Stockbrokers, better known in the industry as registered representatives, are licensed by Oregon’s Finance & Corporate Securities Division to sell securities for a commission as sales reps for the broker-dealer firms that employ them. Follow these step-by-step instructions to become a stockbroker in Oregon. These steps apply to registered reps of both FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and Non-FINRA member broker-dealer firms.
Step 1. Get Your Education
Even though the State of Oregon does not require a securities salesperson to hold a college degree or certificate, it is common for most professionals to do so. Many firms only hire applicants with a four-year degree, although these firms differ widely in what kind of degree they prefer.
Professional designations, which come from continuing education after initial licensing, will usually require at least a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor degrees commonly held by Oregon’s registered representatives:
- BA-Consumer and Family Financial Services
- BS in Business Administration- Finance
Before beginning coursework, plan what classes match your long-term needs and goals. Find out if your selected college will give life-experience credits. While classes will help you broadly understand economics, other courses will also help you pass required exams so as to best serve your clients and your firm. Be sure classes are properly accredited. Studies, topics, and classes that help you advance in this career include:
- Business law
- Behavior of organizations, persons and groups
- Business ethics
- Business communications
- Quantitative applications in business
- Accounting, especially designed for financial and managerial accounting
- Federal and State Taxation Issues and Rules
Step 2: Take the Required Exams to Become a Stockbroker in Oregon
- You will need a sponsoring broker-dealer firm to take FINRA’s Series 7 exam. To become sponsored, apply for an open position, or contact the firm you would like to work with.
- Complete Form U-4, Uniform Application for Securities Registration or Transfer. Your sponsoring firm will facilitate the completion of this form. This will involve detailing your personal education, work, and criminal history. Your sponsoring firm will file this form and pay all fees electronically through FINRA’s Central Registration Depository (CRD). Itemization of all fees associated with sponsoring a registered representative in Oregon:
- A registration fee of $85 will be payable to FINRA
- Test fees of $245 for the Series 7 and $147 for the Series 63 (explained below) will be additional.
- Fingerprints are also required and can be obtained for a nominal fee at a local police station or sheriff’s office. FINRA charges $30.25 to process the fingerprint card.
- The initial registration fee in Oregon is $55.
- You are registered for the Series 7, General Securities Representative Examination when your sponsoring firm has filed and received approval on your Form U-4 through the CRD.
- Register for the Series 63, Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination or the Series 66, Uniform Combined State Law Examination. Oregon requires a Blue Sky license (either Series 63 or 66), which will allow you to work with clients across state lines. Registered representatives in Oregon most commonly pursue the Series 63, but your sponsoring firm will help determine which is best based on the needs of its clients.
- Schedule your exam online through the third-party contracted Prometric or Pearson Vue testing centers after selecting one of the testing locations in Oregon.
- Schedule the exam(s) within 120 days of registration, or you will have to re-register and the firm will be charged a re-registration fee.
- Schedule to take the exams on different days, as you won’t be allowed to take both within the same exam session.
- Arrive at least one hour before the scheduled examination time at your chosen testing center. Be sure to bring a valid photo ID and test confirmation letter.
- You will receive your test scores immediately upon completing the exams. If you fail the exam (or do not show up), your sponsoring firm is notified. If your sponsoring firm is a non-FINRA member, and you miss the appointment without rescheduling, the entire registration is cancelled.
Step 3: Get Your On-The-Job Training
After passing the exams, your new firm will continue to provide on-the-job training. This will consist of sales and product knowledge training. Total training time, including test prep, is usually six months.
Sales training will consist of how to legally solicit clients. Product knowledge training will include becoming familiar with a variety of investments products:
- Corporate, municipal and treasury bonds
- Variable contracts
- Government securities
- Open-end and closed-end investment company shares
- Corporate equity and debt securities
- Mutual funds
- Options on stocks
- Direct participation programs like non-publicly traded real estate investment trusts or oil and gas leases
Requirements to Transact Business in States, Other Than Oregon, After You’re Licensed:
Under the De Minimus Exemption, broker-dealer firms that are registered in any other state can conduct a limited amount of business in Oregon, if the firm’s own policy and home state registration permits it. In Oregon, this usually requires registration only after adding a seventh client. Oregon law allows for unregistered, single “inconsequential” transactions to be done with Oregon residents by out of state firms.
Your Oregon-licensed firm may conduct minimal business in other states, which is generally considered to be less than 6 clients, without registering in that state. If the firm gains a seventh client it will take you through the licensing process specific to the state in question.
Step 4: Ongoing Renewal Requirements for Stockbrokers in Oregon
- Annual License Renewal and Fees
Annual license renewals are completed through the Web-CRD (Central Registration Depository). In Oregon, stockbrokers have their licenses automatically renewed on the anniversary date of their initial registration. The renewal fee in Oregon is $50, which is paid electronically through the Web-CRD by the broker-dealer firm you work for.
- Annual License Renewal and Fees
- Continuing Education Requirements
As part of the Securities Industry Continuing Education Program, registered representatives are required to fulfill continuing education requirements, which are broken into two elemental categories:
- The Regulatory Element
This involves periodic training on material specific to regulatory compliance and ethical sales practices. One regulatory Element training program must be completed at the beginning of your third year in practice within 120 days of your annual registration and then every three years throughout your career. Your firm’s compliance department will keep you abreast of when and how to take part in this ongoing continuing education.The Regulatory Element training program that applies to Series 7 licensed registered representatives is known as the S101 General Program. The S101 consists of four modules:
- Communicating with the Public
- Client/Product Suitability
- Handling Customer Accounts/Trade and Settlement Practices
- New and Secondary Offering & Corporate Finance
- The Firm Element
This involves product related training based on the needs of the firm. As a registered representative you will participate in Firm Element training every year. The Firm Element involves training in specific areas and related to specific products as determined by the firm based on their internal evaluation. This most often consists of training related to:
- Investment features and associated risk factors
- Sales practices and suitability standards
- Regulatory requirements related to products, services, and strategies
- The Regulatory Element
- Updating your Form U-4
As a registered representative you are responsible for informing your supervisor promptly of the need to update your Form U-4. This includes:
- Address updates
- Criminal disclosure
- Financial judgments against you
- Civil judgments against you
- Pending or completed disciplinary actions
- Customer complaints
Clients will be able to review details on your education and credentials, as well as any disciplinary action taken against you, through FINRA’s BrokerCheck.