Obtaining a Stock Broker License. You must have a license to trade stocks on behalf of other people. To obtain a stock broker’s license, you must pass a series of examinations administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The tests you take may depend on the types of activities you plan to engage in and the requirements of your state’s licensing bureau. Each exam has a time limit,
Other FINRA licenses or series exams exist. Individuals holding some of those licenses, such as the "Series 6", cannot be called stockbrokers since they are prohibited from selling stock and are not trained or licensed in the full array of capabilities of a Series 7 stockbroker (see list of securities examinations).
Requirements for Brokers and Traders: Exams and Licensing Unless you only want to trade for yourself, being a trader or a broker requires you to obtain a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
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So to get a license as a stock trader, you first need to be hired by a firm that will put you to work trading and also sponsor you for the securities license. There are no specific per-qualification requirements to get a job as a broker. The typical arrangement is that you have a job agreement that continues only if you to pass the Series 7. Often the firm will provide or pay for a training course to help you prepare.
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A stockbroker who wants to offer general (or a “full line” of) securities would sit for the Series 7 exam. The Series 7 exam was created by the New York Stock Exchange and is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). Most Series 7 reps are referred to as a “stockbroker”.