What Is a Registered Principal?

What Is a Registered Principal?

4 Min.

A registered principal in the securities industry assumes control over compliance, trading, sales, and operational personnel. They must hold both principal and fundamental securities licenses and take legal responsibility for any issues that arise from licensing and compliance concerns within their firm.


An authorized security industry supervisor is a licensed broker assigned to supervise operational, regulatory, trading, and sales staff. In essence, this individual assumes a managerial role within a securities or investment firm. This administrative figure is required to possess a principal license and, due to their involvement in securities transactions, must also hold fundamental securities licenses. Legally accountable for any arising issues within their respective firms, these professionals are obligated to register with either state or federal regulatory bodies.

Navigating Registered Principal Roles

Exploring the Realm of Registered Principals Within the intricate landscape of financial enterprises, including brokerages, securities, and investments, one encounters the realm of registered principals. These adept managers wield influence, operating at the helm of their companies, with an obligatory minimum of two required for non-sole partnerships.

Key Tenets of Registered Principal Responsibilities 

The role of registered principals encompasses a multifaceted array of tasks. They orchestrate oversight over sales, operational, and trading units, orchestrating seamless alignment with rigorous regulatory protocols. It is under their vigilant guidance that:

  • Timely and accurate submission of regulatory documents is ensured.
  • Licensing requisites are meticulously met by personnel and pivotal staff members.
  • Essential capital thresholds are consistently maintained.
  • Mandated fees are punctually remitted.

Governance at Brokerage Firms

Amid brokerage establishments, registered principals assume a pivotal mantle. Their purview extends to supervising trading activities, nurturing regulatory compliance, and orchestrating overarching operational functions. Amid their sanctioned roles are dynamic activities encompassing trading, market-making, underwriting, and endorsement of sales and advertising literature. A prerequisite for any promotional material's deployment is the imprimatur of a principal. This umbrella extends over the purview of investment banking, often necessitating their registration.

Responsibilities Bound by Accountability 

The privileges vested in registered principals come hand in hand with profound accountability, extending to legal ramifications. With compliance as their lodestar, they bear the brunt of any lapses or quandaries unfolding within their enterprise. Instances range from oversight of licensure adherence by traders to meticulous scrutiny of mandatory filings. It is the registered principal who stands at the ready, poised to answer inquiries from state and federal bodies.

Pathway to Principalship Guided by regulatory compasses such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the journey towards registered principalship necessitates successful navigation through the Series 24 examination. This triumph paves the way to conduct supervisory, compliance, underwriting, trading, and marketing activities. Complementing this odyssey are the prerequisite examinations, including the Series 7 assessment. For those aspiring to reign over options trading, the FINRA Series 4 Exam offers the gateway to registered options principal (ROP) distinction.

Notably, you need to pass the Series 24 exam from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to become a registered principal.

Earning Registered Principal Status

Necessities for Registered Principal Designation Requisite for achieving registered principal status is the successful completion of FINRA's Series 24 examination, also recognized as the General Securities Principal Qualification Exam. This pivotal assessment encompasses 160 questions, scoring, and randomly positioned unscored items. Candidates are allocated three hours and 45 minutes for its completion. A minimum score of 70% is mandatory for success.

The Exam's Encompassed Functions This comprehensive examination evaluates proficiency across five essential occupational domains:

  • Function 1: Oversight of broker-dealer registration and personnel management activities, comprised of nine inquiries. 
  • Function 2: Supervision of general broker-dealer undertakings, featuring an inquiry count of 45. 
  • Function 3: Supervision of activities related to retail and institutional customers, necessitating responses to 32 questions. 
  • Function 4: Surveillance of trading and market-making operations, spanning 32 questions. 
  • Function 5: Supervision of investment banking and research, encapsulating 32 questions.

Prerequisite Examinations for Series 24 Candidacy Prospective registered principal aspirants are mandated to succeed in the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam, alongside accomplishment in at least one supplementary examination prior to engaging with the Series 24 assessment. These encompass:

  • Series 7 exam — General Securities Representative Exam 
  • Series 57 exam — Security Trader Representative Exam 
  • Series 79 exam — Investment Banking Representative Exam 
  • Series 82 exam — Private Securities Offerings Representative Exam Series 86/87—Research Analyst Exam

Remarkably, triumphant completion of the Series 57 exam confers the distinct designation of trader principal, setting it apart from the general principal status awarded upon Series 24 attainment.


Registered principals in the securities industry oversee compliance, trading, sales, and operations. With both principal and fundamental securities licenses, they're accountable for firm licensing and compliance. Authorized security industry supervisors, and licensed brokers, manage personnel across operational, regulatory, trading, and sales functions. Backed by licenses, they're vital in securities and investment firms, requiring registration. Registered principals ensure timely regulatory submissions, licensing, capital maintenance, and fee remittance. In brokerages, they oversee trading, compliance, and operations, including market-making and underwriting. Their role extends to investment banking.

Registered Principal
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Hexn operates under HEXN (CZ) s.r.o. and HEXN Markets LLC. HEXN (CZ) s.r.o. is incorporated in the Czech Republic with the company number 19300662, registered office at Cimburkova 916/8, Žižkov, Praha. HEXN (CZ) s.r.o. is registered as a virtual assets service provider (VASP). HEXN Markets LLC is incorporated in St. Vincent and Grenadines with the company number 2212 LLC 2022, registered office at Beachmont Business Centre, 379, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines