Rule 204-4 – Reporting by Exempt Reporting Advisers

Proposed Rule 204-4 Pursuant to Dodd-Frank Act

The SEC has proposed certain new rules as well as amendments to existing rules under the Investment Advisers Act as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act.  The following proposed new rule 204-4 provides that certain “exempt reporting advisers” are required to file Form ADV with the SEC.  The instructions to Form ADV will specify which information on Form ADV is to be completed by such “exempt reporting advisers.”

The term “exempt reporting advisers” means an adviser exempt from SEC registration because:

  • the adviser only advises solely one or more “venture capital funds” (Advisers Act Section 203(l)); or
  • the adviser acts only as an adviser to private funds and has AUM in the US of less than $150MM (Advisers Act Section 203(m)).

The full proposed revised rule is reprinted below.


§ 275.204-4 Reporting by exempt reporting advisers.

(a) Exempt Reporting Advisers. If you are an investment adviser relying on the exemption from registering with the Commission under section 203(l) or (m) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 80b-3(l) or 80b-3(m)), you must complete and file reports on Form ADV (17 CFR 279.1) by following the instructions in the Form, which specify the information that an exempt reporting adviser must provide.

(b) Electronic Filing. You must file Form ADV electronically with the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD) unless you have received a hardship exemption under paragraph (e) of this section.

Note to paragraph (b): Information on how to file with the IARD is available on the Commission’s website at

(c) When filed. Each Form ADV is considered filed with the Commission upon acceptance by the IARD.

(d) Filing fees. You must pay FINRA (the operator of the IARD) a filing fee. The Commission has approved the amount of the filing fee. No portion of the filing fee is refundable. Your completed Form ADV will not be accepted by FINRA, and thus will not be considered filed with the Commission, until you have paid the filing fee.

(e) Temporary hardship exemption.

(1) Eligibility for exemption. If you have unanticipated technical difficulties that prevent submission of a filing to the IARD system, you may request a temporary hardship exemption from the requirements of this chapter to file electronically.

(2) Application procedures. To request a temporary hardship exemption, you must:

(i) File Form ADV-H (17 CFR 279.3) in paper format no later than one business day after the filing that is the subject of the ADV-H was due; and

(ii) Submit the filing that is the subject of the Form ADV-H in electronic format with the IARD no later than seven business days after the filing was due.

(3) Effective date – upon filing. The temporary hardship exemption will be granted when you file a completed Form ADV-H.

(f) Final Report. You must file a final report in accordance with instructions in Form ADV when:

(1) You cease operation as an investment adviser;

(2) You no longer meet the definition of exempt reporting adviser under paragraph (a); or

(3) You apply for registration with the Commission.

Note to paragraph (f): You do not have to pay a filing fee to file a final report on Form ADV through the IARD.


Bart Mallon, Esq. is a lawyer and providers hedge fund registration and compliance services through Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP.  He can be reached directly at 415-868-5345.

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