks @brandonrith; that lines up with my thoughts too, since on the U-4 registration you are required to list your employing FINRA member firm.

Although you won’t formally be an IAR unless employed, you absolutely can still say that you have your Series 65 license!

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I am curious on how you would be able to take the Series 65 License exam if you are not sponsored by registered firm. At least that was my understanding. I thought the only exam you could take was the SIE without being sponsored.

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The FINRA and NASAA rules are a bit different regarding sponsorship.

For the FINRA exams we cover, only the SIE can be taken without sponsorship:

  • SIE - can take on your own
  • Series 6 - sponsorship required
  • Series 7 - sponsorship required

For the NASAA exams we cover, none of them require sponsorship:

  • Series 63 - can take on your own
  • Series 65 - can take on your own
  • Series 66 - can take on your own*

*The Series 66 does require the Series 7 as a co-requisite, so although you can take the S66 without sponsorship, you will need to be sponsored to actually get the license.

Interesting. Good to know. Thanks!

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