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2012 Florida Statutes

SECTION 12
Registration of dealers, associated persons, investment advisers, and branch offices.
F.S. 517.12
517.12 Registration of dealers, associated persons, investment advisers, and branch offices.
(1) No dealer, associated person, or issuer of securities shall sell or offer for sale any securities in or from offices in this state, or sell securities to persons in this state from offices outside this state, by mail or otherwise, unless the person has been registered with the office pursuant to the provisions of this section. The office shall not register any person as an associated person of a dealer unless the dealer with which the applicant seeks registration is lawfully registered with the office pursuant to this chapter.
(2) The registration requirements of this section do not apply to the issuers of securities exempted by s. 517.051(1)-(8) and (10).
(3) Except as otherwise provided in s. 517.061(11)(a)4., (13), (16), (17), or (19), the registration requirements of this section do not apply in a transaction exempted by s. 517.061(1)-(12), (14), and (15).
(4) No investment adviser or associated person of an investment adviser or federal covered adviser shall engage in business from offices in this state, or render investment advice to persons of this state, by mail or otherwise, unless the federal covered adviser has made a notice filing with the office pursuant to s. 517.1201 or the investment adviser is registered pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and associated persons of the federal covered adviser or investment adviser have been registered with the office pursuant to this section. The office shall not register any person or an associated person of a federal covered adviser or an investment adviser unless the federal covered adviser or investment adviser with which the applicant seeks registration is in compliance with the notice filing requirements of s. 517.1201 or is lawfully registered with the office pursuant to this chapter. A dealer or associated person who is registered pursuant to this section may render investment advice upon notification to and approval from the office.
(5) No dealer or investment adviser shall conduct business from a branch office within this state unless the branch office is registered with the office pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(6) A dealer, associated person, investment adviser, or branch office, in order to obtain registration, must file with the office a written application, on a form which the commission may by rule prescribe. The commission may establish, by rule, procedures for depositing fees and filing documents by electronic means provided such procedures provide the office with the information and data required by this section. Each dealer or investment adviser must also file an irrevocable written consent to service of civil process similar to that provided for in s. 517.101. The application shall contain such information as the commission or office may require concerning such matters as:
(a) The name of the applicant and the address of its principal office and each office in this state.
(b) The applicant’s form and place of organization; and, if the applicant is a corporation, a copy of its articles of incorporation and amendments to the articles of incorporation or, if a partnership, a copy of the partnership agreement.
(c) The applicant’s proposed method of doing business and financial condition and history, including a certified financial statement showing all assets and all liabilities, including contingent liabilities of the applicant as of a date not more than 90 days prior to the filing of the application.
(d) The names and addresses of all associated persons of the applicant to be employed in this state and the offices to which they will be assigned.
(7) The application shall also contain such information as the commission or office may require about the applicant; any member, principal, or director of the applicant or any person having a similar status or performing similar functions; any person directly or indirectly controlling the applicant; or any employee of a dealer or of an investment adviser rendering investment advisory services. Each applicant and any direct owners, principals, or indirect owners that are required to be reported on Form BD or Form ADV pursuant to subsection (15) shall file a complete set of fingerprints. A fingerprint card submitted to the office must be taken by an authorized law enforcement agency or in a manner approved by the commission by rule. The office shall submit the fingerprints to the Department of Law Enforcement for state processing, and the Department of Law Enforcement shall forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal processing. The cost of the fingerprint processing may be borne by the office, the employer, or the person subject to the background check. The Department of Law Enforcement shall submit an invoice to the office for the fingerprints received each month. The office shall screen the background results to determine if the applicant meets licensure requirements. The commission may waive, by rule, the requirement that applicants, including any direct owners, principals, or indirect owners that are required to be reported on Form BD or Form ADV pursuant to subsection (15), file a set of fingerprints or the requirement that such fingerprints be processed by the Department of Law Enforcement or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The commission or office may require information about any such applicant or person concerning such matters as:
(a) His or her full name, and any other names by which he or she may have been known, and his or her age, social security number, photograph, qualifications, and educational and business history.
(b) Any injunction or administrative order by a state or federal agency, national securities exchange, or national securities association involving a security or any aspect of the securities business and any injunction or administrative order by a state or federal agency regulating banking, insurance, finance, or small loan companies, real estate, mortgage brokers, or other related or similar industries, which injunctions or administrative orders relate to such person.
(c) His or her conviction of, or plea of nolo contendere to, a criminal offense or his or her commission of any acts which would be grounds for refusal of an application under s. 517.161.
(d) The names and addresses of other persons of whom the office may inquire as to his or her character, reputation, and financial responsibility.
(8) The commission or office may require the applicant or one or more principals or general partners, or natural persons exercising similar functions, or any associated person applicant to successfully pass oral or written examinations. Because any principal, manager, supervisor, or person exercising similar functions shall be responsible for the acts of the associated persons affiliated with a dealer, the examination standards may be higher for a dealer, office manager, principal, or person exercising similar functions than for a nonsupervisory associated person. The commission may waive the examination process when it determines that such examinations are not in the public interest. The office shall waive the examination requirements for any person who has passed any tests as prescribed in s. 15(b)(7) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that relates to the position to be filled by the applicant.
(9)(a) All dealers, except securities dealers who are designated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as primary government securities dealers or securities dealers registered as issuers of securities, shall comply with the net capital and ratio requirements imposed pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The commission may by rule require a dealer to file with the office any financial or operational information that is required to be filed by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or any rules adopted under such act.
(b) The commission may by rule require the maintenance of a minimum net capital for securities dealers who are designated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as primary government securities dealers and securities dealers registered as issuers of securities and investment advisers, or prescribe a ratio between net capital and aggregate indebtedness, to assure adequate protection for the investing public. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any investment adviser that maintains its principal place of business in a state other than this state, provided such investment adviser is registered in the state where it maintains its principal place of business and is in compliance with such state’s net capital requirements.
(10) An applicant for registration shall pay an assessment fee of $200, in the case of a dealer or investment adviser, or $50, in the case of an associated person. An associated person may be assessed an additional fee to cover the cost for the fingerprint cards to be processed by the office. Such fee shall be determined by rule of the commission. Each dealer and each investment adviser shall pay an assessment fee of $100 for each office in this state. Such fees become the revenue of the state, except for those assessments provided for under s. 517.131(1) until such time as the Securities Guaranty Fund satisfies the statutory limits, and are not returnable in the event that registration is withdrawn or not granted.
(11) If the office finds that the applicant is of good repute and character and has complied with the provisions of this chapter and the rules made pursuant hereto, it shall register the applicant. The registration of each dealer, investment adviser, branch office, and associated person expires on December 31 of the year the registration became effective unless the registrant has renewed his or her registration on or before that date. The commission may establish by rule procedures for renewing the registration of a branch office through the Central Registration Depository. Registration may be renewed by furnishing such information as the commission may require, together with payment of the fee required in subsection (10) for dealers, investment advisers, associated persons, or branch offices and the payment of any amount lawfully due and owing to the office pursuant to any order of the office or pursuant to any agreement with the office. Any dealer, investment adviser, associated person, or branch office registrant who has not renewed a registration by the time the current registration expires may request reinstatement of such registration by filing with the office, on or before January 31 of the year following the year of expiration, such information as may be required by the commission, together with payment of the fee required in subsection (10) for dealers, investment advisers, associated persons, or branch office and a late fee equal to the amount of such fee. Any reinstatement of registration granted by the office during the month of January shall be deemed effective retroactive to January 1 of that year.
(12)(a) The office may issue a license to a dealer, investment adviser, associated person, or branch office to evidence registration under this chapter. The office may require the return to the office of any license it may issue prior to issuing a new license.
(b) Every dealer, investment adviser, or federal covered adviser shall promptly file with the office, as prescribed by rules adopted by the commission, notice as to the termination of employment of any associated person registered for such dealer or investment adviser in this state and shall also furnish the reason or reasons for such termination.
(c) Each dealer or investment adviser shall designate in writing to, and register with, the office a manager for each office the dealer or investment adviser has in this state.
(13) Changes in registration occasioned by changes in personnel of a partnership or in the principals, copartners, officers, or directors of any dealer or investment adviser or by changes of any material fact or method of doing business shall be reported by written amendment in such form and at such time as the commission may specify. In any case in which a person or a group of persons, directly or indirectly or acting by or through one or more persons, proposes to purchase or acquire a controlling interest in a registered dealer or investment adviser, such person or group shall submit an initial application for registration as a dealer or investment adviser prior to such purchase or acquisition. The commission shall adopt rules providing for waiver of the application required by this subsection where control of a registered dealer or investment adviser is to be acquired by another dealer or investment adviser registered under this chapter or where the application is otherwise unnecessary in the public interest.
(14) Every dealer, investment adviser, or branch office registered or required to be registered with the office shall keep records of all currency transactions in excess of $10,000 and shall file reports, as prescribed under the financial recordkeeping regulations in 31 C.F.R. part 103, with the office when transactions occur in or from this state. All reports required by this subsection to be filed with the office shall be confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) except that any law enforcement agency or the Department of Revenue shall have access to, and shall be authorized to inspect and copy, such reports.
(15)(a) In order to facilitate uniformity and streamline procedures for persons who are subject to registration in multiple jurisdictions, the commission may adopt by rule uniform forms that have been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and any subsequent amendments to such forms, if the forms are substantially consistent with the provisions of this chapter. Uniform forms that the commission may adopt to administer this section include, but are not limited to:
1. Form BR, Uniform Branch Office Registration Form, adopted October 2005.
2. Form U4, Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer, adopted October 2005.
3. Form U5, Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration, adopted October 2005.
4. Form ADV, Uniform Application for Investment Adviser Registration, adopted October 2003.
5. Form ADV-W, Notice of Withdrawal from Registration as an Investment Adviser, adopted October 2003.
6. Form BD, Uniform Application for Broker-Dealer Registration, adopted July 1999.
7. Form BDW, Uniform Request for Broker-Dealer Withdrawal, adopted August 1999.
(b) In lieu of filing with the office the applications specified in subsection (6), the fees required by subsection (10), the renewals required by subsection (11), and the termination notices required by subsection (12), the commission may by rule establish procedures for the deposit of such fees and documents with the Central Registration Depository or the Investment Adviser Registration Depository of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, as developed under contract with the North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc.
(16) Except for securities dealers who are designated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as primary government securities dealers or securities dealers registered as issuers of securities, every applicant for initial or renewal registration as a securities dealer and every person registered as a securities dealer shall be registered as a broker or dealer with the Securities and Exchange Commission and shall be subject to insurance coverage by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.
(17)(a) A dealer that is located in Canada, does not have an office or other physical presence in this state, and has made a notice filing in accordance with this subsection is exempt from the registration requirements of this section and may effect transactions in securities with or for, or induce or attempt to induce the purchase or sale of any security by:
1. A person from Canada who is present in this state and with whom the Canadian dealer had a bona fide dealer-client relationship before the person entered the United States; or
2. A person from Canada who is present in this state and whose transactions are in a self-directed, tax-advantaged retirement plan in Canada of which the person is the holder or contributor.
(b) A notice filing under this subsection must consist of documents the commission by rule requires to be filed, together with a consent to service of process and a nonrefundable filing fee of $200. The commission may establish by rule procedures for the deposit of fees and the filing of documents to be made by electronic means, if such procedures provide the office with the information and data required by this section.
(c) A Canadian dealer may make a notice filing under this subsection if the dealer provides to the office:
1. A notice filing in the form the commission requires by rule.
2. A consent to service of process.
3. Evidence that the Canadian dealer is registered as a dealer in the jurisdiction in which the dealer’s main office is located.
4. Evidence that the Canadian dealer is a member of a self-regulatory organization or stock exchange in Canada.
(d) The office may issue a permit to evidence the effectiveness of a notice filing for a Canadian dealer.
(e) A notice filing is effective upon receipt by the office. A notice filing expires on December 31 of the year in which the filing becomes effective unless the Canadian dealer has renewed the filing on or before that date. A Canadian dealer may annually renew a notice filing by furnishing to the office such information as the office requires together with a renewal fee of $200 and the payment of any amount due and owing the office pursuant to any agreement with the office. Any Canadian dealer who has not renewed a notice filing by the time a current notice filing expires may request reinstatement of such notice filing by filing with the office, on or before January 31 of the year following the year the notice filing expires, such information as the commission requires by rule, together with the payment of $200 and a late fee of $200. A reinstatement of a notice filing granted by the office during the month of January is effective retroactively to January 1 of that year.
(f) An associated person who represents a Canadian dealer who has made a notice filing under this subsection is exempt from the registration requirements of this section and may effect transactions in securities in this state as permitted for a dealer under paragraph (a) if such person is registered in the jurisdiction from which he or she is effecting transactions into this state.
(g) A Canadian dealer who has made a notice filing under this subsection shall:
1. Maintain its provincial or territorial registration and its membership in a self-regulatory organization or stock exchange in good standing.
2. Provide the office upon request with its books and records relating to its business in this state as a dealer.
3. Provide the office upon request notice of each civil, criminal, or administrative action initiated against the dealer.
4. Disclose to its clients in this state that the dealer and its associated persons are not subject to the full regulatory requirements under this chapter.
5. Correct any inaccurate information within 30 days after the information contained in the notice filing becomes inaccurate for any reason.
(h) An associated person representing a Canadian dealer who has made a notice filing under this subsection shall:
1. Maintain provincial or territorial registration in good standing.
2. Provide the office upon request with notice of each civil, criminal, or administrative action initiated against such person.
(i) A notice filing may be terminated by filing notice of such termination with the office. Unless another date is specified by the Canadian dealer, such notice is effective upon receipt of the notice by the office.
(j) All fees collected under this subsection become the revenue of the state, except those assessments provided for under s. 517.131(1), until the Securities Guaranty Fund has satisfied the statutory limits. Such fees are not returnable if a notice filing is withdrawn.
(18) Every dealer or associated person registered or required to be registered with the office shall satisfy any continuing education requirements established by rule pursuant to law.
(19) The registration requirements of this section which apply to investment advisers and associated persons do not apply to a commodity trading adviser who:
(a) Is registered as such with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission pursuant to the Commodity Exchange Act.
(b) Advises or exercises trading discretion, with respect to foreign currency options listed and traded exclusively on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, on behalf of an “appropriate person” as defined by the Commodity Exchange Act.

The exemption provided in this subsection does not apply to a commodity trading adviser who engages in other activities that require registration under this chapter.

(20) The registration requirements of this section do not apply to any general lines insurance agent or life insurance agent licensed under chapter 626, for the sale of a security as defined in s. 517.021(21)(g), if the individual is directly authorized by the issuer to offer or sell the security on behalf of the issuer and the issuer is a federally chartered savings bank subject to regulation by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Actions under this subsection shall constitute activity under the insurance agent’s license for purposes of ss. 626.611 and 626.621.
History.s. 11, ch. 14899, 1931; s. 6, ch. 17253, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 6002(12); s. 3, ch. 20960, 1941; s. 3, ch. 21709, 1943; s. 1, ch. 57-288; s. 1, ch. 59-169; s. 1, ch. 63-321; s. 6, ch. 65-454; ss. 12, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 6, ch. 71-96; s. 2, ch. 72-152; s. 3, ch. 73-68; s. 1, ch. 74-278; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 194, ch. 77-104; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 4, ch. 78-435; s. 19, ch. 79-8; s. 149, ch. 79-164; ss. 7, 15, ch. 79-381; ss. 3-5, ch. 80-254; ss. 2, 3, ch. 80-403; ss. 4, 6, ch. 81-115; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 3, ch. 83-184; s. 3, ch. 83-265; s. 4, ch. 84-159; s. 9, ch. 85-165; s. 8, ch. 86-85; s. 2, ch. 88-187; ss. 6, 14, 15, ch. 90-362; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 3, ch. 92-9; s. 4, ch. 92-45; s. 5, ch. 96-338; s. 336, ch. 96-406; s. 1167, ch. 97-103; s. 8, ch. 97-224; s. 1, ch. 98-82; s. 6, ch. 98-221; s. 51, ch. 2000-154; s. 12, ch. 2002-404; s. 65, ch. 2003-1; s. 593, ch. 2003-261; s. 62, ch. 2006-1; s. 36, ch. 2006-213; s. 1, ch. 2007-63; s. 4, ch. 2009-242.