The laws and regulations governing the solicitation and sale of annuities can be complex and vary greatly from state to state. You should discuss your particular situation with your legal counsel.
Annuities are regulated both as securities and as insurance products. Sales and solicitation of annuities must comply with federal and state securities laws and state insurance laws. If your clients reside in different states, then you may be subject to regulation by more than one state insurance regulator. Being registered with the SEC or a state securities department does not eliminate the need for compliance with state insurance laws.
State insurance laws prohibit individuals without the appropriate insurance agent license, and an appointment from the insurance company from negotiating, soliciting, procuring, or transacting insurance, including annuities. Many state insurance laws also prohibit individuals with a license from acting as an insurance advisor, consultant, or counselor, from giving or offering for compensation of any sort advice regarding the terms and conditions of an insurance contract. This includes the advisability of purchasing, changing, or surrendering and annuity.
In most states, the need to be licensed and appointed does not depend on the method of compensation.