Review and Approval

The OSC determines whether the firm or its individual applicants are fit for registration based on the information provided in the registration application, through background checks, public information and from other information we may request.

Firm Applicants

Once the application has been received by the OSC, we will proceed to put the firm in a pending state on the National Registration Database (NRD). At that time, we will request the firm to submit their registration application fees, generally through their Electronic Funds Transfer account with NRD. For more information please refer to our Application fees for firms section.

We will review the application and will communicate with the firm by providing comments and/or requesting additional information when necessary. An incomplete or deficient application will delay the review process.

When considering your application, we conduct a pre-registration meeting with the key principals of the firm, including the proposed Chief Compliance Officer and/or Ultimate Designated Person, to understand the firm’s business objectives, to provide guidance and to determine whether the firm has the appropriate individuals and compliance structure in place to meet the ongoing regulatory requirements for registered firms.

If a firm fails to meet any of the requirements, the OSC may refuse the registration or grant registration subject to terms and conditions. If this happens, the firm will have an opportunity to be heard by the Director under section 31 of the Act.

Firms are notified by e-mail when their registration is approved.

Individual Applicants

Applications for registration, reactivation or reinstatement of individuals are submitted through NRD by the sponsoring firm.

When staff recommends that the Director refuse, amend, or suspend an individual’s registration, or impose terms and conditions on an individual’s registration, staff will send the registrant a letter providing written notice of its recommendation and brief reasons for it (the Letter of Brief Reasons). Section 31 of the Act then gives the registrant the right to be heard by the Director before a decision is made concerning staff’s recommendation.

OSC staff also sends a copy of the Letter of Brief Reasons to the sponsoring firm at the same time that the Letter of Brief Reasons is sent to the individual applicant or registrant.

Providing registered firms with the Letter of Brief Reasons promotes the accuracy and completeness of information provided in respect of individuals they sponsor, thereby assisting firms in fulfilling their obligations under s. 5.1 of National Instrument 33-109 Registration Information.

Information on registered firms and individuals appears on our website under Check Registration.

How long does it take to become registered?

We are committed to reviewing and processing your file promptly and professionally, while fulfilling our regulatory responsibilities to address any compliance or policy issues that may arise.
Our service commitments are outlined in our Services Standards and Timelines.
Key factors that may affect the timeliness of our decision:

  • the completeness and accuracy of your filings
  • the complexity of the issues they raise
  • timeliness of your response to our request for information
  • concerns with your fitness for registration

A filing that is “complete” means a filing of acceptable quality that contains the necessary analysis and addresses relevant issues.