Although we are certain that Shakespeare never had to deal with the vagaries of Regulation BI, we do, and, in a series of questions relating to Regulation BI, the SEC Staff made it abundantly clear that, if you are a broker-dealer and not also a registered investment adviser, you cannot use the term “adviser” or “advisor.”  See

The SEC Staff went further to state that, if the terms “adviser” or “advisor” are used in a name or title by a BD, who is not also registered as a RIA, the BD would be violating the disclosure requirements relating to its capacity as a BD pursuant to Regulation BI.   The SEC Staff, essentially, is stating you can only hold oneself out to be what one is registered to be (yet another play on a Shakespeare reference!).  Nonetheless, BDs may use those terms if they are acting as, among other things, a municipal advisor, commodity trading advisor, or advisor to a special entity.  Similarly, if you are both a BD and a RIA, you may use the terms “adviser” or “advisor” in the name or title.

In sum, one needs to be very careful how they describe themselves to the public, and securities counsel should be consulted prior to choosing or changing any securities entities’ name.