What Is SEC Form BD?

SEC Form BD is the form that needs to be completed and submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in order to apply for registration as a broker-dealer in the United States.

Key Takeaways

  • Any prospective broker-dealers must file SEC Form BD with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to register as a broker-dealer.
  • SEC Form BD is known as the Uniform Application for Broker-Dealer Registration.
  • Various information in the form needs to be included, such as management policies, names of executives, past securities violations, and any legal proceedings.
  • Broker-dealers must file SEC Form BD when registering with the SEC, self-regulatory organizations (SROs), and any jurisdiction.
  • SEC Form BD is filed through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's (FINRA's) Central Registration Depository (CRD) system.

Understanding SEC Form BD

SEC Form BD (the "Uniform Application for Broker-Dealer Registration") requires that the applying company disclose background information, including management policies that direct the firm, the names of executives and general partners, successor information, and any current legal proceedings or previous securities violations. The provisions that require all securities brokers to be registered with the SEC are covered under Section 15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

SEC Form BD is used by broker-dealers to register with the SEC, Self-Regulatory Organizations (SRO), and any jurisdiction. Broker-Dealers must file Form BD through the Central Registration Depository (CRD) system, operated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Filing SEC Form BD

Form BD is one of six different Uniform Registration Forms that are used to file information electronically with FINRA’s Web CRD. When the applicant is filing with the CRD for the first time, a full paper Form BD is required. In addition, some jurisdictions may require a separate paper filing of Form BD. The applicant should contact the appropriate jurisdiction(s) for specific filing requirements.

Web CRD is the central licensing and registration system used by the U.S. securities industry and its regulators. The CRD contains the registration records of broker-dealer firms and their associated individuals including their qualifications, employment, and disclosure histories. It also facilitates the processing of form filings, fingerprint submissions, qualification exams, and continuing education sessions. Web CRD is a secure system that only firms and regulators that have been granted access by FINRA can use.

Whenever a broker-dealer has any information on a previously filed form that changes, then they have to file a new Form BD indicating these changes.

Required Information in SEC Form BD

Information that needs to be answered in the form includes the type of organization filing (corporation, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), etc.), the month the fiscal year ends, any arrangements with other individuals or entities related to recordkeeping, or the holding of accounts or funds.

The applying entity must also check off all of the types of business it intends to do and the types of financial securities it plans on doing business in. These are just a few of the areas SEC Form BD touches upon. It is in general a comprehensive form covering a significant amount of detail.