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How to become an RIA in Ohio

Starting an RIA in Ohio requires advisors to follow specific requirements, so you must familiarize yourself. In this article, we will lay out what those requirements are.

Who is required to register in the state of Ohio?

Advisors that are in Ohio and are serving Ohio residences must register their RIA with the state.

To make this process easier for you, consider hiring a compliance consultant.

Financial statement requirements for the state of Ohio:

Advisors must 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. 

IARs will have to pay all the state’s registration filing fees, and they must complete the form and policy requirements for starting an RIA in Ohio:

  • Submit FINRA Entitlement Paperwork

    To register an RIA in Ohio, IARs must apply for access to FINRA’s WEB CRD/IARD online platform. While FINRA doesn’t regulate or supervise RIAs, the state (and most states) use FINRA’s system to process RIA applications.
  • Form ADV Part 1 (online portion)

    Form ADV Part 1, the online component, contains information about the RIA only and is used to upload ADV Part 2A and ADV Part 2B. 

    There are two parts to Part 1: Part 1A is for RIAs that are both SEC-registered and state-registered, and Part 1B is specific to state-registered advisors.
  • Form ADV Part 2A (paper and online)

    This part is recognized as the RIA’s disclosure brochure. This brochure will contain information about the RIA’s fees, services, disciplinary disclosures, and other information about the firm. The state requires that this brochure is given to all prospective and existing clients. 
    This brochure must also be written in plain English, that's easy to understand.
  • Form ADV Part 2B (paper and online)

    In this part of the ADV, Form ADV Part 2B, advisors will disclose information about themselves: employment history, educational background, potential conflicts of interest, and any disciplinary actions. This is also seen as a brochure and, in most cases, is given to potential and current clients. 

    It’s also required that any Executive Officers or representatives who advise clients must complete this form. 

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  • Code of Ethics

    This filing confirms that the RIA is upholding the fiduciary standards required by the state of Ohio.

  • Client Advisor Contract 

    The Client Advisory Contract must follow the regulatory authority standards for client advisory contracts set by the state of Ohio.
  • Privacy Policy Statement 

    At the start of a client relationship, the Privacy Policy Statement must be given to them. It’s also required that this statement be given to them yearly. In this statement, RIAs must explain how it handles, stores, and shares client information. Remember that every RIA’s Privacy Policy will vary, but it must meet and comply with the regulations established by the state of Ohio.
  • Policies and Procedures Manual

    This manual will serve as an internal guide for the RIA and document how the firm maintains and enforces internal policies. 

    It must include how the firm handles client complaints to how it trains new IARs. It should also have Anti-Insider Trading plans, Business Continuity, Anti-Money Laundering, and Information Security. While this is customized to your firm, it still must meet the State of Ohio’s compliance requirements.


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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