Activities & Objectives

The activities of the Department of Securities consist of receiving and processing applications for registration or exemption of securities, business opportunities, takeovers and subdivided land offered in and/or from the state of Oklahoma, including reviewing the offering documents and sales material to be used; receiving and processing applications for registration of broker-dealers, agents, investment advisers, and investment adviser representatives; periodic on-site examining of registrants for compliance with the applicable acts; disseminating information through public lectures, programs, correspondence, and the press, so that professional groups and the public at large may become better acquainted with the requirements and provisions of the acts subject to the jurisdiction of the Department; investigating complaints concerning the offer and/or sale of securities, business opportunities, and subdivided land; taking administrative actions upon notice of violations of the acts; taking civil action where necessary; making criminal referrals to appropriate law enforcement officials, and/or by assisting in such prosecutions. The Department also receives filings of the final documents for bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness of any public trust.

Two methods of accomplishing the Commission’s objectives are the registration of securities and the registration of broker-dealers and investment advisers. Securities registration is intended to provide adequate and accurate disclosure of material facts concerning the issuer and the securities it intends to offer and sell. Such disclosure is intended to assist the investor in making an informed investment decision that meets his or her needs and goals. Securities registration requires but does not guarantee the accuracy of the facts represented by the persons responsible for the registration. The Oklahoma securities laws prohibit false and misleading statements under penalty of fine, imprisonment, civil penalty or administrative sanction. The laws also provide for recovery of damages by wronged investors in civil court actions. The Commission has no authority to award damages to wronged investors. The basic rule is that all securities must be registered before they are offered or sold. However, there are specific exemptions from registration for certain securities and securities transactions. Those exemptions are listed in the Oklahoma Uniform Securities Act of 2004. Whether or not securities are exempt from registration, the antifraud provisions of the law apply to all offers and sales. The registration of broker-dealers and investment advisers is another way the commission accomplishes its objectives. Broker-dealers, investment advisers and their agents and representatives must be registered before conducting business in Oklahoma unless fitting within exemptions for certain situations. Such registration must be must be kept current with periodic renewals and amendments showing significant changes in financial conditions and other important facts. Broker-dealers and investment advisers must conform their conduct and business practices to the standards prescribed by Oklahoma law. Violation of registration requirements or engaging in dishonest or unethical business practices subject these securities professionals to administrative, civil and possible criminal sanctions.

The enforcement duties of the Commission include investigation of possible violations of the Oklahoma securities laws and the taking of appropriate administrative or civil action or the making of criminal referrals to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Possible violations are revealed primarily through investor complaints or inquiries, referrals from other agencies, or the Commission’s own investigations. When investigations warrant further action, the Administrator may decide to issue subpoenas, take testimony or conduct hearings, commence administrative actions, file civil actions in court or pursue other action as appropriate.