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What Is SEC Form MA?

SEC Form MA, or the Municipal Advisor Form, must be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by municipal advisors. A municipal advisor is “a person (who is not a municipal entity or an employee of a municipal entity) providing advice to or on behalf of a municipal entity or obligated person with respect to municipal financial products or the issuance of municipal securities, or that undertakes a solicitation of a municipal entity or obligated person.” 

The requirement for filing SEC Form MA, as mandated by Section 975 of the Dodd-Frank Act—and which amended Section 15B of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, went into effect on July 1, 2014. According to Section 15B, it’s against the law for any municipal advisor to provide counsel—and receive fees—on when to issue securities and how to invest the profits from their sales without disclosing this activity via SEC Form MA, unless an exemption applies. 

SEC Form MA can either be submitted in XML format or through the SEC’s EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval) system. In addition, a Form MA-I must be filed to include each natural person associated with and engaged in municipal advisory activities. Within 45 days of submission of a complete Form MA, the SEC will either grant registration or deny it if the form contains incomplete or incorrect information.


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With nearly 50 years of global regulatory experience, and as one of the first companies to actively engage with the XBRL filing program, Merrill is uniquely qualified to help filers worldwide successfully navigate ever-changing global compliance requirements. With Merrill, you can manage regulatory disclosures with absolute security, precision and accuracy.

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