The Utah Uniform Securities Act uses the more widely accepted financial industry term, broker-dealer agent, to describe stockbrokers. To become a stockbroker in Utah, you must be licensed by the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Securities and registered with a self-regulatory organization (SRO).
This step by step guide will detail the process by which you’d become eligible for licensure by securing sponsorship with a Utah-registered broker-dealer firm (either FINRA or non-FINRA member), and passing the required exams.
Step 1. Get Your Education
The Utah Division of Securities does not require that broker-dealer agents be college-educated, but most broker-dealer firms will expect that candidates for sponsorship and employment have a four-year degree.
Consider pursuing a program leading to a degree in an area that is highly relevant to the work you’ll perform as an investment and securities sales expert:
- BS-Business Administration- Finance
- BA-Consumer and Family Financial Services
Sales and marketing courses will help you to build and retain a loyal client base, while business and finance related courses will help you hone your expertise of the financial industry:
- Business law
- Business ethics
- Business communications
- Quantitative applications in business
- Behavior of organizations, persons and groups
- Accounting, in particular courses in financial accounting and managerial accounting
Step 2: Take the Required Exams
- Before being able to apply for securities exams (the most common of which are the Series 6 and Series 7), you must be sponsored by a broker-dealer firm that holds current registration in Utah. Consider the many smaller independent firms that serve residents in Utah and look to firms that deal in securities specific to industries of interest to you, for instance technology or bioscience.
- A representative of your sponsoring firm will help you complete applications for the required exams, and for licensure through the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Securities.You will also be required to provide a copy of your fingerprints for an FBI background check. Ask your broker-dealer if they can facilitate fingerprinting. If not, contact your sheriff’s office or local police station to obtain them for a fee.
If your sponsoring firm is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA):
Apply using Form U-4, Uniform Application for Securities Registration or Transfer, which will allow you to take the required exams. Form U-4 will also serve as an application for licensure through the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Securities. The compliance department of your broker-dealer will help you complete the form and submit it through the Central Registration Depository (CRD), covering your registration and exam fees:
- FINRA’s $85 registration fee
- Fees associated with each required exam
- $30.25 to process your background check
- Utah’s registration fee of $60
If your sponsoring firm is not a member of FINRA:
Enroll for your FINRA exam on the FINRA website. To enroll for FINRA exams, you must be sponsored by a state regulator or regulatory authority approved to sponsor candidates for FINRA qualifying exams. Upon receipt of your eligibility information from a sponsoring organization, FINRA will email enrollment instructions to you.
- Upon acceptance of your application, You will be allowed to register for and schedule the Series 7, General Securities Representative Examination, or another securities exam as directed by your sponsor (i.e. Series 6).The Utah Securities Division also requires you to take a state law exam, either series 63 or series 66. You can register for either one of these once you have passed the Series 7 or other general securities exam. The Series 63, Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination and Series 66, Uniform Combined State Law Examination both cover state securities laws.
After your application is accepted, you will have 120 days to schedule the exams through the exam facilitator location in Utah most convenient to you.
- Be sure to study and take practice tests before your exams. Your broker-dealer is likely to have resources available to help you prepare. Arrive an hour before the test is scheduled to begin, and be certain to bring identification.
- You will receive your exam score immediately after the test. Once you have passed all required exams, you will be officially licensed as a broker-dealer agent in Utah.
Step 3: Get Your On-The-Job Training
It is likely you will attend on-the-job training sessions as you begin work with your new broker-dealer firm. On-the-job training sessions may include meeting in groups or job shadowing a fellow, senior broker-dealer agent and listening in on sales calls.
Your training will help prepare you to properly align clients with suitable financial vehicles, including:
- Mutual funds
- Variable contracts
- Options on stocks
- Government securities
- Corporate equity and debt securities
- Corporate, municipal and treasury bonds
- Open-end and closed-end investment company shares
- Direct participation programs like non-publicly traded real estate investment trusts or oil and gas leases
Step 4: Ongoing Requirements for License Renewal and Continuing Education
Annual License Renewal and Fees
Your Utah securities licenses must be renewed before December 31st each year. Your broker-dealer’s compliance team will renew your license on your behalf by submitting a $60 renewal fee to the Utah Division of Securities through the Web-CRD (Central Registration Depository). If you are sponsored by a non-FINRA firm, your renewal fee must be submitted directly to the Utah Division of Securities.
Continuing Education Requirements
The Securities Industry Continuing Education Program is made up of two elements. You are required to complete each element on a regular basis as described below in order to keep your securities license current.
- The Regulatory Element
The Regulatory Element training program must be completed at the beginning of your third year (within 120 days from your second annual registration). Your broker-dealer will keep you updated as to when the Regulatory Element is due (every three years after the first compulsory training is completed).If you hold the Series 7 license, the Regulatory Element you must complete is called the S101 General Program. The S101 is made up of four modules that include:
- New and Secondary Offering & Corporate Finance
- Handling Customer Accounts/Trade and Settlement Practices
- Communicating with the Public
- Client/Product Suitability
- The Firm Element
Each year, FINRA assesses the most relevant financial industry topics. This assessment serves as an outline for your broker-dealer, which implements its own Firm Element continuing education based on the topics it deems appropriate to its business. The Firm Element must be completed each year and generally addresses:
- Sales practices and suitability standards
- Regulatory requirements related to products, services, and strategies
- Investment features and associated risk factors
Updating your Form U-4
Any changes that occur affecting your Form U-4 registration must be disclosed to your broker-dealer’s compliance department. Your firm will update your registration information and submit the change through the Central Registration Depository. Changes to your registration would include:
- Address updates
- Changes to name or marital status
- Pending or completed disciplinary actions
- Customer complaints
- Civil judgments against you
- Financial judgments against you
- Criminal disclosure
The public can verify your license and view all information contained in Form U-4 by visiting FINRA’s BrokerCheck.