How to Get Your Series 10 License

By: Kaplan Financial Education
August 13, 2020
Get Your Series 10 License Like Man in Photo

The FINRA Series 10 license, known as the General Securities Sales Supervisor Exam—General License is one of two licenses that you must hold if you want to oversee sales activities at a broker-dealer firm. The other license is Series 9. With a Series 10, you can supervise the opening and maintenance of customer accounts and oversee the practices of salespeople and traders. To get your Series 10 license, follow the steps in this article.

Step 1: Pass the SIE exam.

Anyone who wants to earn the Series 10 (and Series 9) must first earn a Series 7 license. To earn the Series 7, you must pass the SIE exam. The SIE tests topics such as securities fundamentals, regulatory agencies, product knowledge, and acceptable and unacceptable practices. You do not have to be sponsored by a firm to take the SIE exam, and you can take it while you are still in school.

Thinking about a career in securities? Download our free eBook, Launching Your Securities Career, to get tips and advice from over 100 securities professionals.

Step 2: Find a sponsor.

To earn the Series 7 and the Series 10 licenses, you must be sponsored by a FINRA member firm or a self-regulatory organization (SRO). Firms apply for candidates to take the Series 7 and 10 exams by filing a Uniform Application for Security Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U4). There is also an exam fee that is commonly covered by the sponsoring firm.

Step 3: Pass the Series 7 exam.

Once you pass the SIE exam and secure your sponsorship, you must pass the Series 7 top-off exam. The exam has 125 multiple-choice questions, and each question has four answer choices. The topics include investment risk, taxation, equity and debt instruments, packaged securities, options, retirement plans, and interactions with clients. Also tested is your knowledge related to the daily activities, responsibilities, and job functions of general securities representatives.

The test time is 3 hours and 45 minutes, and the passing score is 72 percent and above.

Step 4: Pass the Series 10 exam.

The Series 10 exam tests your knowledge of securities rules and regulations in preparing for supervising the sales activities in securities firms. It covers hiring, supervising accounts, regulation, and more. By contrast, Series 9 covers a similar but narrower range of topics and requirements with a focus on options.

The Series 10 exam has 145 multiple-choice questions, and you’re allotted four hours to take it. It focuses on these functions of the general supervisor role:

  • Hiring, Qualifications, and Continuing Education
  • Supervision of Accounts and Sales Activities
  • Conduct of Associated Persons
  • Recordkeeping Requirements
  • Municipal Securities Regulation

The passing score is 70 percent.

Step 5: Register your license.

After you pass your licensing exam, you’ll have to register your Series 10 license with FINRA and an approved broker-dealer who will hold your license and oversee your business for a portion of the commission income. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to take and pass the Series 9 exam and earn that license.

How to Get Started

Series 10 licensing exam prep can give you the edge you need to pass. Visit our website to learn more about our live and online study options and to purchase a Series 9/10 exam prep package.

Free eBook: Launching Your Securities Career

Wouldn’t it be great if you could sit down with a room full of successful securities professionals and ask them for career advice? We asked several accomplished securities pros what they wish they knew before they earned their license and started their career, and what they thought all aspiring securities professionals should know. We put all of their advice into a value-packed eBook.