How to Get Your Series 9 License

By: Kaplan Financial Education
July 13, 2020
Series 9 License - How to Get

The FINRA Series 9 license, known as the General Securities Sales Supervisor—Options 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 10. With a Series 9, you can supervise the opening and maintenance of customer options accounts and oversee the practices of options salespeople and traders. To get your Series 9 license, follow the steps in this article.

Step 1: Take and pass the SIE exam.

The SIE exam tests common topics such as fundamentals, regulatory agencies and their functions, product knowledge, and acceptable and unacceptable practices. You can take the SIE exam before being sponsored by a firm and even while you are still in school. You have a four-year window in which to take and pass any of the representative level top-off exams, like Series 6 and Series 7, after passing the SIE exam.

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Step 2: Secure a sponsorship.

The Series 7 license is a requirement for earning the Series 9. To earn both, 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 9 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: Take and pass the Series 7 exam.

Once you pass the SIE exam and secure your sponsorship, you must take the top-off exam for the Series 7 license. 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. It also tests 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: Take and pass the Series 9 exam.

The Series 9 exam tests your knowledge of securities rules and regulations in preparing for supervising the sales activities in corporate, municipal, and options securities. It covers options sales and trading, as well as regulation and administration. Series 10 goes deeper, covering a similar but broader range of topics and requirements.

The Series 9 exam has 55 multiple-choice questions, and you’re allotted 1 ½ hours to take it. It focuses on four functions of the general supervisor role:

  • Function 1: Supervise the Opening and Maintenance of Customer Options Accounts
  • Function 2: Supervise Sales Practices and General Options Trading
  • Function 3: Supervise Options Communications
  • Function 4: Supervise Associated Persons and Personnel Management Activities

The passing score is 70 percent.

Step 5: Register your license.

After you pass your licensing exam, you’ll have to register your Series 9 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 10 exam and earn that license.

How to Get Started

Series 9 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.

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