To register as an IA with the SEC, you are required to file Form ADV, parts I and II.
  • Part I discloses basic information to regulators, such as contact and background information on the adviser and employees, number of accounts, compensation arrangements, etc.
  • Part II serves as a disclosure document to clients and potential clients. It can be used to satisfy the "Brochure Rule" in a later section.
  • The IA must amend Form ADV any time the information within it has changed.
  • The form must be resubmitted within 90 days of the end of each fiscal year.
  • If an adviser is no longer eligible for federal registration, it must withdraw its registration by filing a Form ADV-W Notice of Withdrawal from Registration within 180 days after the end of the fiscal year.
  • An IA also must file a Form ADV-W if it ceases to conduct business as an investment adviser.
For more information on filling out Form ADV, refer to the PDF Form ADV: General Instructions.

The Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD)
All federal covered advisers are now required to register with the SEC and file notice with the states via the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD). The IARD is an electronic filing system for IAs, sponsored by the SEC and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). This system collects and maintains data for both federal- and state-registered IAs.

If you would like to learn more about the IARD, the following weblinks contain further information. Note that this is more detail than what is required for you to know for the exam: The Investment Adviser Registration Depository, IARD Announcements.
Investment Adviser Representatives (IARs)

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