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Why a Competent Securities Attorney Should Review Your Employment Agreement Before You Sign It

When starting a new position as a stockbroker, it’s crucial to understand the details of your employment agreement. This document outlines the terms and conditions of your employment and can have a significant impact on your career. One way to ensure that your interests are protected is by having a competent securities attorney, who is familiar with the stock brokerage industry, review your employment agreement before you sign it.

Understanding Brokerage Protocol and Key Information

Brokerage protocol refers to a set of guidelines that many brokerage firms follow to govern the movement of brokers between firms. This protocol includes the transfer of five key pieces of information: the client’s name, address, phone number, email address, and account title. These details are essential for maintaining client relationships and ensuring a smooth transition. An experienced securities attorney can help you understand how the brokerage protocol applies to your situation and ensure that your new employment agreement aligns with these guidelines.

Solicitation and Advertising Clauses

Many employment agreements contain clauses related to the solicitation of clients and the use of advertising. Solicitation clauses dictate whether and how you can contact your former clients once you move to a new firm. Advertising clauses govern how you can market yourself and your services. A securities attorney can help you navigate these clauses to avoid potential legal pitfalls and ensure that you can continue to build and maintain your client base without violating your agreement.

Covenants Not to Compete

Non-compete clauses are common in employment agreements and can significantly impact your ability to work in your chosen field if you leave the firm. These covenants typically prevent you from working for a competitor or starting your own business within a certain geographic area and for a specified period. A securities attorney can review these clauses to determine if they are reasonable and enforceable. If they are overly restrictive, your attorney can negotiate more favorable terms on your behalf.

Promissory Notes and Payment Forgiveness

Some employment agreements include promissory notes, which are essentially loans provided by the firm to the broker. These notes often come with payment forgiveness provisions, commonly referred to as “bogies.” It’s essential to determine whether these bogies are realistic and achievable. A securities attorney can help you assess the terms of the promissory note and the likelihood of meeting the conditions for payment forgiveness. They can also negotiate terms that are more favorable and achievable based on your performance and market conditions.

Marketing Budget and Staff Support

A comprehensive employment agreement should also address your marketing budget and the level of staff support you will receive. These resources are critical for building and maintaining your client base. An attorney can review the agreement to ensure that you have the necessary tools and support to succeed in your new role. If the agreement lacks specifics or offers inadequate resources, your attorney can negotiate for a more substantial marketing budget and appropriate staff support.


Reviewing your employment agreement with the help of a competent securities attorney familiar with the stock brokerage industry is a crucial step in protecting your career and ensuring your success. From understanding brokerage protocol to navigating non-compete clauses, promissory notes, and marketing resources, an attorney can provide invaluable guidance and negotiation support. Before signing any agreement, make sure you have a legal expert on your side to safeguard your interests and set you up for long-term success in your new position.