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Licensing Requirements for Broker-Dealers and Agents

The following information will assist you when you are preparing an application for the District of Columbia Broker-Dealer or Agent Securities License. If you wish to engage in the business of purchasing or selling securities on behalf of yourself or others in the District of Columbia, you must first obtain a license from the Securities Bureau of the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB). Except for electronic registration through the Central Registration Depository (WebCRD), all filings that include payments must be sent to the DISB Securities Bureau's Lock Box.    

Broker-Dealer Licenses

All Broker-Dealers must obtain a Broker-Dealer license before effecting any securities transactions in the District of Columbia. Under the DC Official Code §31-5602.01 (a), no person shall transact business in the District of Columbia as a broker-dealer unless the person is licensed or exempt from the licensing requirement. Please see Law Available Online below for links to the DC Securities Act of 2000 and the implementing regulations. The filing procedures for FINRA members are different from the filing procedures for non-FINRA members. For information about licensing procedures for Broker-Dealers that are FINRA members, see section A of Initial Licensing of Broker-Dealers (Firms). For information about licensing procedures for non-FINRA members, see section B of Initial Licensing of Broker-Dealers (Firms).

Agent Licenses

Broker-Dealers must submit a Form U-4, the Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer, and the license application fee for all persons who will work as Agents of Broker-Dealers. For Initial Filing Information for Agents of FINRA member firms, see section A of Initial Licensing of Broker-Dealers Agents. For Agents of non-FINRA member firms, see section B of Initial Licensing of Broker-Dealers Agents.

Licenses Expire Every Year

Please note that all licenses expire on December 31 of each year. For renewal information for Broker-Dealers who are FINRA members, see Renewal Filings by Broker-Dealers. For renewal information for Broker-Dealers who are non-FINRA members, see  Renewal Filings by Broker-Dealers. For Agents of FINRA member firms see Renewal Filings for Broker-Dealer Agents. For Agents of non-FINRA member firms, see Renewal Filings for Broker-Dealer Agents.

Amendment Filings

When information contained in any document filed with the Securities Bureau is, or becomes, inaccurate or incomplete, Broker-Dealers must update the information by filing an amendment. For amendment information for Broker-Dealers who are FINRA members, see FINRA Amendment Filings. For amendment information for Broker-Dealers who are non-FINRA members, see non-FINRA Amendment Filings. For Agents of FINRA member firms, see FINRA Amendment Filings. For Agents of non-FINRA member firms, see non-FINRA Amendment Filings.

Review By Staff

The District of Columbia Securities Act of 2000 mandates that all securities license applications shall become effective within 30 days after the date of filing unless the application is denied or other action is taken by the Securities Bureau to defer the effective date. When DISB receives a license application, it will review the application. An application is deemed deficient if it is incomplete or if it omits required documents or material facts. The applicant will be notified about any deficiencies. DISB will postpone the effective date of a license until the applicant cures the deficiencies. According to DC Official Code §31-5602.03 (b), if the information requested by the Securities Bureau in a notice of deficiency is not received by the close of business on the 90th calendar day (not business day) after the request, the application will be considered withdrawn and will be removed from review. Thereafter, if the applicant wishes to be licensed, the applicant will have to submit a new application with a new fee and current documents. Please see Law Available Online for links to the DC Securities Act of 2000 and the implementing regulations.

Law Available Online

District of Columbia Securities Act of 2000 Online

The District of Columbia Securities Act of 2000 (the "Act") can be accessed via the Internet. The Act is Title 31, Subtitle X. SECURITIES of the DC Official Code.

To locate a particular provision, view each subchapter to identify the section of the Act you desire to review. For example, if you desire to review information about the licensing requirements governing Broker-Dealer and Agents, click on Subchapter II, and the licensing requirements for Broker-Dealer and Agent will appear on the screen. The following provisions of the Act specifically apply to Broker-Dealers and Agents of Broker-Dealers.

§§31-5601.01(3) and (4) – Definitions
§31-5602.01 – Licensing of Broker-Dealer and Agents
§31-5602.03 – License and Notice Filing Procedure
§31-5602.04 – Post-licensing Requirements

The online Securities Act of 2000 is implemented by District of Columbia's Municipal Regulations.

If you have any additional questions concerning DISB's Broker-Dealer and Broker-Dealer Agent License application requirements, please call (202) 442-4934 for assistance. While DISB strives to represent accurate information on its website, the viewer relying on the information should consult with an attorney licensed in the District of Columbia for interpretation of the DC laws. Relying on the website alone is no substitution for the viewer's due diligence about registration or renewal information. DISB is not responsible for a firm's reliance on the information contained on the website.

Securities Licensing Forms: