Broker CRD Number

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on March 09, 2024

Are You Retirement Ready?

What Is a Broker CRD Number?

A Broker CRD (Central Registration Depository) number is a unique identifier assigned to individual financial professionals registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

It is an identification number for brokers, investment advisers, broker-dealers, and their firms. The CRD system tracks every professional’s information, such as licensing status and history, qualifications, disciplinary action, employment history, and other associated records.

The broker CRD number is an important registration tool that helps investors access pertinent information to protect against fraudulent activities.

Information You Can Find Using a Broker CRD Number

Through the CRD program, FINRA facilitates the registration and licensing of financial professionals and brokerage firms in the U.S. A CRD number is appointed to an individual or brokerage when they enroll with FINRA.

You can input the CRD number when searching for individuals and firms in BrokerCheck. It will give you access to a broker's complete employment history, with details about previous firms and inclusive dates. You can also view an individual's licenses and certifications.

Most importantly, you can see disclosures details about any complaints and disciplinary actions taken against brokers or their firms. Specific allegations are listed, as well as the broker's response and the settlement agreement, if applicable.

Importance of a Broker CRD Number

The decision to invest your hard-earned assets should not be taken lightly. Therefore, it is important to research a broker or firm’s background before choosing them as your representative.

Using a broker CRD number gives you an idea of the potential individual or brokerage's competence through their licenses and certifications. You may also contact former employers for character references and additional background checks.

Access to disclosures helps protect you from fraudulent activities by identifying individuals or firms who have been associated with disciplinary actions such as customer complaints and litigations.

How to Check Your Broker Using the CRD Number

Follow these easy steps in conducting a background check on a potential broker using the CRD number:

Search Your Broker

Go to FINRA's BrokerCheck website. You can check either an individual or a brokerage firm. Enter the CRD number and hit "Search." The CRD number allows a more accurate search than inputting names since brokers or firms can have similar names.

You may also narrow your search further by specifying a location.


Review Employment History & Experience

Once you have identified the correct broker, review their employment history to find details about former employers and the dates they were associated with each firm. You may even contact them later for further information.

Though not a certainty of investment returns, working with a veteran broker gives you additional assurance that they know how the market works.

Check Licenses & Exam History

Examine a potential broker's licenses and certifications. Look for potential red flags in a broker's license history, such as failed exams or expired licenses. These can be indicators of inexperience, lack of knowledge, or negligence.

Look into a professional’s qualifications in detail — what they studied, when they graduated, and which qualifying exams they have successfully taken. It gives you an idea of their areas of specialization and whether they keep updated with the latest developments in their field.

Read Any Disclosures

Inspect such records thoroughly to ensure that you are not getting involved with someone who has been accused of fraud or other unethical activities. It is important to read both the complaint and the settlement agreement for each case.

However, remember that certain types of disclosures may not appear unless a settlement agreement or court decision is made. Review each disclosure carefully to ensure the issue has already been resolved and whether any further action needs to be taken.


Final Thoughts

A CRD number is a valuable tool for researching the background of potential brokers and firms. It allows you to get access to their employment history, licenses, and certifications — details that can help protect you from fraudulent activities or negligent advice.

Make sure to thoroughly examine each record before hiring a broker so that you can make an informed decision about your investments. If ever in doubt, you should always contact FINRA for clarification on any records found during your search.

Finally, consult a professional financial advisor before deciding. The security of your hard-earned assets is too important not to take all necessary precautions when investing with a broker or firm.

Broker CRD Number 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.

Meet Top Certified Financial Advisors Near You