Expert Answers to RIA Registration Questions

If I have clients in another state does that mean I have to register in that state as well?
You only need to register in the state where your business resides, unless you have five or more clients outside of the state where your business resides. If you have offices in multiple states you may need to register with more than one state.

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What is the difference between state and SEC RIA registration?
If you or your firm has more than $100 million in assets under management you must register with the SEC, otherwise you register with your state or states.

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What can delay the RIA registration process?
Normally it takes 45 days to receive approval for qualified RIAs. Incomplete forms, change requests, document requests, and additional background information regarding the firm can cause delays.

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Does it matter if I start the RIA registration process if I haven’t established my entity yet?

Guardian can help you begin preparing your firm’s investment adviser application for registration before your entity is established, however, the entity must be established with the state corporation office along with obtaining an employer identification number before we file your application.

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When must the Form ADV be amended?

Both State and SEC RIAs are required to file an amendment to the Form ADV annually (within 90 days of the close of your fiscal year). Guardian clients receive automatic reminders. In addition to annual amendments any material changes to your firm will also trigger the need for a revised Form ADV, which should be filed within 30 days.

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Does my RIA need a written compliance program?

The SEC requires written compliance policies and procedures. It is also highly likely that your state securities regulator expects a written document that demonstrates how your firm plans to comply with local rules and regulations. It is important to note that all compliance policies and procedures manuals must be maintained as well.

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How often must I renew my RIA registration?

State RIAs must re-register every year on a calendar basis. Renewal fees must be paid during November and early December each year. SEC RIAs must file their Annual Form ADV Part 1 Amendment annually according to the RIAs fiscal year. The SEC does not charge any registration fees.

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Guardian FAQ

Guardian is managed by investment attorneys; are your fees a lot higher than other RIA registration and compliance service providers?

Guardian keeps fees competitively priced. We specialize in serving RIAs so our knowledge base helps keep our costs down. What’s the advantage of working with investment attorneys? Unlike most of our competitors we can provide legal advice. This translates to a quicker and more accurate registration process as well as more reliable compliance. We are always available to answer questions.

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Why does Guardian conduct an Assessment and Planning process prior to registration?

Our Assessment process allows us to gather crucial facts that will impact:

  • Which business entity you choose
  • Where you register
  • How the Form ADV is completed
  • Specific compliance language

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