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How to Become a Mutual Fund Agent or Distributor in India

How to become a Mutual Fund Agent / Mutual Fund Distributor in India?

Being a Mutual Fund Agent / Distributor can be a great part-time source of revenue for most people in India. With more than 40 Asset Management Companies having above 11500 schemes, constituting about 16 lakh crores of Assets Under Management (AUM), clearly only a bunch of 15000+ active distributors won’t be sufficient.

So here’s a simple guide to how to become a Mutual Fund Distributor in India:

Step 1: Pass the NISM Series V-A: Mutual Fund Distributors Certification Examination

While there is no certain minimum eligibility criteria for becoming a MF distributor, any person who is able to pass the NISM’s Mutual Fund Distributor exam is eligible to become an agent/distributor. The exam however requires significant amount of study and preparation. The study material is available here and all questions are generally asked from this workbook. As per NISM website, only 60% exam takers pass this exam, so taking the exam casually may be very dangerous. However, the good news is that there are good amount of mock tests and practice exams available so that you have high chances of passing. Exemption from taking examination is available to people above the age of 50 years (as on June 01, 2010) by attending a one-day training program by NISM called NISM Continuing Professional Education (CPE) earlier called as AMFI Refresher Course.

Registration and Enrollment procedure for both exam and CPE is completely online at https://certifications.nism.ac.in

Fees for NISM Series VA Mutual Fund Distributors Certification Exam is Rs. 1500/- and NISM Mutual Fund CPE is Rs. 2500/- and certificate is generally received within 10 days.

Step 2: Register with AMFI through CAMS Office

Once you have passed the NISM Series V-A: Mutual Fund Distributors Certification Exam, you are now eligible to be a distributor. You will now be required to undergo a Know Your Distributor (KYD) procedure alongwith the AMFI Registration Number (ARN) application form. This is a small application form requiring your details such as name, address, photograph, qualifications, NISM Mutual Fund Distributor Exam details, bank details, payment details.

The fees for individuals is Rs. 3000/- and is to be made in the form of Demand Draft.

Duly filled in forms need to be submitted to any of the CAMS Offices. If you are not KYD compliant, you will be required to be physically present in CAMS office for submitting your form alongwith your biometrics (finger-prints). Once the procedure is completed, you will receive your ARN Card within a few days at your registered address.

Step 3: Register with AMCs

Now that you have an AMFI Registration Number (ARN), you are free to distribute mutual funds and receive commission. However, there is another small but tedious procedure before you can start working. You will need to register with each mutual fund house / asset management company so that you will receive commission, application forms, marketing material, etc. There are more than 40 mutual fund houses and you may select the top 5-6 fund houses such as HDFC Mutual Fund, Reliance Mutual Fund, ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund, Axis Mutual Fund, SBI Mutual Fund, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund, etc. Alternately, you may avoid the hassles of registering with each mutual fund individually and get registered with National Distributors such as NJ Invest, Funds India, Almondz, etc. This will save you from registration hassles of each mutual fund, but you will have to shell off part of your commissions to these distributors (about 20% to 40%).

So, to sum up all, these 3 steps will make you a Mutual Fund Distributor and open up a new line of income for you and your family. Under normal circumstances, the entire procedure should not take more than a month and a half including the time to prepare for the examination. So best of luck.

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