Starting an RIA in West Virginia requires advisors to follow specific requirements and guidelines. This article will cover what those are.
In the state of West Virginia, advisors who meet the following criteria must register their RIA with the state:
- Advisor solicits their services in West Virginia
- Advisor manages less than $100 million in AUM
- Manages more than five state residents
- The RIA is located in West Virginia
To ensure the proper setup of your RIA, consider hiring a compliance consultant to help you.
West Virginia requires that advisors 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 West Virginia:
Submit FINRA Entitlement PaperworkWest Virginia requires you to sign up for an account to FINRA’s Web CRD/IARD online system to submit your RIA application. While FINRA doesn’t supervise or regulate RIAs, West Virginia uses its system to process applications.
Form ADV Part 1 (online only)In Form ADV Part 1, the firms will disclose information about ownership, clients, business practices, disciplinary events related to the advisor or its employees, and any affiliations. Since this is also the online portion of the application, it’s used to upload ADV Part 2A and ADV Part 2B.
Form ADV Part 2A (paper and online)In this section, the firm will describe the RIA’s fees, services, disciplinary disclosures, and other information related to the firm. Form ADV Part 2A also acts as the Firm’s Disclosure Brochure, and the state requires it be given to prospective and current clients. It’s mandatory it be written in plain, simple English that’s easy to understand by prospects and clients.
Form ADV Part 2B (paper and online)Form ADV Part 2B is a brochure about the advisor and will have information about their education, employment history, potential conflicts of interest, and any disciplinary actions. It’s also required that any Executive Officers or representatives that advise clients complete this form. The firm is required to write this in easy-to-understand English for prospects and clients.
If sponsoring a wrap fee program, Appendix 1 is also required.
Form U4This form will be used to register the firm’s Investment Advisor Representative (IARs).
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 West Virginia may also require the following:
Client Advisory ContractWest Virginia has set regulatory standards for client advisory, and RIAs must meet them. This filing ensures that.
Policies and Procedures ManualThe firm uses this manual to maintain and uphold internal processes and procedures. The manual will contain information about how the RIA trains new IARs to how it handles clients’ complaints. It must also include information about Business Continuity Plans, Anti-Money Laundering, Information Security, and Anti-Insider Trading Plans.
Code of EthicsThis filing ensures RIAs are meeting West Virginia’s specific fiduciary standards.
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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.