We assist many businesses that are obtaining registration as an exempt market dealer, adviser and/or investment fund manager for the first time. Often, those seeking registration for their start-up businesses have engaged in other types of activities prior to submitting their registration application. It is very important to ensure that public documentation (e.g. websites, brochures, social media, ads) do not utilize any titles that could erroneously imply that the firm or its employees are already registered or conduct registrable activity. For example, innocent use of titles such as “portfolio manager” or “investment advisor” found on social media during the application process will be noted during the registration review, and result in many discussions and explanations (and potential delays) that could otherwise have been avoided. The Securities Act (Ontario) prohibits holding oneself out to be in the business of trading or advising in securities unless registered (or exempt from registration) in accordance with securities law. These issues are also addressed in OSC Staff Notices, including OSC Staff Notice 33-748, found here.
November 30, 2021