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What is Series 11?

Laura M. Sands
Laura M. Sands

In the United States, Series 11 refers to a specific type of security licensing that a sales assistant must have before being able to take customer security orders that were not solicited. In order to be awarded such authority, a Series 11 exam must be taken and passed with a satisfactory score. After being licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a person with Series 11 approval is able to work under the supervision of and assist a licensed broker holding a Series 7 license.

An individual with this type of license works strictly in an assistant’s capacity. As such, this person performs clerical duties and is able to take telephone orders and process them. With this license, a person may also, under proper supervision, input orders in the Posit, SelectNet or Instinet systems used by brokerages to automatically execute trades.

Man climbing a rope
Man climbing a rope

In order to take the licensing examination, an individual must be sponsored by a qualified securities broker or dealer. The Series 11 examination covers a wide range of topics to properly assess a sales assistant’s knowledge in key financial areas. Such topics include bond concepts, the different types of securities and option contracts. Preparation for the exam takes approximately six weeks if a person studies for an average of two hours each day. The actual examination takes approximately one hour to complete and consists of 50 multiple choice questions.

A Series 11 licensee may not offer investment or financial advice, nor can she or he offer recommendations on security transactions. This person is also barred from soliciting new accounts for her or his firm. In order to be able to perform these duties, an additional license, such as a Series 7 license, is required.

As an assistant, the duties of a Series 11 licensee are strictly relegated to specific, albeit specialized, clerical tasks. Salaries for these specialized assistants may vary, but all are paid either hourly or according to a predetermined salary. Possessing a Series 11 license does not entitle an assistant to be paid any form of commission or additional compensation.

The official title given to Series 11 license holders is that of Assistant Representatives for Order Processing. All security licenses, including Series 3, Series 6, Series 7, Series 27 and Series 63, apply to different securities positions. Each of these is subject to the laws and regulations set forth by the Securities Exchange Commission. License holders are further regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which oversees each and every securities firm actively operating in the United States.

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