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The Division of Securities registers and monitors the activities of broker-dealers, securities agents, investment advisers, and investment adviser representatives. The Division also conducts field audits of broker-dealer and investment advisers and investigates customer complaints. When violations of the securities law are detected, the Division initiates the appropriate administrative, injunctive, or criminal action. There are two bureaus within the Division:  Enforcement and Professional Registration & Compliance.

Check before you invest! To offer securities or investment advice in Wisconsin, the salesperson and firm must be registered (or exempt from registration). To verify someone’s registration status, call the Division of Securities or go to FINRA BrokerCheck.

Have a question? Call us

If you have a question about a broker-dealer, securities agent, investment adviser or investment adviser representative, call the Division of Securities at (608) 266-2139, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

COVID-19 Information & Resources


  • Expense Ratios Investor Advisory

    Mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) offer investors a cost-efficient way to invest in professionally managed portfolios of securities. While it is often tempting to make a purchase based on a fund’s historical performance, informed investors know that past performance is no guarantee of future performance, and that they must review a fund’s prospectus, shareholder reports, and portfolio holdings to see if the fund’s risk/return profile aligns with theirs. An informed investor will pay particular attention to a fund’s expense ratio, which, over time, can eat into a fund’s earnings significantly.
    Adobe PDF Document Expense Ratios Investor Advisory

  • Social Media and Online Trading Investing Advisory

    In our digitally connected world, some investors turn to online chatrooms and social media platforms for information about investing or specific investment opportunities. Phone apps can turn even the most casual investor into a day trader, and online investment chat forums make it easy to use these sources for investment advice rather than using the services of a registered investment adviser. While ever-evolving technology makes investing more accessible to greater numbers of people, the informed investor knows that technological democratization also brings significant risk.
    Adobe PDF Document Social Media and Online Trading Investing Advisory

  • ESG Investing

    As climate change and social concerns have grown in recent years, many investors are becoming more conscious of whether a company in which they are investing has considered environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. This is resulting in an investor-driven push to get corporate managers to pay greater attention to ESG issues. Some corporations are responding by altering their management philosophies and business plans.
    Adobe PDF Document ESG Investing Advisory

  • Protecting Online Accounts Advisory

    As financial technology has evolved, it has given consumers the ability to shop, save, and invest online using their phones, tablets, and computers. These modern financial conveniences, however, come with risk. Scammers are always looking for new ways to get into a consumer’s wallet, electronically or otherwise. Investors should be cautious in the way they use the conveniences offered by new and evolving financial technology, especially as they’ve become more widely used during the COVID-19 pandemic. A bit of caution can keep virtual distance between scammers and investors’ money. This advisory provides an overview of some of the most common threats to online accounts and discusses steps investors can take to better protect themselves and their financial information.
    Adobe PDF Document Protecting Online Accounts Advisory

  • Opioid Addiction Advisory

    DFI offers two new resources to help raise awareness of how the opioid crisis impacts investment professionals and their clients. The first is a guide to help investment professionals understand the many ways opioid use disorder might affect their clients, how to spot signs of financial exploitation, and how to help clients affected by opioid abuse. The second resource is a checklist of questions financial professionals can use to help start a conversation with clients about the financial ramifications of opioid addiction.
    Adobe PDF Document Opioid Addiction Brochure

    Adobe PDF Document Opioid Addiction Conversation Starters

  • Wisconsin Accepts Electronic Filing Through EFD – Updated

    The Wisconsin Division of Securities, as a member of the North American Securities Administrators Association, has already made use of NASAA’s electronic Filing Depository (EFD) System for Regulation D and Form NF-UIT notice filings. EFD has now been expanded with a new functionality, referred to as “Universal Filing Type” or UFT, which has given filers the ability to electronically submit filings and fees for a greater range of corporate finance materials to the Division. The filing types that are now being accepted through UFT include: registrations by coordination or qualification, Regulation A (Tier 1 and 2), state law exemptions, and any further filings associated with these filing types, including those that do not require a fee (e.g., prospectus supplements). The EFD website also enables the public to search and view, free of charge, filings made through EFD with state securities regulators. EFD is available at:

  • Cross-Selling Advisory

    Cross-selling by banks and investment firms is a growing concern for securities regulators. At its best, this is a way for banks or investment firms to inform clients about the range of financial products and services available. At its worst, this common sales technique can take advantage of loyal clients.
    Adobe PDF Document Cross Selling Advisory

  • Robo Adviser Advisory

    If Wisconsin investors are considering a robo-adviser, they should be sure to examine all available information to make sure they understand the risks and benefits provided by this type of advice.
    Adobe PDF Document Robo Adviser Advisory

  • Crypto Coin Advisories

    Not every ICO or cryptocurrency-related investment is fraudulent, but investors should approach any initial coin offering or cryptocurrency-related investment product with extreme caution.
    Adobe PDF Document Cryptocurrency Advisory

    Adobe PDF Document ICO Advisory

  • Binary Options Investor Advisory

    Investors should be cautious about schemes related to binary options amid the proliferation of online platforms and a growing number of related investor complaints.
    Adobe PDF Document Click here for the full Advisory

  • Franchise Filing Important Notice

    To promote sustainability and efficiency, all franchise registrations and amendments must be filed online with the Division.
    Click Here for Online Franchise Filings

  • Financial Service Providers

    This Informed Investor Advisory provides basic information on types of financial services professionals and their relationship with you as a client.

    Adobe PDF Document Understanding different roles of financial professionals

Investor Resources

  • Search for Financial Professionals

    To check on the registration status of an agent or broker-dealer, you may use FINRA BrokerCheck.

    You may check on an investment adviser or investment adviser representative at the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website.

  • Research Old Stock Certificates

    The Division of Securities occasionally receives inquiries regarding the status of old stock certificates. These resources may assist you in your search. Research Old Stock Certificates.

  • Starting an Investment Club

    This summary reviews only certain aspects of Chapter 551, Wis. Stats., for starting and operating an investment club. Other laws may also apply. Starting an Investment Club.

Registration of Professionals


Securities Registration and Exemption