How to register an individual
Individuals must be sponsored by a registered firm in order to register with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). Refer to how to register a firm for more information.
National Registration Database (NRD) enrolment
A sponsoring firm must be enrolled with the National Registration Database (NRD) and have an NRD number. Once a firm has submitted an application for registration with the OSC, the firm must then submit the appropriate individual applications and pay a fee through NRD for each individual applying for registration or approval as a permitted individual. This includes the individuals designated by the firm as chief compliance officer and ultimate designated person. Incomplete or complex applications may lengthen the review process.
Canada’s provincial and territorial securities regulators have recognized the New Self-Regulatory Organization of Canada (New SRO) effective January 1, 2023. The New SRO consolidates the functions of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA). The New SRO regulates mutual fund dealers, investment dealers and acts as the regulation services provider for marketplaces that have retained it as such, including monitoring trading on those marketplaces for compliance with New SRO rules and securities legislation.
Beginning January 1, 2023, firms will be able to conduct mutual fund business and investment dealer business within the same legal entity (dual registered firms). Dual registered firms will have two NRD numbers and two Firm Registration Records, one for its mutual fund dealer business and one for its investment dealer business. The dual registered firms will appear on NRD with their corresponding qualifiers (Investment Dealer Division or Mutual Fund Dealer Division).
Investment dealer dealing representatives will be registered under the investment dealer business’ NRD number and mutual fund dealer dealing representatives will be registered under the mutual fund dealer business’ NRD number.
Individual registration under Ontario’s Securities Act
If the individual is applying for registration under Ontario’s Securities Act only in Ontario, complete Form 33-109F4 Registration of Individuals and Review of Permitted Individuals and submit it through NRD.
Registering in more than one province or territory
An individual applying for registration in more than one province or territory must use the passport and interface system. This process applies to all categories of registration, including restricted dealer and restricted portfolio manager. Once registered in any jurisdiction, individuals can apply to register in additional provinces or territories. For more information, please refer to changing categories or jurisdictions.
An individual should also follow this process when applying simultaneously for registration under Ontario’s Securities Act and Commodity Futures Act.
Applications for individuals who are applying for registration with an investment dealer are submitted through NRD and are reviewed by the New Self-Regulatory Organization of Canada.
Dual Registered Firm
Applications for individuals who are applying for registration with a firm that is both an investment dealer and a mutual fund dealer are submitted through NRD and are reviewed by either the OSC or the New Self-Regulatory Organization of Canada depending on the category. For further information, please see Registration Guide for New SRO Dual Registered Firms.
Individual registration under Ontario’s Commodity Futures Act
If the individual is applying for registration under Ontario’s Commodity Futures Act only in Ontario, complete and submit it through NRD. Information about NRD, NRD-related fees and an electronic NRD user guide can be found on the NRD website.
Applying in more than one province or territory
An individual applying for registration in more than one province or territory must submit a separate application to each regulator. Once registered in any jurisdiction, individuals can apply to register in additional provinces or territories. For more information, please refer to changing categories or jurisdictions.
Completing and filing the individual registration application
In Ontario, when an individual is seeking registration in individual categories or review as a permitted individual and has determined which category the individual wishes to apply under, the sponsoring firm must complete and file the Form 33-109F4 for the individual and file it through NRD.
Any supporting documents obtained by the sponsoring firm as part of the hiring and review process of the individual should be maintained by the sponsoring firm. We may request a copy of the one or more documents as part of the review process. Supporting documents may include any of the following (if applicable):
- evidence of successful completion of courses, exams or designations
- referral letters from the individual’s prior employers outlining the responsibilities and other relevant securities industry experience
- documents with respect to the following disclosures:
- financial, including bankruptcies, debt obligations, consumer proposals requirements to pay, garnishments, unsatisfied judgments and directions to pay
Fees for individual applications
For Ontario, the application fee is $200 per individual or $100 for individuals applying as a permitted individual only. In addition, the NRD administrator will charge an NRD system fee in the amount of $75 for each individual. Refer to fees for more information.
Once a firm application is filed, the OSC will notify the sponsoring firm about when to submit individual registration applications through NRD.
Fees for individual registration applications are generally paid through the firm’s electronic fund transfer account on NRD.
Where a firm is exempt from the requirement to pay fees through NRD, the firm will remit the fees to the OSC via cheque or wire transfer.
Registering in more than one province or territory
If the individual is applying for registration in other jurisdictions, additional regulatory fees are required for those jurisdictions. These are indicated on, and can be paid through, NRD.
Passport and interface registration system
The process of registration under this system is set out in National Policy 11-204 Process for Registration in Multiple Jurisdictions and Multilateral Instrument 11-102 Passport System. This system allows the sponsoring firm, on behalf of individuals, to submit the application with its principal regulator, which reviews the application on behalf of all of the regulators in the other jurisdictions (the non-principal regulators) in which an individual is applying for registration. The individual’s sponsoring firm communicates only with the principal regulator.
If the OSC is the principal regulator, the application is processed under the passport system. The OSC conducts a review of the application and its decision is effective in the other jurisdictions.
If the OSC is not the principal regulator, the application is processed under the interface system. The principal regulator reviews the application and the OSC decides whether to opt in or opt out of the principal regulator’s decision. The OSC can perform its own review.
Application review and approval
Approval is based on the information provided in the registration application form and supporting documents, through background checks of individuals, public information and from other information we may request. Once the OSC receives the application, it is reviewed, concerns or questions are discussed with the applicant and ultimately a decision regarding approval is made.
If it appears that the individual’s application is not suitable for registration or that the proposed registration would be objectionable based on public interest, the OSC may refuse the registration or grant the registration subject to terms and conditions. In these cases, OSC staff will send the applicant, with a copy to the sponsoring firm, a letter providing written notice of OSC staff’s recommendation regarding registration and brief reasons for it. This is referred to as a Letter of Brief Reasons. Section 31 of Ontario’s Securities Act and Section 23(3) of Ontario’s Commodity Futures Act then provides the applicant with an opportunity to be heard before the Director prior to a decision being made concerning staff’s recommendation.
Providing registered firms with a copy of the Letter of Brief Reasons promotes the accuracy and completeness of information provided in respect of individuals they sponsor. This, in turn, assists firms in fulfilling their obligations under section 5.1 of National Instrument 33-109 Registration Information (NI 33-109).
You may check whether a firm or an individual is registered, including historical registrations, by searching the information on the Canadian Securities Administrators’ National Registration Search.
Timeline to review and approve a registration application
We are committed to reviewing and processing your applications promptly and professionally, while fulfilling our regulatory responsibilities to address any compliance or policy issues that may arise. For new applications and reactivations which have met the prescribed conditions which are described in the following paragraph and which are not part of a new business submission, our service standard timing is listed in the OSC Service Commitment.
Prescribed conditions for new applications and reactivations are that:
- you are a non-SRO applicant
- all questions are answered with sufficient detail
- all regulatory obligations are met
- there are no concerns with your fitness for registration
- you respond to our request for information in a timely manner
Key factors that may affect the timeliness of our decision:
- the completeness and accuracy of your filings
- the complexity of the issues they raise
- timeliness of your response to our request for information
- concerns with your fitness for registration
In cases where there appear to be issues with an application that could bear on the applicant’s suitability for registration, such as past misconduct or untrue or misleading information given in the application itself, the file may be referred by the Registration Team to the Registrant Conduct Team for further investigation, requiring a longer review time. Each phase in the registration process when applications transition from the Registration Team to the Registrant Conduct Team are illustrated in this process chart.
If you have questions about the registration process, please contact us.
If you have questions about registering under your particular circumstances, you should seek professional advice. As a regulatory agency, the OSC cannot provide legal or other professional advice.