What is a Series 7 License?

This license enables a person to sell almost any form of individual security including preferred and common stock, bonds, options and fixed income investments.

A good career awaits people who wish to work at a brokerage firm and sell securities for a living. To do this a person must have a Series 7 license.


A person who has passed the Series 7 license exam will be knowledgeable on the securities market’s laws, taxes, economics, marketing and more. The exam is designed to ensure a person knows enough to do competent work.

Having this license also lets the customers of a brokerage firm know they are investing with someone who understands securities markets. Having a Series 7 license identifies a person as an authentic broker. They are not someone who is committing any type of fraud.

Examination Sponsor

When a person wants to get a Series 7 license, they must be employed with a company that holds membership with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

A person can also take the exam if they’re sponsored by a Self Regulating Organization (SRO). The exam can only be taken when a person has a qualified sponsor. In many cases, people aren’t able to work for such a company without a Series 7 license. It’s common for people to work at a brokerage firm as an intern to get sponsorship for the exam. They will do work that does not require a series 7 license.

Exam Locations and Times

There are many Series 7 examination centers located around the United States and in several foreign countries. Many of the exam centers offer tests at various times. FINRA maintains a list of testing centers and times the test is offered.


The Series 7 license examination takes approximately six hours. It is broken down into two sessions. Each session is three hours long. The first exam session is administered in the morning. Once that is completed, applicants are provided an hour break. They then must return to the testing center in the afternoon to finish the second session. The test is given online. Applicants are able to know if they have passed the exam immediately after finishing.

Structure of Series 7 License Examination

Applicants must answer 260 multiple choice questions. Each question will have four possible answers. The examination provides ten sample questions. The responses to these determine if the questions will be used for future exams. The percentage of correct responses to pass this section will be based on 250 questions. Topics will cover everything from providing information to customers, knowledge of the securities markets as well as opening an account for a client and more.


Should a person fail the Series 7 license exam, they will be able to retake it after 30 days. There are organizations that help people study for the Series 7 license exam. They provide applicants with practice exams as well as the important skills for taking tests and more.


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