Registered Investment Advisers


Registered Investment Advisors

We assist registered investment advisors with startup and compliance issues as they build and grow their securities-related investment management businesses. The regulatory landscape facing registered investment advisors has become substantially more complex and it is increasingly important to have competent counsel on your side to help navigate state and federal rules.

Professional investment managers that advise others as to specific securities transactions must generally register as investment advisors either at the state level or with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investment advisor registration can be more or less complex depending on your jurisdiction and current, or proposed, business model. However, we have found over the years that it is nearly always possible for clients to achieve their business goals within a compliant framework.

We routinely handle investment advisor registration matters under state laws as well as the Federal Investment Advisors Act of 1940. Investment advisor registration generally requires that the investment advisor representatives take and pass any necessary examinations, that the firm and IA representatives pay mandatory filing fees, and that the firm develop a robust compliance program to adhere to applicable regulations on an ongoing basis.

Traders and money managers looking to launch a new investment advisory business may have the opportunity to take advantage of exemptions from registration as an investment advisor at both the state and federal level as they test investor appetite for their strategy and overall approach. Available exemptions vary widely from state to state and are not available to every advisor.

Due to our depth of experience with investment advisor registration matters, we can generally advise clients in a timely and cost-effective manner whether an exemption from registration as an investment advisor is available, given the client’s circumstances, and what the registration process in their home state requires.

Beyond registration we provide a comprehensive suite of compliance and ongoing advisory services to registered investment advisor clients. Our experienced attorneys and competent compliance staff assist our continuing clients as they look to keep a robust but efficient compliance infrastructure. We handle ongoing compliance matters for state registered advisors that adhere to highly varied state regimes, as well as SEC registered investment advisors subject to the Investment Advisors Act of 1940.

We have also advised many investment advisors based outside of the U.S. as to U.S. investment advisor registration matters and available exemptions.

Please visit our Investment Advisor Registration page to learn more about our services for new investment advisory firms and our Registered Investment Advisor Compliance page to learn more about our ongoing compliance support services for state and SEC registered investment advisors.


We provide the following services in connection with the formation and operation of registered investment advisors:

  • Formation and registration of investment advisors under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 or state “blue sky” laws
  • Preparation and review of advisory agreements and customer disclosure documents
  • Review and advice regarding advertisements, marketing materials, and performance reporting and presentations
  • Preparation of compliance manuals, including required policies and procedures
  • Advice on general compliance and legal issues arising under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 and state “blue sky” laws, including issues related to personal trading, trade allocation, affiliated brokerage transactions, best execution, and soft dollar arrangements between registered investment advisors and broker-dealers
  • Assistance with SEC (or state) examinations, deficiency letters, and administrative actions applicable to registered investment advisors and investment advisor representatives
  • Mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, and joint ventures involving mutual funds, registered investment advisors, and broker-dealers


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