Broker-Dealer Investment Advisor FAQs

1. Are financial planners or investment advisors required to register in Virginia?

A. Virginia law requires that, with some exceptions, any person who is engaged in the business of, and compensated for, advising others as to the value of securities or the advisability of investing in, purchasing, or selling securities, must register with us.

2. Is a solicitor required to register as an investment advisor?

A. Yes. If the firm solicits, offers or negotiates for the sale of or sells investment advisory services, then the firm is required to register.

3. Does Virginia have a deminimus limit on unregistered activity by investment advisors?

A. Yes. The deminimus is the same as prescribed at the federal level, it allows an investment advisor who does not maintain a place of business in Virginia, to have five (5) Virginia clients prior to the requirement of registration. The rule site is 21 VAC 5-80-210 B.

4. Can I be registered as an investment advisor representative with two registered investment advisor firms at the same time?

A. Generally, no. A registered investment advisor representative may be registered in Virginia with only one registered investment advisor firm at any time.

5. Is a sole proprietor investment advisor firm required to register the firm and him or herself as a representative of the firm?

A. Yes. Virginia requires investment representative registration for all investment firms regardless of the form of organization, so both the firm and representative must register separately.

6. Does the Commonwealth of Virginia sponsor individuals to take investment advisor or broker-dealer agent examinations?

A. No. An individual does not need sponsorship to take the Series 63, Series 65, or Series 66 examinations. All other examinations are regulated by the FINRA or some other self-regulatory authority.

7. Does the Commonwealth of Virginia allow investment advisor representatives to substitute professional designations for the Series 65, Series 66, and Series 7 examinations?

A. Yes. The investment advisor representative must hold currently and in good standing one of the following professional designations. The designations are CFP (Certified Financial Planner), ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant), PFS (Personal Financial Specialist), CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), and CIC (Chartered Investment Counselor).

8. Do I have to retake the series 66 and 7 or 65 examinations over as an investment advisor representative if the examination result is over 2 years old and I have been out of business for more than 2 years?

A. Yes. If you have not been registered as an investment advisor representative in Virginia or in another state in the last 2 years (from the date of the application) and have no professional designation, you must take either the Series 65 or the Series 66 and Series 7 and receive a passing score.