How to become a registered Investment Adviser under SEBI


To become an Investment Adviser registered under SEBI requires the approval of the Regulatory Body. The applicant can be an individual or a corporate. Registered Investment Advisers can offer investment advice to clients for a fee. Check here if you meet the requirement to be a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA).

An investment adviser can either be an individual or a firm which is in the business of advising clients on securities, for a remuneration. Investment advisers provide advice on investment options for a range of financial instruments. Financial instruments such as bonds, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds and stocks fall under the ambit. Investment advisers may also manage portfolios of securities. Investment advisers should not be confused for financial planners.

Although financial planners can also be investment advisers, however, all investment advisers are not financial planners. Financial planners generally evaluate all aspects of their client's finances – such as savings, insurance, investments, estate planning, taxes and retirement. They assess the needs of the client and offer a well chalked out financial plan to meet the set financial goals.



Minimum qualification requirement for registration as an Investment Adviser under SEBI


The following minimum requirement for Investment Advisers is the prerequisite laid down by SEBI –

The applicant must possess a Masters degree or have a professional qualification or have a PG Diploma in accountancy, actuarial science, banking, business management, capital market, commerce, economics, finance or insurance.

Applicants can also be graduates, in any discipline, but must have a minimum of five years working experience in activities connected to financial products, such as funds, securities, assets or portfolio management.

Certification in any of the following subjects is also necessary -

  • Investment Advisory Services
  • Financial Planning
  • Asset Management
  • Portfolio Management
  • Fund Management


SEBI recognises certification from the following institutions -


Other mandatory requirements


Individual applicants must have net tangible assets totalling Rs.1,00,000 or above, and Corporates must have a net worth of Rs.25,00,000 or more.

Step-by-step guide to register as a financial adviser under SEBI


Application Form for IA under SEBI


To become an Investment Adviser (IA) under Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) requires registration with the regulatory body. It is recommended that applicants study the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Investment Adviser (IA) Regulations, 2013 for clarity and a better understanding of the eligibility criteria and the registration process. The application for the grant of registration as an IA under SEBI Regulations 2013 must be made on the prescribed form, issued by SEBI. Applicants can download Form A for Investment Adviser (IA) application and submit the completed form along with requisite supporting documents. It takes (approximately) a month for SEBI to process the application and revert to the applicant.

Registration process and fee details


It is mandatory that the application for registration is submitted through the prescribed form. All columns must be filled with appropriate details, and the form and all supporting documents should be numbered, self-attested and stamped. Copies of annexures enclosed must also be numbered and self-attested. The registration process involves a fee of Rs.5,000 for individual applicants and Rs.25,000 for corporate applicants. The money has to be paid along with the application, through a bank draft, drawn in favour of 'The Securities and Exchange Board of India', payable at Mumbai

List of enclosures with the application



Applicants must submit as annexures self-attested copies of the following documents –

  • Identity proof
  • Proof of address
  • Qualification documents
  • Certificate of experience (in case the applicant is a graduate)
  • Net worth certificate from a Chartered Accountant
  • CIBIL Score
  • 3-years IT Returns
  • Declarations as applicable

The application must be accompanied by a covering letter, mentioning the following specifics –

  • Whether the applicant had been in the business of providing investment advisory services before the 2013 Regulations came into existence
  • Details of the same are to be furnished in case the applicant had been in the business
  • Details should include the period when the applicant served as an IA, along with details of investment advice offered to clients
  • If the applicant has no prior experience in the field it should be mentioned in the letter

Issuance of the Certificate of Registration by SEBI


Once the application is received at the SEBI office, it is scrutinised for compliance, based on the current terms and conditions of the Regulations. If the application meets the set guidelines the applicant is informed about the approval of the application and is asked to pay the registration fee, to enable the issuance of the certificate of registration.

The registration fee depends on the status of the applicant –

  • Individual applicant - Rs.10,000
  • Corporate applicant – Rs.1,00,000

The fee must be paid through a bank draft, drawn in favour of 'The Securities and Exchange Board of India', payable at Mumbai. The fee is liable to change, as and when there are policy changes.

On receiving the draft SEBI issues the applicant the Certificate of Registration as an Investment Adviser. The applicant is now a registered Investment Adviser and ready to go into business.

Post-registration guidelines


Investment Advisers must comply with any changes in the rules and regulations that are introduced at a later stage. The Investment Advisers must continue to fulfil all subsequent guidelines that SEBI issues.

It is advised that the Investment Adviser checks the official website of SEBI to keep abreast with changes in policies that may be introduced. This is to avoid an inadvertent breach of rules and regulations.

Update records


The Investment Adviser must, at the earliest, update with SEBI any changes in particulars furnished at the time of making the application.

General information


  • 'The applicant' is the individual/body seeking registration as an Investment Adviser
  • Applications that are incomplete will be turned down. To ensure the application gets filed, applicants must submit complete forms, with authentic data and all columns filled in.
    Additionally, the application must be accompanied with requisite supporting documents and declarations. In case an application fails to meet these conditions it will not be filed, and the applicant will be intimated
  • Each page on all the documents submitted with the application must be numbered, self-attested and stamped
  • In case the application is forwarded through an authorised signatory a letter of authorisation signed by the Directors or Legal Partners of the Investment Adviser is mandatory




Offices of SEBI


SEBI's Head Office is located in Mumbai. Apart from it there are four Regional Branches namely –

  • Northern Regional Branch – Delhi
  • Southern Regional Branch – Chennai
  • Eastern Regional Branch – Kolkata
  • Western Regional Branch – Ahmedabad

Additionally, there are nine local branches at –

  • Hyderabad
  • Lucknow
  • Bengaluru
  • Jaipur
  • Guwahati
  • Kochi
  • Patna
  • Bhuvaneshwar
  • Indore

Applications for the grant of registration may be filed at the Head Office or at any of the regional or local branches.

Addresses of the various local and regional offices of SEBI are given on official website.


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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