Individual and Firm Registration Requirements
U.S. regulations requires certain individuals and firms that conduct business in the derivatives industry register with the CFTC and the NFA. The CFTC has delegated registration responsibility to NFA.
- Associated Person (AP): An individual who solicits orders, customers or customer funds (or who supervises persons so engaged) on behalf of a futures commission merchant (FCM), retail foreign exchange dealer (RFED), introducing broker (IB), commodity trading advisor (CTA) or commodity pool operator (CPO).
- Floor Broker: An individual who purchases or sells any futures contracts, options on futures or swaps on any contract market for any other person.
- Floor Trader: A person who purchases or sells any futures contracts, options on futures or swaps on any contract market for such person's own account.
- Principal: An applicant, a registrant, or a person required to be registered under CFTC Regulation 3.1 (a).
Depending on a firm's business activity, registration is required unless it qualifies for an exemption or exclusion. If you have any questions as to whether you qualify for a particular exemption or exclusion from registration, refer to the appropriate section of the CEA, CFTC Regulations or consult NFA's Information Center.
- Commodity Pool Operator (CPO): An individual or organization that operates a commodity pool and solicits funds for that commodity pool.
- Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA): 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.
- Futures Commission Merchant (FCM): An entity that 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.
- Introducing Broker (IB): An individual or organization that solicits or accepts orders to buy or sell futures contracts, forex, commodity options, or swaps but does not accept money or other assets from customers to support these orders.
The list above is not inclusive of all firm and individual categories required to register. For additional details regarding registration or exemptions, contact NFA or telephone 1-312-781-1410 or 800-621-3570.