How To Become SEBI Registered Investment Advisor in 2024 | Complete Guidance

What is a SEBI Registered Investment Advisor?

A SEBI Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is a financial professional authorized by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to provide investment advice to clients.

Services offered by SEBI Registered Investment Advisor

  • Investment Advice: RIAs can recommend investment options like stocks, mutual funds, bonds, or real estate investment trusts (REITs) based on your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon.
  • Financial Planning: They can help you create a comprehensive financial plan encompassing retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, and budgeting.
  • Portfolio Management: Some RIAs might offer portfolio management services, where they actively manage your investment portfolio for a fee.

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SEBI regulations for a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA)

SEBI has a defined set of regulations that an RIA has to follow; eligibility criteria, a code of conduct, and compliance with various regulations that ensure that you act in the best interest of your clients and protect them from any unethical practices.

Registration and Qualification 

You must meet the prescribed registration and qualification to become a SEBI Registered Investment Adviser. 

Code of Conduct

Fiduciary Duty: RIAs must act in their client’s best interests, prioritizing their financial goals over any potential conflicts of interest.

Suitability Standards: Investment recommendations must be suitable for the client’s risk tolerance, investment horizon, and financial situation.

Disclosure Requirements: RIAs are obligated to disclose all material information related to their services, fees, conflicts of interest (if any), and their investment process.

Know Your Client (KYC): As per SEBI regulations, RIAs must conduct proper KYC procedures to understand their clients’ risk profiles and investment objectives.

Record Keeping and Reporting

Client Records: RIAs must maintain detailed client records, including investment recommendations provided, transactions executed, and communication records.

Periodic Reporting: SEBI may require RIAs to submit periodic reports on their activities and client base.

Additional Regulations

Marketing and Advertising: SEBI regulates how RIAs market their services. Advertisements must be fair, accurate, and not misleading to potential clients.

Continuing Education: Staying updated with the latest investment trends and regulations is crucial. SEBI may mandate continuing education requirements for RIAs.

Eligibility Criteria for SEBI Registered Investment Advisor 

To become a SEBI Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), you’ll need to meet several eligibility criteria set by SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) as follows:

Basic Requirements:

  • Age: You must be at least 21 years old.
  • Clean Record: You cannot have any prior convictions for economic offenses or violations of securities laws.

Educational Qualification to Become SEBI Registered Investment Advisor:

  • A professional qualification or postgraduate degree or postgraduate diploma in finance, accountancy, business management, commerce, economics, capital market, banking, insurance, or actuarial science. 
  • NISM Certificate (NISM-Series-X-A: Investment Adviser (Level 1))
  • NISM Certificate (NISM-Series-X-B: Investment Adviser (Level 1))

Work Experience:

  • You must have at least five years of experience in financial product advisory, securities, fund or asset management, or portfolio management to strengthen your application.

Financial Requirements:

  • Net Worth: There’s a minimum net worth requirement. Networth certificate is to be submitted by the applicant along with the application for grant of certificate of registration. Networth must be certified by a chartered accountant.
Category of Applicant Amount
Individual IA Not less than ₹5,00,000/-
Non-Individual IA Not less than ₹50,00,000/-

What is the Fee Structure for Registration as an IA?

Category of ApplicantApplication Fee (excluding GST)Registration Fee (excluding GST)Fee to be paid every 5 years (excluding GST)
For individuals and firmsRs. 2,000Rs. 3,000Rs. 1,000
For Body Corporate including Limited Liability PartnershipsRs. 10,000Rs. 15,000Rs. 5,000

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How to Register for SEBI Registered Advisor?

Get Qualification: Possess a relevant degree and experience in finance or a related field.

Get Certified: Pass the NISM Investment Adviser exams.

Register with SEBI: Submit Form A with your ID, qualifications, experience proof, CIBIL score, net worth certificate, income tax returns, and a ₹5,000 application fee. (Access Form A)

How To Become SEBI Registered Investment Advisor

SEBI Review: SEBI will evaluate your application to become SEBI Registered Investment Advisor and may request additional information.

Get Approved & Registered: Upon approval, you’ll receive a registration certificate and be authorized to offer investment advice.

Stay Compliant: Always adhere to SEBI regulations and ethical practices while providing guidance.

What fees can an IA charge from its clients for providing investment advice?

RIAs, or investment advisors, can choose how they want to charge fee from clients:

Model 1: Assets under Advice (AUA) mode: The maximum fees that may be charged under this mode cannot exceed 2.5 per cent of AUA per annum per client across all services offered by the IA. The advisor will need proof of your investments (like demat statements) to calculate this fee. If you already get investment advice from another source for some of your investments, the advisor can’t charge you a fee on that part.

Model 2: Flat fee: This is a fixed amount, up to ₹1,25,000 per year, no matter how much you have invested. This covers all the advisor’s services. SEBI Registered Investment Advisor.


Establish Agreements Between Clients and RIA

Agreements between clients and Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) are crucial documents that establish the ground rules of the financial advisor-client relationship. These are called RIA Advisory Agreements.

These agreements typically cover the following aspects:

  • Services Provided: The agreement will outline the specific investment advisory services the RIA will provide to the client. It includes services like portfolio management, investment recommendations, financial planning assistance, and more.
  • Fees and Compensation: The agreement will clearly state the fees the RIA will charge the client for their services. This could be a flat fee, a percentage of assets under management (AUM), or an hourly rate.
  • Client Investment Objectives and Risk Tolerance: The agreement will detail the client’s investment goals and risk tolerance.
  • Client Responsibilities: The agreement will outline the client’s responsibilities in the relationship. This may include providing complete and accurate financial information, responding to requests for information, and understanding the inherent risks involved in investing.
  • Termination: The agreement will outline the process for terminating the advisor-client relationship. This may include provisions for notice periods and any potential fees associated with early termination.

Benefits of a Clear RIA Client Agreement

A well-drafted RIA client agreement protects both the client and the RIA by clearly outlining expectations and responsibilities. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Reduced Risk of Misunderstandings: A clear agreement helps prevent disagreements by establishing a common understanding of the services provided, fees charged, and roles of each party.
  • Increased Transparency: The agreement ensures the client is fully informed about the RIA’s services, fees, and potential conflicts of interest.
  • Defined Investment Process: The agreement outlines the investment approach and risk tolerance, ensuring the client’s investment strategy aligns with their goals. SEBI Registered Investment Advisor.

Conclusion SEBI Registered Investment Advisor

Becoming a SEBI Registered Investment Advisor involves fulfilling qualification requirements, passing an exam, and registering with SEBI.

If you’re interested in this career path, research the qualifications, study for the NISM exam, and carefully review the RIA registration process. Remember, an RIA plays a crucial role in helping clients navigate the investment world, so ensure you have the knowledge and commitment to serve them well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get a detailed set of FAQs shared by SEBI here related to How to become SEBI Registered Investment Advisor.

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Hey, I'm Soniya Luthra (founder of, a Chartered Accountant and seasoned stock market expert with extensive experience in trading and fundamental analysis. As an active participant in the market, I'm passionate about using my expertise to provide clear, actionable insights and guidance, helping readers make informed financial decisions.

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