Attorney General Henry McMaster

What We Do

The Securities Division:

aggressively enforces the South Carolina Uniform Securities Act against those individuals and firms who have violated it to the detriment of South Carolina investors

screens all applications for securities licenses and awards licenses only to those applicants who have demonstrated compliance with high legal and ethical standards

promotes investor education to help the investing public make informed decisions and avoid being defrauded by dishonest, unscrupulous persons

supports an equitable, competitive and efficient securities industry that contributes to the economic development of South Carolina and the well-being of its citizens

Registration of Stockbrokers

The investing public of South Carolina has the right to know that stock brokerage firms and individuals with whom they do business have been screened and are qualified to effect securities transactions.

All individual brokers-dealers and brokerage firms that do business in South Carolina must register with the Securities Division. This office licenses and regulates the conduct of brokerage firms and their agents. In addition, the Securities Division has access to a nationwide database of brokers and brokerage firms through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Dealers (FINRA) and can quickly find registration status of brokers anywhere in the United States.

To find out if a firm or individual is registered or is the subject of reportable complaints, contact the Securities Division at 803-734-9916.

Broker-Dealer Instructions Check List

Registration of Investment Advisors

Investment advisers, financial planners and their representatives doing business in South Carolina must register with the Securities Division, except as exempted by the National Securities Market Improvement Act of 1996.

The term "investment adviser" includes financial planners and firms or individuals that advertise, hold themselves out as or otherwise act as investment advisers or financial planners. To find out if an investment adviser or financial planner is registered in South Carolina or is the subject of reportable complaints, contact the Securities Division at 803-734-9916.

Investment Advisor Instructions/Check List

Registration of Securities

All securities offered for sale in South Carolina must be registered, unless the particular securities are exempt.

A security can be a stock, a bond or an option on futures. A security is any investment contract, transaction or scheme in which a person invests money in a common enterprise and is led to expect profits.

To find out if a security is registered in South Carolina or to learn more about exemptions from registrations, contact the Securities Division at 803-734-9916.

Enforcement of the SC Uniform Securities Act, Investor Education

The Securities Division is charged with enforcing the South Carolina Uniform Securities Act, which protects South Carolina investors against fraud and unfair or unethical practices. The Division investigates potential violations.

When the South Carolina Uniform Securities Act has been violated, the Securities Division may issue cease and desist orders or an administrative complaint and order suspension of broker-dealer, agent, investment adviser or investment adviser representative licenses.

Cases in which criminal activity are suspected may be referred to the appropriate state, local or federal authorities.

To file a complaint or report a possible violation of the law, go to Registering a Complaint on this site or call the Division at 803-734-9916.

The first line of defense that South Carolina investors have against fraud is education. Learning more about securities and the laws regulating their sale allows investors to safeguard their transactions and investments and to report possible violations of the Securities Act. Information is available at Educate Yourself on this Web site and by contacting the Division directly at 803-734-9916.

Reg D 504, 505, & 506 Filings