Becoming a Member

The MFDA is the self-regulatory organization (“SRO”) for the distribution side of the Canadian mutual fund industry. Membership in the MFDA means that mutual fund dealers are subject to active and effective regulation. Membership is granted through a formal application process in which applicants demonstrate that they satisfy the requirements of the MFDA, as well as securities legislation.

Canada’s securities regulatory authorities (outside the province of Quebec) require that all mutual fund dealers be members of an SRO. Accordingly, businesses seeking to operate as mutual fund dealers (whether corporations or partnerships) must apply for membership in the MFDA. Please note that businesses, not individuals, apply for MFDA membership. The MFDA regulates the conduct of its Members. Individual mutual fund licensed advisors are regulated by the MFDA by virtue of their employment relationship with their sponsoring mutual fund dealer.

In Canada, becoming registered as a mutual fund dealer is a two-pronged process. A business must apply to become a Member of the MFDA and at the same time, it must apply to the securities regulatory authority in every jurisdiction in which it intends to operate to become registered as a mutual fund dealer.

Please review the MFDA Application Form for MFDA application requirements.

Applying for MFDA membership is a time-consuming and thorough process. Applicants should not take the decision to apply lightly. Some key points to consider when applying for membership in the MFDA are:

  • The non-refundable application deposit;
  • Selection of a dealer level;
  • Minimum capital requirements;
  • MFDA membership fees;
  • Insurance requirements;
  • Compliance resources and requirements;
  • Financial reporting requirements;
  • The development of a policies and procedures manual;
  • The provision of a detailed business plan;
  • MFDA Investor Protection Corporation fees; and
  • General ongoing obligations of MFDA Membership

The length of the application process is dependent upon the quality of information provided by the applicant in the application form. In cases where the applicant is slow to provide information, or the applicant provides incomplete information, the review of the application by MFDA staff will be delayed.

For information concerning the MFDA’s application process, please contact Membership Services at 1-888-466-6332 (Option #1) or

For information regarding the requirements for obtaining registration with the provincial and territorial securities regulatory authorities, please contact the appropriate authority listed on the Related Links page of this website.


Helpful downloads in pdf format:Language
Membership Application Form