To prevent fraud, use the National Registration Search to check if your dealer or adviser is registered.

In Canada, anyone in the business of trading securities or advising clients on securities must be registered with the securities regulator in each province or territory where they do business, unless an exemption applies.

Registration helps protect investors because securities regulators will only register firms and individuals if they are properly qualified. The category of registration tells you what products and services a firm or individual can offer (for example, mutual fund dealing representatives can only sell mutual funds).

Being registered, however, doesn’t mean that all firms and individuals have the same skills, provide the same services or charge the same fees. Make sure you understand their qualifications, and the products or services they are selling you.

The National Registration Search is a web-based tool that provides information about individuals and firms registered with securities regulatory authorities in Canada.