Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) Registration

A commodity trading advisor (CTA) is an individual or organization that, for compensation or profit, advises others, directly or indirectly, as to the value of or the advisability of trading futures contracts, options on futures, retail off-exchange forex contracts or swaps.

All registered CTAs who manage or exercise discretion over customer accounts or provide commodity trading advice based on, or tailored to, the commodity interest or cash market positions or other circumstances or characteristics of particular clients must be NFA Members.

CFTC Regulation 4.14 details the criteria that must be met for exemption from CTA registration, including:

  • Advice was provided to 15 or fewer persons during the past 12 months and the entity does not generally hold itself out to the public as a CTA; or
  • Entity is CFTC registered and advice is solely incidental to its business or profession; or
  • Advice is provided that is not based upon knowledge of or tailored to a customer's particular trading account or trading activity.

Registration Requirements for CTAs

To register as a CTA and become an NFA Member:

Registration Requirements for Principals and Associated Persons (AP) of CTAs

A CTA is required to file the following for its principals and associated persons:

An application fee for principals and APs 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. Only one application fee is required if the individual is filing an application as both an AP and Principal. One principal of the CTA must be an AP. One principal of a forex CTA must be a forex AP. One principal of a swap CTA must be a swap AP.

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Learn about CTA Member Requirements

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