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How to become an RIA in New York

Part of starting an RIA requires registering within the state(s) where you provide financial services. Most state requirements are the same, but occasionally, they will vary state by state. In this article, we’ll look at the state requirements for New York.

As an investment advisor, if you meet one of the following requirements, then you must register with New York:

  • If you manage more than 5 clients who are residents of New York
  • Market your services in New York

Additionally, if you manage more than $100 million in AUM, you might need to register with the SEC.

If you need more guidance, we’re here to help you navigate the path to starting your RIA:

Financial statement requirements:

New York requires RIAs to submit a balance sheet and income statements to register in the state.

New York requires RIAs to submit a balance sheet and income statements to register in the state.

Registration requirements for Advisors

  • New York doesn’t require advisors to submit form U-4 but does require New York Form-IAQ to be filed with the state. 
  • Advisors must pass Series 65, or Series 66 & 7 combined. Or, they must obtain the appropriate designation: CFP, CFA, CIC, ChFC, or PFS designation.

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Forms & Policies required by New York 

  • Payment of all State of New York registration filing fees

    Unlike other states, New York requires registered investment advisors to pay an annual registration fee for the RIA and each registered individual with the RIA. These fees must be paid at the time of registration.

  • FINRA Entitlement paperwork

    To file a registered investment adviser application with the state of New York, advisors must apply to FINRA for an account to FINRA’s WebCRD/IARD online system. While FINRA doesn’t regulate or supervise RIAs, New York uses FINRA’s WebCRD/IARD system to process applications.

  • Form ADV Part 1 (online)

    In this portion of the ADV, RIAs will disclose information about how they conduct business. The information includes details about the advisor's business and ownership structure and any affiliations related to business practices, clients, and additional information about employees. 

    Part 1 is also used to upload ADV Part 2A and Part 2B.

  • Form ADV Part 2A & Part 2B (paper and online)

    This portion of the ADV is your RIA’s brochure. In this brochure, you will disclose your services, fees you charge, disciplinary disclosures, and additional details of your RIA. Advisors should also include employment history, education, conflicts of interest, and disciplinary information.

    Both of these brochures are given to your clients: prospective and current. As with other states, New York also requires that this portion of the ADV be written in plain English so that clients can easily read and understand it.

  • Policies and Procedures Manual

    For your Policies and Procedures Manual, you must include your RIA’s internal policies on all parts of your business. From handling clients’ complaints to training new advisors to join your firm–every policy and procedure you practice at your RIA must be included and explained in this manual.

    Additionally, you will need to include your RIA’s Information Technology Policy, Anti-insider Trading Policy, Business Continuity Plan, and Anti-money Laundering Policy. 

  • Client Advisory Contract

    In this contract, you will detail the relationship your RIA will have with your clients. This contract is also required to meet the regulatory authority standards for client advisory contracts in New York.

  • Code of Ethics

    The state requires this to ensure you meet the State of New York standards.

  • Privacy Policy Statement

    Your RIA’s Privacy Policy is given to your clients at the beginning of your agreement and must be shared on an ongoing basis annually. It must explain how the firm stores and handles client information.

    Your policy should be tailored to your RIA’s specifications and must meet the State of New York’s compliance requirements.   

Starting your own RIA and figuring out where to register and when can be overwhelming, but with the right resources, you can do it successfully. Check out our team's helpful RIA launch kit to learn more. 

About Altruist

With Altruist, you can seamlessly transition to a custodial platform built for RIAs. Simplify your tech stack, reduce overhead, delight your clients, and grow your business. True independence awaits. 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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