Firm Path

The following tutorial is a step-by-step look at several sections of the Online Registration System (ORS).

For each section of ORS that is displayed in this tutorial, you will see a picture of an important part of an ORS screen and corresponding text under it. If you still need assistance after viewing the tutorial, contact NFA's Information Center.


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Section 4: FIRM PATH

 

Only the security manager, update and file users for the firm (which are created by the security manager) can create a firm application. The user can begin the application process from the Online Registration home page by using the Apply for Registration link or by clicking on the Apply for Registration tab in ORS.


Apply for Registration 

This screen is used to complete a new application or finish an application that is in process for a firm applicant. Click on the "Process an Application" link that is located in the firm section.  


 Process a Firm Application

The firm's NFA ID and name will display on this page. Click on the "Process Application" button to start the application.


Registration Categories

Registration Categories

This path must be completed for all firms that are applying for registration as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM), Introducing Broker (IB), Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA), Commodity Pool Operator (CPO) and/or Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer (RFED) and/or applying for approval as an NFA Member (NFA), Forex Firm (FF) and/or Forex Dealer Member (FDM).

Check the appropriate box(es) to indicate the category(ies) for which the applicant is applying (FCM, IB, CTA, CPO, RFED and/or NFA, FF and/or FDM). Note: A firm cannot simultaneously apply for registration or be registered as an FCM and an IB or an IB and RFED. 

A question regarding the firm's forex activities will appear and if the applicant answers "Yes" to this question and is applying as an FCM or RFED another question will appear asking if the applicant is acting or offering to act as the counterparty in retail off-exchange foreign currency transactions.

Please note the "Exit this Firm Application" link in the upper left corner of the navigation bar. It is very important that all users use this process to exit the application, if the user did not file the application. Users should not use the "Log Off" link in the upper right corner nor should the user close the browser. Exiting the application in any other way before the application is filed will prevent any other user from accessing the application.


Membership Information

Representatives for NFA's Board of Directors are elected by various membership categories (FCM, RFED, IB, CPO and CTA). The image above displays an example of the screen that would appear if the firm was both an FCM and RFED Member. Applicants having more than one registration category must select a category for voting purposes.

If the applicant is an FCM indicate at which United States Commodity exchange the member is a member of or has applied for membership at.


Business Information

Business Address

Form of Organization

Enter the full address and contact information of the firm's main office. A  P.O. Box is not acceptable. A sole proprietor may use a P.O. Box address if the business is located in the sole proprietor's residence and a complete residential address is provided on the sole proprietor's individual application.

The form of organization will display on the page and is populated from the enrollment form.

Indicate the state and country where the entity was incorporated, organized or established.


 Other Names

Other Names

Enter any and all other names under which the applicant is or will be conducting business and indicate whether the name is "In Use" or "Not In Use". You can click on "Add Another Name" to add an additional name and/or you can also delete a name by clicking on the X. Common types of other names are business names of sole proprietors. For example, sole proprietors are registered in their own names such as John Smith, even if they advertise under a business name to the public as Smith Commodities. In this case, the applicant should indicate Smith Commodities as the other name by which the firm intends to conduct business.


 Location of Business Records

Enter the full address of the location of the applicant's business records. A P.O. Box is not acceptable. This must be the address where the applicant keeps its required business records, not where the applicant's carrying brokers records are kept. If applying for registration as a CPO and/or CTA this address must be the same as the business address.

Location of Business Records

Location of Business Recrods

If the applicant is not located in the United States, it must also disclose a location in the United States where it will provide its books and records for inspection by NFA and the CFTC. A P.O. Box is not acceptable.


Holding Company Information

Holding Company Information

Click the "Add Holding Company" button and enter the full legal name of any holding company that is a principal of the firm. You can also delete an entry by clicking on the X.


Branch Office Information

Enter the full address and contact information for any branch office that the applicant may have. A P.O. Box is not acceptable. If the branch office does not have an ID, NFA will assign one.

Each branch office location must have a designated branch office manager overseeing its operations. An individual may be added as a branch office manager by electronically submitting an individual application. Every branch office manager is required to be registered as an associated person or a floor broker.  

You can click on "Add Another Branch Office" to add another branch office.

Branch Office Information

Branch Office Information

After a branch office has been added you can also edit any entry by clicking on the edit button or delete an entry by clicking on the X.


Non-U.S. Regulator Information

Enter the full name of each non-U.S. financial services industry regulatory authority or self regulatory organization that has regulated the firm or sole proprietor during the past 5 years.


Disciplinary Information - Criminal Disclosures

Disciplinary Information - Criminal Disclosures

Disciplinary Information - Criminal Disclosures

This section concerns matters which are required to be disclosed in connection with a registration application. When completing this section, it is important to carefully read the instructions and the questions. The user must answer each question.

Several words on the page are in blue. If you click on them, the user will be provided with a definition of the term.

Common mistakes in answering the criminal disclosure questions involve expungements. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) requires a "Yes" answer no matter what other advice has been received from a lawyer, employer, judge or anyone other than a member of NFA's Registration, Compliance, Legal or Information Center departments. Failing to answer these questions correctly can not only delay the registration process, it can also result in the application being denied for failing to disclose material information.


Matter Information - Criminal Disclosures

Matter Information - Criminal Disclosures

 

For any matter that caused a "Yes" answer, you must also provide a written explanation detailing the events and conduct. That explanation can be entered on this page by giving it a name, e.g., the docket number of the case, and describing it in the text box. Alternatively, the explanation can be sent in hard copy format to NFA.

To provide explanations for more than one matter in ORS, the user should click the "Add Another Matter" box after finishing the first explanation. The user can edit or delete any explanation before the application is filed.

In addition to the required explanation, court documents about the matter must be sent to NFA. If the court documents are unavailable, a letter from the court verifying that must be sent to NFA.

Like answering the questions correctly, providing all documents to NFA is important. Failure to do so will delay the registration process and may result in the withdrawal of the application.


Disciplinary Information - Regulatory Disclosures

Disciplinary Information - Regulatory Disclosures

Disciplinary Information - Regulatory Disclosures

This section concerns matters which are required to be disclosed in connection with a registration application. When completing this section, it is important to carefully read the instructions and the questions. The user must answer each question.

Regulatory actions taken by the CFTC, NFA or domestic futures exchanges do not need to be disclosed since these actions are generally entered into NFA's BASIC system.


Matter Information - Regulatory Disclosures

For any matter that caused a "Yes" answer, you must also provide a written explanation detailing the events and conduct. That explanation can be entered on this page by giving it a name, e.g., the docket number of the case, and describing it in the text box. Alternatively, the explanation can be sent in hard copy format to NFA.

To provide explanations for more than one matter in ORS, the user should click the "Add Another Matter" box after finishing the first explanation. The user can edit or delete any explanation before the application is filed.

In addition to the required explanation, documents about the matter must be sent to NFA. If these documents are unavailable, a letter from the regulatory organization verifying that must be sent to NFA.

Like answering the questions correctly, providing all documents to NFA is important. Failure to do so will delay the registration process and may result in the withdrawal of the application.


Disciplinary Information - Financial Disclosures

This section concerns matters which are required to be disclosed in connection with a registration application. When completing this section, it is important to carefully read the instructions and the questions. The user must answer each question.

Disclosure of a bankruptcy matter is required only if the bankruptcy trustee filed an adversary action against the applicant. Please note that an attorney may file an adversary action on behalf of a bankruptcy trustee. Disclosure is required even if the individual or entity is not the individual or entity filing the bankruptcy. 


Matter Information - Financial Disclosures

For any matter that caused a "Yes" answer, you must also provide a written explanation detailing the events and conduct. That explanation can be entered on this page by giving it a name, e.g., the docket number of the case, and describing it in the text box. Alternatively, the explanation can be sent in hard copy format to NFA.

To provide explanations for more than one matter in ORS, the user should click the "Add Another Matter" box after finishing the first explanation. The user can edit or delete any explanation before the application is filed.

In addition to the required explanation, documents about the matter must be sent to NFA. For adversary actions brought by, or on behalf of, a bankruptcy trustee, you must provide NFA with a copy of the initial complaint and the final disposition of each matter. If the documents are unavailable, a letter from the court verifying that must be sent to NFA.

Like answering the questions correctly, providing all documents to NFA is important. Failure to do so will delay the registration process and may result in the withdrawal of the application.


Contact Information

Contact Information - Membership Contact

Contact Information - Accounting Contact

Contact Information - Arbitration Contact

Contact Information - Compliance Contact

Contact Information - Assessment Fee Contact

Enter the full address and contact information to identify the firm's Registration, Membership, Accounting, Arbitration, Compliance and if an FCM and/or RFED Assessment Fee contacts. There is a "Click here" link that is provided if the address for these contacts is the same as the firm's business address.


Enforcement/Compliance Communicaton Contact Information

Enter the full address and contact information to identify the contact person to whom all enforcement and compliance communications and inquiries from the CFTC are to be directed. NFA may also send communications to this contact person.

Enforcement/Compliance Communicaton Contact Information

 

You can click the "Add Another Contact" button to add additional contacts. You can also edit any entry by clicking on the edit icon or delete an entry by clicking on the X.


Confirmation

This page appears at the end of the path and shows a summary of the status the applicant will obtain when the application is filed. It also serves as a checklist to identify any items that must be provided before the application can be filed (Incomplete Items) and the other items that must be filed (Additional Filings) or resolved (Additional Requirements) before registration can be granted. It is very important that the user click on the File Application button. Otherwise, the application will not be submitted to NFA's database. 

The Registration Categories section displays all registration classes for which the applicant has applied as well as what the applicant's status will be after the application is filed. This section will not appear if there are any incomplete filings. 

The Incomplete Filings section displays all of the required items in the path that were not provided. You have the ability to click on the section heading to return to the page with the missing information to complete the page. You cannot file an application with any incomplete filings. In fact, the "File Application" button will not display if this section displays.

The Additional Filings section displays information that must be provided in order to complete the application. For example, Financials Required For FCM, Application Fee Required For FCM and/or A Principal Must Apply As An AP Of The Firm Or As An FB.

The Additional Requirements section displays the additional NFA matters that must be resolved before the application can be approved. For example, an application cannot be granted unless the applicant listed in the application passes an NFA fitness check, which is a separate process.

Once the application is complete, you must click on the File Application button to actually file the application. In filing the application, the sponsor makes a variety of representations, agreements and certifications, all of which are contained in the text box above the File Application button. These should be carefully reviewed before you file the application.

After the application has been filed, you will receive an application filed screen. You can now file applications for all individuals that are principals and/or associated persons of the applicant. For instructions on how to file applications for individuals, refer to the Individual Path Tutorial.

Application Filed

Online Registration System

 

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Electronic Filings

NFA Members can file many of their required documents electronically.

Submit a Filing 

Check Broker / Firm Information (BASIC)

You can check the registration status and disciplinary history of any futures firm or individual.

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