How to Get a Stockbroker's License in California
To get a stockbroker's license in California, you must meet certain registration and licensing requirements. However, you do not technically need either an advanced degree such as a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) or even a bachelor's degree to become a stockbroker. In addition to federal licensing laws, you must register as a representative agent of a California broker-dealer to work as a stockbroker. Once you are licensed both federally and in California, you can get registered in additional states simply by paying a fee.
Apply to a California broker-dealer firm. To get your initial stockbroker's license, you must work for an approved California financial services firm, such as a bank or brokerage. While a background in finance and even an MBA may help get you in the door, neither are absolute requirements for the brokerage field.
Take the requisite training course. As a new hire with no previous license, you must work at your new firm for about four months before you can apply for your license. During this time you will take various training courses and study for the licensing examinations. While you can perform administrative services for the firm at this point, you cannot yet engage in any sales-related activity.
Pass the Series 7 exam. This is the standard licensing exam for the brokerage industry, known as the General Securities Registered Representative Exam. This is a multiple-choice exam that covers topics such as stocks, options, bonds, best practices and ethics. You take the exam in two parts, each three hours long and covering 125 questions. This exam is a requirement to become a broker in California.
Pass the Series 63 or Series 66 exam. While the Series 7 exam qualifies you as a registered representative, you must also take an exam that will qualify you for state registration in California. The Series 63 is known as the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, while the Series 66 is the Uniform Combined State Law Examination. Passing either exam, in addition to the Series 7, will qualify you to become a California stockbroker.
Pay a licensing fee to the state of California. The cost is $25 to become registered as a representative in California. Generally, your employer will pay the cost of your registration, though procedures may vary from firm to firm.