It’s a good time to consider becoming a broker dealer. Right now, almost 64% of small businesses are struggling financially and can benefit from the services of broker dealers.

But there is more to becoming a broker dealer than seeking a job opening and applying for it or acquiring a finance degree. In fact, broker dealers must be licensed — and the only way to do that is to pass certain exams. These exams are overseen by FINRA, short for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

But even taking FINRA licensing exams is not as simple as signing up for them. In order to take a broker dealer exam, you must first be sponsored for that exam. But who can act as your sponsor and how do you acquire such sponsorship? That’s what we’re exploring today. The more that you understand about these sponsorships and how they are acquired, the easier it will be for you to get them.

Who Can Provide Broker Dealer Sponsorship?

Technically, the options available for those seeking broker dealer sponsorships are fairly slim. Most candidates for broker dealer exams will be sponsored through their employment at a SRO, which is a self-regulatory organization. Alternatively, they’ll be sponsored through their employment at a FINRA member securities firm. The good thing is that this type of employment can potentially offer sponsorship for a wide variety of FINRA exams. On the flip side, the challenge is that a lot of people are seeking sponsorships. Therefore, it can be difficult for people to secure employment at such firms and organizations.

Additionally, a lot of potential sponsors would like to hire applicants who are already licensed. Though this can stack the odds against someone seeking a broker dealer sponsorship, it remains quite possible for them to secure one. They might simply require dedication, determination, and patience.

How Can I Secure a Broker Dealer Sponsorship?

Firstly, you should look up companies and organizations that have offered sponsorships in the past — specifically, sponsorships for the exams that you are most interested in taking. If you’re seeking a series 82 sponsorship, for example, you may not want to focus on companies with a history of offering sponsorship for series 7 exams.

Once you’ve identified the companies that are the best possibilities for you, look for employment opportunities. Seek them out on job boards and don’t limit yourself to the positions that you consider most ideal. You should consider taking a low-level position at first, as this can be a great way for you to get noticed and rise. Usually, higher-level positions will require the license that you are trying to obtain. Therefore, it’s no use for you to pursue a position that isn’t a realistic option. Furthermore, you may want to be prepared to move for your new job, as it’s possible that positions may be limited in your current area.

When submitting your resume and cover letter, you should state your desire to take a licensing exam and your need for a broker dealer sponsorship. You’ll also want to polish your resume to the best of your ability and make it as appealing as possible. Often, companies will hire potential sponsorship candidates for an observation period, during which they will determine whether or not they want to sponsor you.

If you’re having a hard time finding employment opportunities that offer sponsorships, you may want to consider alternate means. Try networking among friends and family or see if you know anyone affiliated with a company that could offer you a broker dealer sponsorship. The issue could also be the license that you are seeking; perhaps those considering your applications think that you need to take different exams first. If you can acquire different licenses first, that may make you an appealing candidate. The same can be said for acquiring some job experience in the mortgage broker, insurance, real estate industries. Sometimes, getting the right job experience can make a big difference.

Getting your broker dealer sponsorship can initially be challenging. But if you’re diligent and don’t give up, you may find that your career as a broker dealer is even more rewarding than you imagined.