California Requirements for Starting an RIA

Start an RIA in California

California RIA

If you’re looking to register a new RIA in the nation’s most populous state, from SoCal to Wine country, or are expanding your core business to include fee-based securities in the San Francisco Bay area our experienced team and broad Network of industry leading partners are here to help you achieve your goals and anticipate California’s State regulatory hurdles all-while enabling you to continue focusing on what you do best.

We are driven to help California advisors by providing them true simplicity. This is why we ensure we thoroughly understand your business’s foundation today and goals for tomorrow before beginning our work. This really is the base upon which our “we-do-the-heavy-lifting-for-you” service style stands and best ensures our completely custom work to have no gap between your intent and our implementation.

California RIA Registration

To register an RIA in California in 2016 you will need to submit the documents listed below and pay an initial firm filing fee to California’s Securities Division of $125.

Required For Approval

These will be required whether you’re filing a new RIA for the first time or expanding an existing into California:

  • Form ADV Part 1
  • Form ADV Part 2A
  • Form ADV Part 2B (atleast 1 IAR)
  • Form U4 (atleast 1 IAR)
  • Wrap-Fee Brochure (if applicable)
  • Client Agreement(s) & notices
  • Corporate Documents/Filings/Financial
  • Net Capital of $12,000 Verified By an Oath of Affirmation If Doing Discretionary AUM
  • GAAP Audited and Certified Balance Sheet

 

New RIA Also Required

You will also need to complete the following items if you are seeking approval as a state RIA for the first time:

  • SAA Creation & FINRA Entitlement
  • IARD/CRD Access & Authentication
  • E-billing establishment & processing

 

Beyond RIA Registration

These documents and processes form a living set of procedures which guide your RIA and each employee away from potential problems and towards the required compliance standards. These documents essentially ensure your firm’s adherence to applicable regulations, and aren’t going to be reviewed or approved by your California regulators during the application process. Your RIA will however still be expected to develop, maintain and adhere to adequate standards including:

  • Policies & Procedures Manual
  • Code of Ethics
  • Cyber Security Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Business Continuity Plan
  • Compliance Procedures, Monitoring, & Execution

 

If you’re interested in learning more about what’s involved in successfully filing a new California RIA or need to register an existing RIA in California to comport with De Minimis rules you can reach us by phone at 810-227-2549 or simply submit our contact us form. You can learn more about our turn-key New State RIA Registration services here or learn more about our additional State filing services here.

California Annual RIA Renewals

In 2016, each California RIA will pay $125 in state firm annual renewal fees via FINRA’s IARD system. Within 90 days of the new year each California RIA will also have to file its annual amendments, indicating material changes and certifying a complete disclosure provenance, in addition to executing the renewal process for each of the firm’s IARs.

Whether you are looking for a cost-effective solution for your annual compliance requirements which can scale to meet your needs on-demand or you need to bring on a comprehensive compliance program and officer so you can catch the surf, we have the experience, know-how, attitude, people and resources to protect your firm in an evolving regulatory climate.

California IAR

IAR Registration

Becoming an IAR licensed in California will require you to meet the licensing requirements or waivers detailed below and payment of an initial registration fee of $25. If you are becoming a California Solicitor, this same $25 registration fee will apply even though you don’t have to meet the IAR specific licensing otherwise detailed herein. Once licensed, California IARs will have to be registered with an approved RIA firm within 2 years to maintain their license – this involves updating the Advisor’s form U4 and creation of a Form ADV part 2B brochure supplement. Registration with an approved investment advisor firm is also required before the IAR can conduct any investment advisory business.

In order to be licensed as an IAR in California an individual must meet and/or maintain one or more of the following criteria:

  • Series 65 License
  • Series 7 & 63 Licenses
  • CFP Designation
  • CFA Designation
  • CFA Designation
  • ChFC Designation
  • CIC Designation
  • PFS Designation

 

If you are interested in becoming a Series 65 Licensed IAR in California, want to learn more about California Solicitors, or are looking for a turn-key solution to process your inbound IAR’s & Solicitor’s U4s and creation of ADV Part 2B Brochure Supplements contact us today by calling 810-227-2549 or submit our contact us form.

IAR Renewals

Each year an IAR must have successfully completed the requirements of their firm’s compliance program, certify and acknowledge the firm’s policies & procedures, and ensure the ongoing accuracy of their Form U4 and ADV Part 2B Brochure Supplement. They must also pay their annual renewal fees for continued registration in California which are $25 in 2016.

If you are a California Solicitor, you will also be subject to the $25 renewal charge to maintain your registration.