Becoming a Commodity Pool Operator – Registration Requirements

We are often asked for budgeting and requirements for registering with the National Futures Association (NFA) as a Commodity Pool Auditor (CPO).  Summarized below are a few of the requirements.

  • You must first obtain secure access to NFA’s Online Registration System via a designated Security Manager.  The Security Manager will have complete authority and responsibility to create and maintain accounts for all users at the firm.  This person will be responsible for resetting passwords, adding additional users, and removing a user once they have left the firm.
  • Complete the online Form 7R.  The form can be reviewed by clicking here.
  • Submit application fee of $200. This fee is only required if the individual is not currently registered with the CFTC in any capacity and only one application is needed if the individual is filing as both an AP and Principal. One principal of the CPO must be an AP.
  • Complete the Annual Questionnaire.
  • Pay the non-refundable membership dues.  As of today, that annual fee is $750.  If trading Forex or Swaps, the annual dues are $2,500.

The Commodity Pool Operator must also register each principal and associated person.

  • Complete the online form 8-R for each principal and AP.  You can review the form by clicking here.
  • Submit fingerprint cards for each AP and Principal.  Please click here for current guidance due to the CoVid-19 pandemic.  Typical Fingerprint Card Requirements can be found by clicking here.
  • All APs and Principals must satisfy the proficiency requirements for each sole proprietor, AP, and forex AP.  Any SWAP APs will be required to complete the NFA’s Swaps proficiency requirements by January 31, 2021.  The Series 3 Exam must be completed more than two years preceding the application.   To enroll in the Series 3 Exam,  visit the Finra.org website or click here.  For instructions and guidance regarding the NFA’s Swaps proficiency requirements, click here.
  • Each principal and AP is subject to an $85 non-refundable application fee.

Prior to accepting funds from any pool participants, Disclosure Documents must be filed and then any subsequent updated Disclosure Documents must also be submitted to NFA for review and acceptance.  Click here to review frequently asked questions regarding Disclosure Documents.

Note:  Virtual Currencies have additional Disclosure Document requirements.  Click here to review.

Note:  A Commodity Pool may request relief for its pools per certain CFTC regulations.  Click here to review the regulations that offer such relief.  The Commodity Pool must file for relief through NFA’s Exemption System.  A quick reference guide can be found here.  If you qualify for an exemption, you must re-file for the request on an annual basis or otherwise forego the exemption.

This is just a brief summary of what is generally needed to get started.  If you need further assistance with Commodity Pool registration, budgeting, Disclosure Documents, registration audits, or attorney and service provider assistance  please call Mike Coglianese at 630-461-5841 or email Mike@cogcpa.com.