Investment Advisers & Investment Adviser Representatives

General Licensure Information

Who needs to be licensed?

  • Investment Advisers (IAs) – Firms that employ Investment Adviser Representatives.
  • Investment Adviser Representatives (IARs) – Individuals who offer investment advice including financial planning services.

With whom do investment advisers and investment adviser representatives need to be licensed?

  • Regulatory responsibility for IAs and IARs is split between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and state securities regulators.
  • In general, IA firms with more than $100 million in assets under management (Federal Covered Advisers or FCAs) are regulated exclusively by the SEC. However, an FCA with a place of business in this state, or who employs or otherwise engages an individual with a place of business in this state to act as an IAR, is required to make a notice filing with the Colorado Division of Securities.
  • IA firms located in Colorado with assets under the $100 million threshold are regulated by the Colorado Division of Securities. Additionally, IA firms not located in Colorado with assets under $100 million who have more than five clients in Colorado are required to have a Colorado license.
  • IARs with a place of business in Colorado who work for either an FCA or an IA in providing investment advice to customers need to be licensed in Colorado.  The SEC does not license or register IARs to register at the federal level.

IA and IAR Licensing Overview

  • Both an application and a fee are required in order to obtain an IA or IAR license. Annual fees are required thereafter to maintain licensure.
  • IAR license applicants are required to take and pass a minimum competency examination or provide proof of alternate qualifications.
  • Licensees are subject to inspection or examination to confirm the adequacy of business records, ensure fiduciary duty records compliance, and prevent violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the Colorado Securities Act.

          Investment Advisor Registration Depository (IARD) Information

  • IARD is the electronic filing system that provides regulatory oversight over investment advisers nationwide. It is operated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and sponsored by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and the SEC.
  • IARD houses Forms ADV Part 1 and Part 2, corresponding amendments, and Form U-4, which are uniform forms used by investment advisers to register or license with the SEC and state securities authorities.
  • For additional information on IARD responsibilities, visit the IARD website.

All Colorado fees and licensing forms.

Applications for Licensure