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Who Has to Register 

With certain exceptions, all persons and organizations that intend to do business as futures professionals must register under the Commodity Exchange Act (Act). The primary purposes of registration are to screen an applicant's fitness to engage in business as a futures professional and to identify those individuals and organizations whose activities are subject to federal regulation. In addition, all individuals and firms that wish to conduct futures-related business with the public must apply for NFA Membership or Associate status.

Depending on the business activity of your firm registration is required unless the FCM, SD, MSP, RFED, IB, CPO, CTA qualifies for an exemption. If you have any questions as to whether you qualify for a particular exemption from registration, you should seek guidance by referring to the appropriate section of the Commodity Exchange Act and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Regulations or by consulting NFA registration personnel.

Requests for exemption or for "no action" opinions with respect to the applicable registration requirements should be submitted to the CFTC and a copy of any such request should be provided to NFA.

Click on the links below to obtain specific information to help you determine whether, by law, you are required to seek CFTC registration and, if so, in which category.  Each link defines the business activity associated with the category, any exemptions for that category and lists forms and fees required for registration in the category.

How to register

Foreign entities that transact business directly with U.S. customers solely in futures contracts and commodity options traded on foreign exchanges are exempt from registration if:

  • it is an FCM subject to a comparable regulatory structure by a foreign regulator which has been granted an exemption by the CFTC or an IB, CPO, or CTA without a U.S. office; and
  • it has filed a request for exemptive relief and an agreement with NFA appointing an authorized U.S. agent for service of process for communications in connection with activities that would otherwise require registration. IBs, CPOs and CTAs request exemption relief by filing an Exempt Foreign Firm 7-R.

To increase efficiencies, NFA has developed an Online Registration System (ORS) that allows firms and individuals to register with the CFTC and apply for NFA membership electronically. In most instances, ORS will issue a temporary license (TL) instantaneously to eligible AP applicants.

Templates of the electronic forms can be viewed, completed, downloaded and printed to assist in filing forms electronically using ORS.  Notice registration forms and Form 8-W can also be viewed, completed, downloaded and printed and must be sent in hardcopy format to NFA for processing.  To access the templates and forms, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Featured Information

NFA has produced a series of educational video tutorials to help applicants and Members with the registration process.

Special Messages

NFA's Information Center is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST to answer your registration and ORS questions.  Call (312) 781-1410 or toll-free at (800) 621-3570.  You may also email inquiries to


Online Registration System


Login to ORS

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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 derivatives firm or individual.

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