Broker-Dealers, State Investment Advisers and SEC Investment Advisers

The Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser Division (BDIA) is an operational division under the California Corporations Commissioner. BDIA is headed by a Deputy Commissioner and is responsible for the licensing and regulation of broker-dealers, broker-dealer agents, investment advisers, and investment adviser representatives pursuant to the Corporate Securities Law of 1968.

BDIA reviews applications for licensure under the California Corporations Code Sections 25210 and 25230 and, if all requirements are met, applicants receive a registration approval. Once an applicant is approved, it is included in the regulatory examination cycle for that industry.

BDIA has regulatory examination authority under California Corporations Code Section 25241 to conduct reasonable periodic, special, or other examinations by the commissioner, of its broker-dealer and investment adviser licensees for the protection of investors and in the public interest. Examinations are conducted at the licensed location. BDIA may also conduct a regulatory examination for cause at any time.

Violations of the laws (California Financial Code , California Corporations Code and the California Code of Regulations) are handled by the Department’s Enforcement Division (ENF). BDIA Division refers violations of the laws and enforcement matters to ENF for appropriate administrative, civil or criminal action.

How to reach us:

Department of Business Oversight
Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser Division
1515 K Street, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916-322-6270

Fax: 916-445-7193

Email:

Broker-Dealer Information

  • About Broker-Dealers and Broker Dealer Agents
  • Broker-Dealer applications and forms
  • Requirements after a Broker-Dealer Certificate has been issued
  • Finders form (AB 667) (PDF)
  • Designated Email Address Requirement for Broker-Dealers

    Effective January 1, 2019, California Financial Code section 331.5 (Authority: SB 1361, Bradford, Chapter 699, Statutes of 2018) requires licensees to establish and maintain an email address for receiving communications and documents from the DBO. Licensees are required by law to notify the DBO before changing the designated email address and provide the DBO with the new designated email address. Broker-Dealers must create a DBO Self-Service Portal account on the DBO website in order to report a new designated email address. When updating designated email address, Broker-Dealers must first notify the DBO by sending an email to ASK.DBO@dbo.ca.gov and then update the designated email address through the DBO Self-Service Portal account.

    The designated email address:

    1. Must not be an email of any individual employee.
    2. Must be able to receive attachments.

    If licensees fail to comply with the designated email address requirements, the licensee may be subject to a fine of up to fifty dollars ($50) per day, not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) in the aggregate.

Investment Adviser Information

News

  • 8/23/19 – Designated Email Address Requirement for Investment Advisers

    Effective January 1, 2019, California Financial Code section 331.5 (Authority: SB 1361, Bradford, Chapter 699, Statutes of 2018) requires licensees to establish and maintain an email address for receiving communications and documents from the DBO. Licensees are required by law to notify the DBO before changing the designated email address and provide the DBO with the new designated email address. To satisfy these requirements, Investment Advisers must report a valid designated email address on the ADV Forms, Part 1A (Item 1J) and Part 2A (Item 1). Changes to the designated email address must be reported directly through the FINRA/IARD system by updating the ADV Forms, Part 1A and Part 2A. The designated email address must be able to receive attachments.

    If licensees fail to comply with the designated email address requirements, the licensee may be subject to a fine of up to fifty dollars ($50) per day, not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) in the aggregate.

  • 8/23/19 – Designated Email Address Requirement for Broker-Dealers

    Effective January 1, 2019, California Financial Code section 331.5 (Authority: SB 1361, Bradford, Chapter 699, Statutes of 2018) requires licensees to establish and maintain an email address for receiving communications and documents from the DBO. Licensees are required by law to notify the DBO before changing the designated email address and provide the DBO with the new designated email address. Broker-Dealers must create a DBO Self-Service Portal account on the DBO website in order to report a new designated email address. When updating designated email address, Broker-Dealers must first notify the DBO by sending an email to ASK.DBO@dbo.ca.gov and then update the designated email address through the DBO Self-Service Portal account.

    The designated email address:

    1. Must not be an email of any individual employee.
    2. Must be able to receive attachments.

    If licensees fail to comply with the designated email address requirements, the licensee may be subject to a fine of up to fifty dollars ($50) per day, not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) in the aggregate.

  • 01/15/19 – Changes to FINRA Examination (PDF)
  • 01/10/19 – Annual Report on Broker-Dealer/Investment Adviser Program – 2019 (PDF)
  • 04/04/18 – Investment Advisers – Annual Written Examination Questionnaire Online
  • 01/18/18 – Annual Report on Broker-Dealer/Investment Adviser Program – 2018 (PDF)
  • 01/23/17 – Annual Report on Broker-Dealer/Investment Adviser Program – 2017 (PDF)
  • The finder exemption form is available.
  •  Archived News

Check out your broker!

  • For information regarding broker-dealers, broker-dealer agents and investment advisers call the Department’s Consumer Services Office at (866) 275-2677.
  • Check the background of your broker or investment professional by using Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck. FINRA is also a resource for Investor Alerts and investor education and tools
  • Check out your commodity broker.  A free service from the National Futures Association’s Background Affiliation Status Information Center (BASIC). Whether you are an investor thinking about opening a futures account or an NFA Member contemplating a new business relationship, BASIC can be a valuable resource for you. BASIC contains Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) registration and NFA membership information and futures-related regulatory and non-regulatory actions contributed by NFA, the CFTC and the U.S. futures exchanges.

Check Out your Investment Adviser

Broker-Dealer Application/Forms

Note: Throughout our web pages, reference may be made to the Rules as found in Title 10, Chapter 3, California Code of Regulations (“CCR”).
For information concerning the CCR and accessing sections of the CCR referenced on these web pages, go to Assistance page.

Any person who intends to become a broker-dealer in California may apply for a broker-dealer certificate by filing an application. If you are a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), the application should be filed directly with the Central Registration Depository (“CRD”). If you are not a member of FINRA , the application should be filed directly with the Department of Business Oversight. Please review the Information to Assist Persons Applying for a Broker-Dealer Certificate and Instructions for Completing and Filing Form BD in California by Broker-Dealers Not Filing by Notification. Once you have reviewed this information and have any questions concerning the application process, please feel free to contact us at 1-866-275-2677.

The table below contains a list Broker-Dealer Application/Forms
Form Number Form Title Format
250.61 Statement of Citizenship, Alienage, and Immigration Status for Application of Department of Business Oversight License or Certificate PDF
260.165 Consent to Service of Process PDF
260.241.2(b) Verification Form Pursuant to California Code of Regulations Rule 260.241.2(B) PDF
ADM 510 Index of Fees, Fines and Penalties PDF
DBO 25206.1 Statement of Information for Finder PDF
DBO 260.211.1 Application by Notification Pursuant to Corporations Code Section 25211(b) for Broker-Dealer Certificate PDF
DBO-260.237.2 Minimum Financial Requirement Worksheet PDF
DBO-BDIA 8018 Request for Live Scan Services PDF
DBO-QR 500.261 Customer Authorization of Disclosure of Financial Records PDF
Form BD Uniform Application for Broker-Dealer Registration PDF
Form BDW Uniform Request for Broker-Dealer Withdrawal PDF
Form U4 Uniform Application for Securities Industry Regulation or Transfer PDF
Form U5 Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration PDF
  Electronic Versions of Broker-Dealer forms available from the FINRA  
DBO-LE-500.262 Customer Authorization of Disclosure of Financial Records PDF

Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) Registered Investment Adviser

Any person registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as an investment adviser and who conducts business in California for more than five clients should file a notice with the Department of Business Oversight. This notice is to be filed within thirty-(30) days of conducting business in California. Please review the Information to Assist Persons Making a Notice Filing for instructions and additional information in regards to making a notice filing in California.

Note: Reference may be made to the Rules as found in Title 10, Chapter 3, California Code of Regulations (“CCR”).  For information concerning the CCR and accessing sections of the CCR referenced on these web pages, click assistance page.

California Licensed Investment Adviser

Note: Throughout our web pages below, reference may be made to the Rules as found in Title 10, Chapter 3, California Code of Regulations (“CCR”).  For information concerning the CCR and accessing sections of the CCR referenced on these web pages, click assistance page.

Any person who wants to become an investment adviser in California may apply for an investment adviser certificate by filing an application. The forms and instructions for filing an application are found below. To begin, please review the Information to Assist Persons Applying for an Investment Adviser Certificate and Instructions for Completing and Filing Application for Investment Adviser Certificate on Form ADV. Once you have this information and have any questions concerning the application process, please feel free to contact us at 1-866-275-2677.

Last updated: Aug 23, 2019 @ 5:24 pm