Regulation of Sales Representatives (Agents) - Introduction

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It is important to note that the USA refers to agents as "sales representatives". Do not get confused if the two terms are use interchangeably on the exam.

Sales Representatives (Agents) Definition
The USA specifically defines a sales representative (agent) as:

  1. "An individual, other than a broker-dealer, who represents a broker-dealer in effecting or attempting to effect purchases or sales of securities, or
  2. [an individual who] represents an issuer in effecting or attempting to effect purchases or sales of the issuer's securities."

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Agent: Any individual who acts for, or represents a broker-dealer in effecting securities transactions. The term also applies to any individual who similarly represents an issuer.

An agent is a salesperson who represents a broker-dealer or an issuer, either selling or attempting to sell securities to the investing public. Any time an agent is acting on behalf of another person, he or she generally is known as acting on the behalf of principals.

Agents are also known as registered representatives, but they can also be referred to as sales representatives. A brokerage firm cannot be an "agent" - as an agent can only be a real person.

Sales Representatives (Agents): Exceptions
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