Starting an RIA will be different per state, so if you’re planning to launch your firm in Wyoming, here’s what you need to know.
For the state of Wyoming, if you meet the following criteria, you will need to register your RIA: Your business is in the state, and you manage less than $100 million in AUM, you solicit your financial services in the state, or are managing assets for more than five clients that are Wyoming residents.
Consider hiring a compliance consultant to help you navigate the process for starting your RIA.
To operate an RIA in Wyoming, an advisor must have one of the following professional designations: Series 65, Series 66 and Series 7, CFP, CFA, CIC, ChFC, MSFS or PFS.
In addition to paying all the registration and filing fees, IARs must complete the following tasks and submissions with the state:
Submit FINRA Entitlement PaperworkIn order to file a registered investment advisor application with the state, the advisor must apply for an account on FINRA’s WebCRD/IARD online system. Keep in mind that FINRA doesn’t regulate or supervise RIAs, but the state uses the system to process applications.
Form ADV Part 1 (online portion)This is an online component of the firm’s registration application for an RIA. In Form ADV Part 1, the advisor will share all the information related to the RIA, including ownership, clients, business practices, 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 ADV Part 2A (paper and online)In Form ADV Part 2A, an advisor will share information about the RIA’s fees, services, disciplinary disclosures, and other information related to the firm that clients need to know. It’s also known as the Firm’s Disclosure Brochure, and it’s required that this is given to prospective and current clients and must be easy to read and understand.
Form ADV Part 2B (paper and online)In Form ADV Part 2B, information about the advisor will be provided: 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.
This is also considered a brochure and is most often given to clients.
If sponsoring a wrap fee program, Appendix 1 is also required.
Form U4This form is used to register your firm’s Investment Adviser Representatives (IARs).
Financial statements & documents, balance sheet
If your RIA will have custody of client assets or require pre-payment of client fees (6 months in advance or $500+), the submitted balance sheet must be independently audited and follow GAAP principles, per state regulations. If your RIA will have discretionary authority over client assets, but not custody, the balance sheet must be included but need not be audited. A copy of your firm’s surety bond should also be included (if required).
Beyond RIA registration, Wyoming may also requires the following documents and processes:
Client Advisory ContractIn the state of Wyoming, regulatory standards for client advisory contracts must be met.
Policies and Procedures ManualEvery RIA must have a Policies and Procedures Manual. This manual is an internal document that RIA’s will use to uphold processes and procedures. It must include information from how the RIA handles client complaints to how it trains new IARs. It must also have information on Business Continuity, Anti-Money Laundering, Information Security, and Anti-Insider Trading plans.
Code of EthicsThe Code of Ethics filing ensures that the RIA meets the specific fiduciary standards set forth by the state of Wyoming.
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.