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How to become an RIA in Vermont

To start an RIA in Vermont, an advisor must follow the requirements set by the state. In this article, we’ll go over what those are.  

Suppose an advisor meets any of the following criteria. In that case, they must register their Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) with the state of Vermont: The advisor’s place of business is in the state, and they manage less than $100 million in client assets, they solicit their financial services in the state, or they manage more than five clients that are Vermont residents. 

To make this process easier to navigate, consider hiring a compliance consultant

To operate an RIA in Vermont, an advisor must have one of the following professional designations: Series 65, or Series 7 and Series 66, CFP, CFA, CIC, ChFC, or PFS.   

Advisors must complete and submit the following forms and policies to start an RIA in Vermont. 

  • Submit FINRA Entitlement Paperwork

    Submit for an account to FINRA’s WebCRD/IARD online system. The state of Vermont uses FINRA’s system to process applications, but FINRA doesn’t supervise or regulate RIAs. 
  • Form ADV Part 1 (online portion)

    This is the online piece to a firm’s registration application. An advisor will include all information related to the firm, such as ownership, business practices, clients, disciplinary events related to the advisor or its employees, and any affiliations. Form ADV Part 1 is also used to upload ADV Part 2A and ADV Part 2B.
  • Form U4

    This form registers a firm’s Investment Adviser Representatives (IARs).
  • Form ADV Part 2A (paper and online)

    This acts as the RIA’s disclosure brochure. In this brochure, an RIA will detail fees, services, disciplinary disclosures, and other information related to the firm that clients need to know. Vermont also requires that this brochure be written in simple language that prospects and clients can understand.  
  • Form ADV Part 2B (paper and online)

    This is also a brochure that often must be given to clients. This brochure will contain information about the advisor, such as their education, employment history, potential conflicts of interest, and any disciplinary actions. Any Executive Officers or representatives who advise clients must also complete this form. 

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

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  • Balance sheet

    An advisor with discretion or custody over client funds or security must submit either a certified or current audited balance sheet. If neither is applicable, no balance sheet is required. 
  • Client Advisory Contract

    This filing will show the state that the firm meets the regulatory standards for client advisory contracts set forth by Vermont.
  • Privacy Policy Statement 

    In this statement, an RIA must explain how it handles, stores, and discloses client information. The Privacy Policy Statement must be given to all clients at the start of the working relationship and every year after that. It should be noted that no two privacy policy statements are alike, but they must meet the standards of Vermont’s compliance requirements.
  • Policies and Procedures Manual

    This serves as the RIA’s internal document to uphold processes and procedures. The Policies and Procedures Manual will include information from how the RIA handles client complaints to how it trains new IARs. Also, it must have information on Anti-Insider Trading plans, Business Continuity, Anti-Money Laundering, and Information Security. 
  • Code of Ethics

    This filing shows the state that the RIA is meeting the specific fiduciary standards that the state enforces. 


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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