How to Get a CUSIP Number

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CUSIP numbers help brokers identify specific securities.
CUSIP numbers help brokers identify specific securities. (Image: stocks and shares image by Fyerne from Fotolia.com)

A Committee on Uniform Securities' Identification Procedures number is given to a business so consumers can identify a particular security by just seeing the number. This number is how brokers recognize securities that they may wish to deal with. A security is a conglomerate of different types of investments, like stocks, bonds, notes, and partnership interests. If you're applying for a CUSIP number, you must be able to provide a prospectus that defines the types of securities you're offering for sale. The CUSIP system is owned by the American Bankers Association.

Log on to the CUSIP homepage and click on "Request an Identifier" at the top right of the screen.

Choose your identifier type according to the type of securities you're offering. If you want a corporate identifier, for example, choose Corporate. Then select the kinds of securities you're attempting to get an identifier for, whether it's debt, equity, or annuity.

Fill out your personal information, including your address. You'll also need to include your billing address, information about your business, and your underwriter. You may also want to include the name of your counsel and transfer agents.

Create a prospectus detailing the types of securities you'll be offering. It must be saved on your computer in either a Word, Excel, or PDF format. Upload this on the application form.

Hit submit and pay the required fees. Call 212-438-2000 and tell the receptionist whether you want to get a CUSIP number for a corporate or other account. She will connect you to an automated system that will help you figure out your fee based on your needs, if you want to know the price before going through the setup process.

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