The primary mission of
the Securities Division is to protect Maryland investors from investment fraud
and misrepresentation. To
report potential violations of the Maryland Securities Act, call us at
Title 2 Subtitle 02 Division of Securities
Securities, Franchise and Business Opportunity Acts
(stock brokerage firm) that solicits or does business in Maryland must register
with the Division. Similarly, any agents of the firm (stockbrokers) who do
business in Maryland must also register with the Division. The Act also requires
oversight by the Division of their conduct and standards of practice.
the requirements of the federal National Securities Markets Improvement Act of
1996, investment advisers and their representatives must register with the
Securities Division. The term "investment adviser" includes financial planners
and firms or individuals that act or hold out as investment advisers or
financial planners. An investment adviser is required to provide a client with
Form ADV, Part II, or other disclosure document no later than the time of
entering into a contract. To find out if an investment adviser or financial planner is or should be
registered in Maryland or is the subject of any complaints, contact the
Securities Division at (410) 576-7048.
Securities Act, also known as the "Blue Sky Law," requires that any person or
firm that seeks to sell securities to Maryland residents must first register
with the Division, unless the particular securities are exempt from the law's
registration requirement. To find out if a securities offering is or should be registered or exempt in
Maryland, contact the Securities Division at (410) 576-7050.
Any person or
company that intends to offer or sell franchises (a "franchisor") within
Maryland or to Maryland residents must register its franchise offering with the
Securities Division. A franchisor must also give a prospective franchisee a copy
of the disclosure document at least 14 calendar days before the execution of a
franchise agreement. To find out if a
franchise offering is registered in Maryland, or to report a potential violation
of the Franchise Law, contact the Securities Division at (410) 576-7786.
designed to assist franchisors seeking to register a franchise in Maryland
Information for Franchisors : Before you offer
a Franchise in Maryland.
Information on Renewing and
Amending a Franchise Registration
Securities Division also regulates the sale of certain "business opportunities"
in the state. Business opportunities are prepackaged small business deals
offered mainly to novice entrepreneurs through classified ads, home seminars and
business opportunity expos. Typical business opportunity deals involve the sale
of vending machines, pay telephones, amusement devices, greeting card display
racks and 900 telephone lines. Maryland's Business Opportunity Act requires that
sellers must file a disclosure statement with the Securities Division before
advertising or soliciting in Maryland. The seller also must provide a copy of
the disclosure statement to the buyer at least 10 business days before an
agreement is executed. To find out if a
business opportunity is registered in Maryland, or to report a potential
violation of the Business Opportunity Act, contact the Division at (410)
The Securities Division also investigates complaints about
potential violations of the investor protection laws it administers. In
appropriate cases, the Securities Commissioner may issue administrative stop
orders and cease and desist orders, to halt immediately any violations of the
laws. The Securities Division may also file civil enforcement actions in state
circuit court, or refer a case for criminal prosecution to the appropriate
state, local or federal authorities. To file a complaint or to report a potential violation of the law, call
The Securities Division
provides consumers with information they need to make appropriate investment
decisions and avoid securities fraud and abuse. The Division distributes
publications and videos, and conducts seminars to educate investors and increase
public awareness of investment fraud.
For further information, call 410-576-6882.
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD
(888) 743-0023 Attorney General's main switchboard
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
410-576-6300 / En español 410-230-1712 / 1-888-743-0023 toll-free / TTY: Dial 7-1-1 or 800-735-2258