How registration protects investors

Generally, anyone selling securities, offering investment advice or acting as an investment fund manager in Canada must register with a securities regulator.

4 key things to know about registration

What dealing with a registered adviser or dealer means (and what it doesn’t):

  1. Skills – RegistrationRegistration A requirement for any person or company trading investments or providing advice in Canada. Securities industry professionals are required to register with the securities regulator in each province or territory where they do business.+ read full definition tells you that the individual has met the proficiency requirements for their category of registration and the registration category should correlate with the products and services a firm or individual can offer. They need the right skills and knowledge and also need to meet the right standards to sell products and provide advice.
  2. Ethical business practices – The integrity of individual representatives is one of the key components in assessing fitness for registration.
  3. Suitability – Registered advisers and dealers have an obligation to recommend investments that are suitable for you.
  4. It’s not everything – Even if a firm or individual is registered, it doesn’t mean they will always give you good advice, act ethically or stay in business. Registration also doesn’t guarantee that you’ll make money or that you won’t lose money.

Being registered is not a guarantee that the person you deal with will always give you good advice or act ethically. Carefully choose who you investInvest To use money for the purpose of making more money by making an investment. Often involves risk.+ read full definition with, and ask these questions.

How to check registration and background

Before you hire an advisor or dealer use these search tools to find out if a firm or individual is registered and check their background.

  • The National Registration Search contains the names of all registrants (individuals and firms) in Canada.
  • The Registrant Search tool will show you who is registered with the Ontario Securities CommissionOntario Securities Commission An independent Crown corporation that is responsible for regulating the capital markets in Ontario. Its mandate is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices, to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital markets, and to contribute to the stability of the financial system and the reduction of systemic…+ read full definition (OSCOSC See Ontario Securities Commission.+ read full definition), what they are registered for and if there are any terms and conditions on their registration.
  • AdvisorReport allows you to research the background, qualifications and disciplinary information of advisors with IIROC-regulated firms.

Use this workbook from the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA)Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is an umbrella organization of Canada’s provincial and territorial securities regulators whose objective is to improve, coordinate and harmonize regulation of the Canadian capital markets+ read full definition to record information while choosing a financial advisor.

Has your adviser or dealer been in trouble?

Check the Canadian Securities Administrator’s disciplined persons list to see if someone has been disciplined and is subject to sanctions.


Generally, anyone selling securities, offering investmentInvestment An item of value you buy to get income or to grow in value.+ read full definition advice or acting as an investment fund managerFund manager A fund manager is responsible for investing the pool of money that people have put into the fund. The manager chooses investments that match the fund’s goals for risk and return.+ read full definition must be registered with their provincial securities regulatorSecurities regulator A government agency that enforces the securities act in jurisdiction it has authority over. This act is made up of laws that establish rules for issuing and trading securities. The Ontario Securities Commission is the securities regulator for Ontario.+ read full definition. Check registration before you invest.

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