As an advisor, if you’re planning to start an RIA in Georgia, it’s essential to know the state’s requirements. In this article, we’ll cover the specifics.
Who must register in the state of Georgia?
Advisors marketing their services in Georgia, who have more than five clients, manage less than $100 million in AUM, or live in Georgia must register with the state as an RIA.
If you’re managing over $100 million in AUM, consider registering with the SEC.
It’s advisable to hire a compliance consultant, if possible. A compliance consultant can help make this process easier, but if not, this article will provide you with the necessary guidance..
Statement requirements for RIAs in Georgia:
Georgia requires advisors to have one of the following professional designations to operate in the state: Series 65, Series 66 and Series 7, CFP, CFA, CIC, ChFC, or PFS.
It’s also required that every investment advisor representative submits Form U-4 and ADV part 2B.
Form and policy requirements for starting an RIA in Georgia:
Filing with Finra
In addition to paying all the state’s registration filing fees, advisors must complete the following:
- Apply for an account to FINRA’s WebCRD/IARD
Advisors must apply for an account in FINRA’s WebCRD/IARD online system. Although FINRA does not oversee or regulate Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), the state uses FINRA's system to process RIA applications.
- Form ADV Part 1 (online portion)
This portion of the ADV is your firm’s registration documentation and is the online component that will be used to upload Form ADV Part 2A and Form ADV Part 2B. In ADV Part 1, information about the firm only is disclosed.
- Form ADV Part 2A (paper and online)
This part of the ADV contains RIA information and is considered the firm’s brochure. This brochure includes your fees, services offered, disclosures of disciplinary actions, and other relevant details. This brochure must be provided to all clients and prospects and written in plain English that's simple to understand.
- Form ADV Part 2B (paper and online)
Form ADV 2B is another brochure that’s given to clients by IARs. It contains details about the advisor’s educational background, work history, possible conflicts of interest, and any disciplinary actions against them. Executive Officers who offer investment advice and representatives who advise clients must also complete this form.
- Client Advisory Contract
The client advisory contract must meet the standards set by the regulatory authority in Georgia. Additionally, it must encompass the investment policy statement.
- Policies and Procedures Manual
This manual details the firm’s internal processes, such as handling customer complaints to training new Investment Advisor Representatives (IARs). It also includes Business Continuity, Anti-Money Laundering, Information Security, and Anti-Insider Trading plans.
- Code of Ethics
Filing the firm’s Code of Ethics ensures that the RIA is adhering to the standards of the State of Georgia.
To conclude, registering as an RIA in Georgia involves fulfilling financial statement requirements, possessing relevant professional designations, and submitting the necessary forms and documents. Check out our comprehensive RIA launch kit for more information about starting your RIA.
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*Altruist and its affiliates do not provide legal advice, so it’s important to check with a qualified professional for each state’s registration requirements.