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Legal Memorandum: Licensing Requirements for a Broker-Dealer in WA

Issue: Who must be licensed as a Broker-Dealer in Washington state?

Area of Law: Corporate & Securities
Keywords: License; Broker-Dealer
Jurisdiction: Washington
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Wash. Rev. Stat. § 21.20.040(1); Wash. Rev. Stat. § 21.20.005(3)
Date: 06/01/2010

As a general matter, in order to lawfully transact business as a broker-dealer in Washington, a person must either register under the Securities Act of Washington or be exempt from registration.  Wash. Rev. Stat. § 21.20.040(1). 

A “broker-dealer” is defined as “any person engaged in the business of effecting transactions in securities for the account of others or for that person’s own account.”  Wash. Rev. Stat. § 21.20.005(3).  The officer of certain companies may not fit within the definition of broker-dealer:

 … “Broker-dealer” does not include (a) a salesperson, issuer, bank, savings institution, or trust company, [or] (b) a person who has no place of business in this state if the person effects transactions in this state exclusively with or through the issuers of the securities involved in the transactions, other broker-dealers, or banks, savings institutions, trust companies, insurance companies, investment companies as defined in the investment company act of 1940, pension or profit-sharing trusts, or other financial institutions or institutional buyers, whether acting for themselves or as trustees.…

Id. (emphasis added). 

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