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Are the exemptions mandatory?

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No, a firm that is exempt from registration can still register (or remain registered) with the SEC if they choose to do so, assuming the firm meets the requirements of Section 203A of the Advisers Act (more than $100 million in assets under management or qualifies for an exception to the prohibition from registering with the SEC). Investment advisers must also consider state registration requirements. A firm that is exempt from SEC registration may not necessarily be exempt from state registration and thus required to register directly with one or more state securities divisions.

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