Holding Out FAQ - CFP Board

For CFP® Professionals


Holding Out


The new Code and Standards takes effect Oct. 1, 2019, and includes a range of important changes, including expanding the scope of the fiduciary standard that requires CFP® professionals to act in the best interest of the client at all times when providing financial advice.  Learn More

Look here for questions regarding how CFP Board’s Standards relate to current federal and state regulation.

CFP Board wants all CFP® professionals to have a thorough understanding of the Standards of Professional Conduct. Questions not answered in these FAQs may be sent to standards@cfpboard.org for consideration and possible inclusion in future revisions of this document.

Question 7-1: Do the Standards apply to those who hold CFP® certification but who do not display the CFP® marks or hold themselves out as financial planners?

Yes. The current Standards, as did the former Standards, require a baseline duty of care for all client relationships that involve an individual who holds CFP® certification. When CFP Board applies its Standards to an individual who holds CFP® certification, CFP Board’s focus is on the conduct of the CFP® professional, not only the titles used to describe the CFP® professional’s roles or services. A CFP® professional is obligated to abide by CFP Board’s the Standards, irrespective of whether the CFP® marks appear on the CFP® professional’s business cards or stationery. Removal of the CFP® marks from one’s business cards or stationery does not relieve a CFP® professional of the obligation to follow the Standards.

CFP® professionals have, on occasion, been asked by their companies to remove the CFP® marks from their business cards and promotional materials. Some such requests have been made based on misunderstandings of CFP Board’s Standards and their application. CFP Board encourages CFP® professionals in similar situations to notify CFP Board and to request that their company representatives contact CFP Board.

Did This Answer Your Question?

CFP Board welcomes questions about specific aspects of the Standards of Professional Conduct and their application to specific situations.

CFP Board will consider all questions submitted and draft a response where it determines that interpretation of the Standards is needed.  For responses that it believes would be helpful to all CFP® professionals, CFP Board will publish its response in CFP Board’s newsletters and on CFP Board’s website.

Send your questions and requests for guidance documents to CFP Board at standards@cfpboard.org.

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