Who is a Broker?
A real estate broker is a licensed entity that is engaged in the business of real estate and commercial mortgage brokering in the State of New York.
As a broker you may perform the following activities:
- Sale, purchase, or exchange of real estate property
- Obtaining listings for sale of real estate property
- Assist buyers in identifying and purchasing a property
- Rental of real estate property
- Collecting rents
- Negotiating commercial mortgages
The real estate brokerage can be organized as an individual, proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, Limited Liability Company, or corporation. A broker can employ other brokers and salespersons.
Residential Mortgages Are Not Allowed
The Broker license does not allow you to engage in negotiation of residential real estate mortgages. Registration with the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) is required for residential mortgage brokering.
Who Should Get a Broker License?
A Broker license is ideal or you if you have a number of years of experience in the real estate and mortgage industry and desire to set up your own brokerage business.
Multiple Broker Licenses
A broker can hold more than one real estate broker license at the same time. A separate application, along with the application fee is required for each license.
Essential Facts - Broker License
Real Estate and Commercial Mortgage. Residential mortgage activities are not allowed
120 hour broker qualifying education course
Minimum 2 years NY Salesperson experience or 3 years real estate experience
Individuals, Partnership, Limited Partnership, LLC, LLP, Corporations
Lawful US resident. Need not be resident of NY State
License issued on the basis of holding license from certain other states
Division of Licensing Services (DLS)
Obtain 22.5 hours of continuing education within the term of the license
Types of Broker Licenses
The different categories of broker licenses are based on how the brokerage business is organized. The various types of Broker Licenses that you can obtain are:
- Individual Broker: An individual broker license allows you to conduct real estate and mortgage business under your personal name only. You can use the term "Licensed Real Estate Broker" after your personal name for use on signage, business cards, etc. The license does not allow you to be associated with any firm or company.
- Associated Broker: An associate broker license allows you to work under the name and supervision of another licensed broker. The supervising broker can be an individual, partnership, trade name, limited liability company or corporation. With an Associate Broker license you can work under more than one broker.
- Trade Name Broker: A trade name broker license allows you to conduct real estate brokerage business as a sole proprietorship using a trade name other than your personal name. A business certificate under the trade name must be filed with the Office of the County Clerk where the you do business.
- Partnership Broker: A partnership broker license allows you to conduct real estate brokerage business as a partnership with other brokers. Any partner in the partnership firm who wishes to engage in the business of real estate brokerage must be licensed as a real estate broker. A partnership certificate must be filed with the Office of the County Clerk where you do business.
- Limited Partnership Broker: A limited partnership broker license allows you to conduct real estate brokerage business under as a limited partnership or an assumed name of the limited partnership. Any partner in the limited partnership firm who wishes to engage in the business of real estate brokerage must be licensed as a real estate broker. A certificate of Limited Partnership or assumed name must be filed with the NYS Department of State, Division of Corporations.
- Corporate Broker: A Corporate broker license allows you to conduct real estate brokerage business under the corporate or an assumed name of a corporation. An officer of the corporation can apply for such license. Each officer of the corporation, who is in any form is involved in the business of real estate brokerage must be licensed as a broker. A Certificate of Incorporation, Assumed Name or Application for Authority must be filed with the NYS Department of State, Division of Corporations.
- LLC or LLP License: This license is available if you intend to conduct real estate brokerage that is organized as a limited liability company or limited liability partnership.
Eligibility Requirements for Obtaining a License
- Age: You must be 20 years of age or older.
- Residence: You must provide the proof of legal presence in the United States i.e. proof of US Citizenship or of legal alien status.
- Experience: You must have qualifying experience under any one of the following:
For the purpose of evaluation, full time is defined as 35 hours per week. This experience requirement is evaluated by using a point system as determined by the Department of State. The Broker Application Form has the tables to evaluate whether you qualify for a Broker license based on NY licensed Salesperson activities or based on equivalent experience in real estate business.
- At least two years of full time experience working as an active real estate salesperson
- At least three years of full time experience working in general real estate business
- A combination of both real estate salesperson experience and real general real estate experience.
- Education: You have to complete an approved 120 hour broker qualifying education course. You may be able to apply for a waiver to educational requirement if you have obtained equivalent level of education. For example, if you hold a degree from an accredited college with a major in real estate then you may apply for a waiver. Learn more in the Broker License Application webpage.
- Examination: You must pass a real estate broker examination based on the 120 hour pre-licensing curriculum. The examination is administered by the Department of State.
- NY State Driver’s License or Non-Driver ID Card: You are required to have a current New York State Driver License or Non-Driver ID card before completing the Broker Application. The license information is needed by the DLS to produce the photo ID cards.
- Business Name: You need to obtain an approval from DLS of all the business names before filing the Broker application. Once the name has been approved by DLS, you can file the Business Name with the appropriate county or Department of Corporations.
- Felonies: DLS may not issue you a license if you were convicted of a felony or sex offense in New York State or any other State unless you have received a pardon or certificate of relief. You should seek legal counsel or contact DLS to obtain further details on this prohibition.
- Child Support Payments: If you are obligated to pay child support payments, then should not be behind in child support payments by four or more months. DLS may deny or suspend a real estate license.
Qualification Exemptions for Members of State Bar
Members of New York State Bar are exempt from educational, experience and examination requirements. They can apply directly for the Broker license. Remember that the exemption is only for the qualification requirements that include education, experience, and examination requirements. The Bar members are still required to obtain a broker license before conducting real estate and commercial mortgage activities.
License Based on Out of State Licenses
If you hold a real estate broker license of a state with which New York has a Reciprocity Agreement, then you can apply for the NY real estate broker license on the basis of reciprocity.
States with which New York has a Reciprocity Agreement for brokers are:
- West Virginia
If taking advantage of the reciprocity agreement, you will have to submit following documents:
- Application Form: Completed Real Estate Broker/Associate Broker Application (DOS 0036-a).
- Good Standing Certificate: Original copy of the certification by the Real Estate Commission of the state where the license is currently held indicating current status as real estate broker with good standing. The certificate must be dated within six months from date of application.
- Certificate of Irrevocable Consent: Attach a completed Uniform Irrevocable Consent and Designation Foreign Entity (DOS-0017).
- Application Fees: Attach the application fees in the form of check or money order made payable to Department of State. Payment may also be made through credit card by using the Credit Card Authorization (DOS-1450). The application fee is $150.
Regulatory Definition of a Broker
§440 of NY Real Estate law defines a Real Estate Broker and Associate Real Estate Broker as:
§440(1) "Real estate broker" means any person, firm, limited liability company or corporation, who, for another and for a fee, commission or other valuable consideration, lists for sale, sells, at auction or otherwise, exchanges, buys or rents, or offers or attempts to negotiate a sale, at auction or otherwise, exchange, purchase or rental of an estate or interest in real estate, or collects or offers or attempts to collect rent for the use of real estate, or negotiates or offers or attempts to negotiate, a loan secured or to be secured by a mortgage, other than a residential mortgage loan, as defined in §590 of the Banking Law, or other incumbrance upon or transfer of real estate, or is engaged in the business of a tenant relocator, or who, notwithstanding any other provision of law, performs any of the above stated functions with respect to the resale of condominium property originally sold pursuant to the provisions of the General Business Law governing real estate syndication offerings.
§440 (2) "Associate real estate broker" means a licensed real estate broker who shall by choice elect to work under the name and supervision of another individual broker or another broker who is licensed under a partnership, trade name, limited liability company or corporation. Such individual shall retain his or her license as a real estate broker as provided for in this article; provided, however, that the practice of real estate sales and brokerage by such individual as an associate broker shall be governed exclusively by the provisions of this article as they pertain to real estate salespersons. Nothing contained herein shall preclude an individual who elects to be licensed as an associate broker from also retaining a separate real estate broker’s license under an individual, partnership, trade name, limited liability company or corporation.