Series 6

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on September 12, 2023

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What Is Series 6?

A Series 6 license is a securities license that enables the holder to register as a company's representative and sell packaged securities.

The Series 6 exam is administered by FINRA, which is the government-authorized, non-profit organization responsible for administering all securities licensing procedures and requirements testing.

FINRA tests on behalf of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)--the group of state and provincial regulators tasked with protecting investors.

Qualifications for a Series 6

In order to sit for the Series 6 exam, candidates for a Series 6 license are required to have a sponsor from a FINRA-member firm or a self-regulatory organization.

Other exams that require a sponsor include the following:

  • Series 7 - General Securities Representative (GS)
  • Series 22 - DPP Representative (DR)
  • Series 57 - Securities Trader (TD)
  • Series 79 - Investment Banking Representative (IB)
  • Series 82 - Private Securities Offerings Representative (PR)
  • Series 86 and 87 - Research Analyst (RS)
  • Series 99 - Operations Professional (OS)

Permitted Activities

Someone who holds a Series 6 license is known as a "limited representative" —they are limited in the sense of what securities they are licensed to sell.

This stands in contrast with the Series 7 license, which enables the license holder to trade in all securities except commodities and futures.

Someone who holds a Series 6 license is qualified for the solicitation, purchase and/or sale of the following securities products:

  • Variable Life Insurance
  • Unit Investment Trusts (UITs)
  • Municipal Fund Securities

Series 6 Exam Structure

The following is a breakdown of the exam:

  • 12 questions on seeking business for the broker-dealer from customers and potential customers.
  • 8 questions on opening accounts after obtaining and evaluating customers' financial profile and investment objectives.
  • 25 questions on providing customers with information about investments, making suitable recommendations, transferring assets, and maintaining appropriate records.
  • 5 questions on obtaining and verifying customers' purchase and sales instructions—processing, completing, and confirming transactions.

Co-requisites: Series 6, Series 63, and SIE Exam

Candidates for the Series 6 exam must also pass the co-requisite Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) and Series 63 exams to be fully eligible to buy and sell securities.

The SIE exam covers concepts fundamental to working in the industry and the Series 63 is a state-level exam that ensures brokers have covered state securities regulations and rules prohibiting dishonest or unethical practices.

Recommended Order for Taking Securities Tests

Kaplan, the publisher of the most widely adopted textbook on the Series 6 license, recommends taking exams in the following order:

  • Pass the SIE
  • Secure sponsorship for top-off exams
  • Take Series 6 and/or Series 7
  • Finally the Take the Series 63

Series 6 FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.

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