Do you have to be licensed to give advice if not affiliated with a company?

Hi. So if I were to give investment advice via phone and email, but I don’t manage their money or make the trades and I work for my self and not employed at any or financial related firm do I have to be licensed with FINRA? And if so, how does an independent with no established LLC become licensed? Grazie.

An investment adviser is defined as “any person who, for compensation , engages in the business of advising others as to the value of securities or the advisability of investing in securities or, as part of a regular business, issues analyses or reports concerning securities.” Those entities need to register with the SEC and/or states.

I was about to say, I think if you hold yourself out to the public as someone who advises and receives payment for it, you are probably going to need some kind of licensing. If you are providing advice to friends and family and they treat you to a free massage or lunch in exchange, that’s probably not illegal, but it is likely unwise (for your friends and family).