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Futures Commission Merchant (FCM)

An FCM is an individual or organization which does both of the following:

  • Solicits or accepts orders to buy or sell futures contracts, options on futures, retail off-exchange forex contracts* or swaps and
  • Accepts money or other assets from customers to support such orders.

Registration is required unless:

  • You handle transactions only for yourself or your firm itself or your firm's affiliates, top officers, or directors or
  • You are a non-U.S. resident or firm with only non-U.S. customers and you or your firm submits all trades for clearing to an FCM.

All registered FCMs must be Members of NFA in order to conduct futures business with the public.

An FCM is required to file the following:

  • A completed online Form 7-R (includes NFA membership sections)
  • Compliance requirements for applicants
  • A non-refundable application fee of $500.00
  • FCM Membership Dues:
  • FCM-Exchange is Designated Self-Regulatory Organization $1,500.00
  • FCM-NFA is Designated Self-Regulatory Organization $5,625.00

An FCM is required to file the following for its Principals (one of which must be designated as the firm's Chief Compliance Officer) and Associated Persons

Additionally, all registered FCMs engaged in retail off-exchange forex activities are required to:*

  • Apply to become a forex firm by completing online Form 7-R
  • Have at least one principal that is also an approved Forex Associated Person
  • Apply to become a Forex Dealer Member (FDM) if a counterparty to retail-off exchange forex transactions
  • Satisfy Compliance requirements for applicants
  • Submit payment of FDM membership dues
  • FCM/FDM-Exchange is Designated Self-Regulatory Organization $25,000 (or surcharge of $23,500 if applicant is already an NFA Member)
  • FCM/FDM-NFA is Designated Self-Regulatory Organization $125,000 (or surcharge of $119,375 if applicant is already an NFA Member)

Additionally, all registered FCMs engaged in swap transactions are required to:

  • Apply to become a swap firm by completing online Form 7-R
  • Have at least one principal that is also an approved Swap Associated Person

*FCMs that are not primarily and substantially engaged in on-exchange futures business activities must be registered as RFEDs to act as the counterparty to a retail off-exchange forex transaction.

**An application fee is not required if the individual is currently registered with the CFTC in any capacity or is listed as a principal of a current CFTC registrant. In addition, only one application fee is required if the individual is filing an application as both an Associated Person and Principal.

Click here if you do not already have access to the Online Registration System.

Featured Information

NFA publishes several guides to help FCMs meet their regulatory requirements. Visit NFA's publication library for a complete list.

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NFA has produced a web seminar on "The Do's and Don'ts of Promotional Material." NFA Members can view the seminar free of charge. Click here to access the program.

 

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