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How to become an RIA in Maine

How to become an RIA in Maine

Advisors seeking to start an RIA in Maine must familiarize themselves with the specific requirements and guidelines set by the state. 

Maine requires advisors that meet the following criteria to register their RIA with the state:

  • The RIA is in Maine
  • They solicit their financial services in Maine 
  • The advisor manages less than $100 million in AUM
  • Or is managing assets for more than five Maine state residents

To help make this registration process more manageable, consider hiring a compliance consultant to help set up an RIA in Maine. 

The state requires advisors to have one of the following professional designations: Series 65, Series 7 & 66, CFP, CFA, CIC, ChFC, or PFS.   

In addition to paying all the registration and filing fees, IARs must complete the following tasks and submissions in Maine:

  • Submit FINRA Entitlement Paperwork

    The state processes registered investment advisor applications through FINRA’s WebCRD/IARD online system. Therefore, advisors must apply for an account to the system to submit their application. FINRA does not supervise or regulate RIAs. 
  • Form ADV Part 1 (online only)

    Form ADV Part 1 discloses information about the RIA, such as ownership, clients, business practices, disciplinary events related to the advisor or its employees, and any affiliations. Since Form ADV Part 1 is the online component of your application, it’s also used to upload ADV Part 2A and ADV Part 2B.
  • Form ADV Part 2A (paper and online)

    Information about the RIA’s fees, services, disciplinary disclosures, and other information related to the firm is found in Form ADV Part 2A. This is also the Firm’s Disclosure Brochure and must be given to prospective and current clients. Maine also requires this to be written in plain, understandable English.
  • Form ADV Part 2B (paper and online)

    Information about the advisor is found in Form ADV Part 2B: education, employment history, potential conflicts of interest, and any disciplinary actions. Maine also requires any Executive Officers or representatives who advise clients to complete this form. This document must also be given to clients and is required to be written in plain English.  

    If sponsoring a wrap fee program, Appendix 1 is also required.
  • Form U4

    Form U4 registers the firm’s Investment Advisor Representative (IARs).

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Financial statements & Bonding

According to the NASAA website: If the firm has custody of client funds, the firm must have a minimum net worth of $35,000 or a surety bond for the net worth deficiency rounded up to the nearest $5,000. If the firm has discretion over client funds, the firm must maintain a minimum net worth of $10,000 or a surety bond for the net worth deficiency rounded up to the nearest $5,000. The firm must maintain a positive net worth if it has no discretion or custody.

If you’re seeking approval as a state RIA for the first time, you will need to complete the following:

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

The state of Maine may also require the following:

  • Client Advisory Contract

    Maine requires RIAs to meet regulatory standards set by the state. This filing ensures that.
  • Policies and Procedures Manual 

    RIAs will use The Policies and Procedures Manual as an internal guide to uphold internal processes and procedures. The manual must include information about how the RIA handles clients’ complaints to how it trains new IARs. The manual must also include information about Business Continuity, Anti-Money Laundering, Information Security, and Anti-Insider Trading plans.
  • Privacy Policy Statement

    The RIA must provide all clients with their Privacy Policy Statement (and must be given to them every year). It must explain how the RIA handles, stores, and discloses client information. 

  • Code of Ethics

    Maine requires that RIA’s meet specific fiduciary standards, and this filing ensures that.  

Starting an RIA doesn’t have to be overwhelming with the right resources, such as our comprehensive RIA launch kit.

At Altruist, we strive to make independent financial advice better, more accessible, and more affordable. Our platform gives back precious time and capital to RIAs, so you can focus on what matters most: your clients and business.

On one intuitive, integrated platform, advisors can open and fund accounts, trade and rebalance, report, and bill, at a fraction of today’s edging-ever-higher technology costs. 

Our dedicated customer support team is here to help advisors that are planning to make the leap from their wirehouse. Our team will help ensure a smooth transition with exceptional ongoing service.

To see how we’re helping RIAs streamline operations, reduce overhead, and elevate the client experience, book a call with one of our transitional specialists now.

*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.

Step-by-step advice on forming your RIA
Altruist’s COO guides you toward a successful RIA launch.


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