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Mutual Fund Distributor – A Comprehensive Guide

Mutual Fund Distributor – A Comprehensive Guide
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Mutual fund distributor plays a pivotal role in the world of finance, acting as the intermediary between investors and mutual funds. These financial professionals are instrumental in helping individuals navigate the diverse landscape of investment opportunities offered by mutual funds. By offering their expertise, guidance, and personalised advice, mutual fund agents empower investors to make informed decisions about where to allocate their hard-earned money.

Who is a Mutual Fund Distributor?

Mutual Fund Distributors (MFDs) are financial intermediaries or individuals who aid investors in acquiring and managing mutual fund investments. These distributors are also known as mutual fund agents. These mutual fund agent lists play a crucial role in distributing and selling mutual fund products to retail investors. These intermediaries operate under the oversight and registration of the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).

AMFI distributor emphasises the importance of maintaining high ethical standards and integrity. Their services encompass investment advice, assisting clients in selecting appropriate mutual funds, facilitating the purchase and redemption of fund units, and offering ongoing support and guidance to investors. Thus, MF distributor commissions or fees are charged for their services. Also bridges the gap between mutual fund companies and individual investors seeking to construct diversified investment portfolios.

Role of MF Distributor

Mutual Fund Distributors play a crucial role in the mutual fund industry, as they help to bridge the gap between mutual fund houses and investors. They play several important roles, including:

  • Educating Investors About MFs: The Mutual Fund Distributor plays a vital role. They help educate investors about the different types of mutual funds available, their features, benefits, and risks. They help them understand how mutual funds work and how to choose the right scheme(s) for their individual needs.
  • Advising Investors on Their Investments: Mutual Fund Distributors can provide investors with personalised advice on their mutual fund investments. Assess an investor’s risk tolerance, financial goals, and investment horizon and recommend suitable mutual fund schemes accordingly.
  • Facilitating Transactions: MF Distributors can help investors buy and sell mutual fund units, switch between different mutual fund schemes, and redeem their investments.
  • Providing Ongoing Support: MF Distributor can provide investors with ongoing support and guidance on their mutual fund investments. They can keep investors updated on the performance of their investments, and help them to make informed investment decisions.

Eligibility of a Mutual Fund Distributor

After getting all hyped about the mutual fund distributor job description, you may wonder about the steps to become a mutual fund agent and the regulating agency involved. Mutual Fund Distributors significantly impact the industry, thus, the eligibility criteria are stringent. The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) has established a rigorous registration procedure with the following conditions:

  • The aspiring distributor must be at least 18 years old.
  • They should have completed either 12th grade or 10th grade with a three-year diploma.
  • The candidate can get help from NISM mutual fund exams books or the NISM mutual fund study material that is widely available. 
  • Passing the NISM Series V-A certification test is mandatory, as mandated by SEBI.
  • Successful completion of the NISM mutual fund distributor certification leads to issuing an AMFI Registration Number (ARN). This enables registration as a mutual fund agent.
  • Alongside ARN, candidates receive an Employee Unique Identification Number (EUIN).
  • The NISM certification remains valid for approximately three years from the mutual fund distributor exam date. Holding more than one ARN or registration letter is not permitted.
  • After obtaining ARN, candidates must approach Asset Management Companies (AMCs) for empanelment. Subsequently, they can promote and conduct mutual fund distribution business with these AMCs.
  • Registered intermediaries must exercise caution, as they can face deregistration as the ultimate consequence under the following circumstances. 
  1. Violation of the code of conduct.
  2. When an intermediary is charged with serious offences according to the regulatory authority.
  3. When a consumer court upholds a complaint of gross negligence.

How to Become a Mutual Fund Distributor in India?

In India, there are a few key steps to becoming a Mutual Fund Distributor:

Step 1: Pass the NISM-Series-V-A Exam

This is a mandatory certification exam conducted by the National Institute of Securities Market (NISM). It ensures the foundational knowledge of mutual funds. The exam covers topics like different types of mutual funds, risk profiling, KYC norms, and investment processes. 

Step 2: Get Your AMFI Registration Number (ARN)

After passing the NISM exam, you must register with the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) to obtain a unique ARN number. This ARN identifies you as a registered distributor.

Step 3: Direct access to other mutual funds or join the online Mutual Fund Distribution Platform

After applying for an AMFI registration number, you will need to sign up with every mutual fund company. Alternatively, you can register yourself using an online mutual fund distribution platform.

Step 4: Work with your customers on how to provide appropriate mutual fund schemes 

Responsibilities of a MF Distributor

A good mutual fund distributor can utilise skills to cater to investors’ needs and queries. MF Distributors should thoroughly analyse an investor’s profile and offer tailored investment recommendations. This ensures investors are well-informed about suitable schemes matching their profiles. 

Thus, let’s explore the key responsibilities of a mutual fund distributor.

  • Educating Investors About Mutual Funds: MF Distributors must educate investors about the different types of mutual funds available. Like their features, benefits, and risks. They must also help investors understand how mutual funds work and how to choose the right scheme(s) for their individual needs and financial goals.
  • Advising Investors on their Investments: Mutual Funds Distributors offers tailored advice, considering an investor’s risk tolerance, financial objectives, and investment horizon. They recommend suitable mutual fund options accordingly.
  • Facilitating Transactions: The mutual fund distributor must assist investors in purchasing, selling, switching between, and redeeming mutual fund units.
  • Providing Ongoing Support: Mutual Fund Distributors must provide continuous guidance and updates on investment performance, ensuring investors make informed decisions.

How Does a Mutual Fund Distributor Earn?

The mutual fund industry in India has experienced remarkable growth, leading to lucrative opportunities for agents and distributors associated with these platforms. Mutual fund distributors earn commissions based on their clients’ investments. Typically in the form of trail commissions that continue throughout the lifetime of the investment. As clients’ investments grow, so do the commissions distributors earn.

How You Can Choose the Right Mutual Fund Distributors (MFDs)?

Choosing the right mutual fund distributor (MFD) is important, as they can help you make informed investment decisions and achieve your financial goals. Here are some of the guidelines for choosing a distributor in the mutual fund distribution business:

  • Ask for referrals from your friends, family, or colleagues.
  • Look out for mutual fund agents who can understand your financial goals, backgrounds & risk tolerance. 
  • Check the MF Distributor qualifications and experience. You can check the AMFI website to verify the mutual fund distributor list and to learn more about their qualifications and experience.
  • You should be able to reach your mutual fund distributor easily and they should be responsive to your queries and requests.
  • Your MF Distributor should be transparent about their fees and charges.
  • Ensure the fund distributor adheres to the regulatory standards of AMFI and SEBI. Also possesses the necessary certifications to safeguard against potential theft or fraud.

Are Mutual Fund Distributors and Investment Advisors Different?

Now let’s address the elephant in the room, ‘Are Mutual Fund Distributors and Investment Advisors Similar or Different?’

Well, let’s find that out in the following table.

CharacteristicMutual Fund DistributorInvestment Advisor
FocusMutual fundsAll types of investments
QualificationsAMFI certificationVaries by state
Regulatory OversightRegulated by SEBI (in India) and AMFISubject to SEBI regulations (in India)
FeesTypically paid by mutual fund houseFlat fee or commission
ServicesSell mutual funds, provide basic investment adviceComprehensive financial planning and investment advice
Credentials RequiredNISM Series VA Mutual Fund Distributors Certification (in India)SEBI Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) certification (in India)

Undeniable Advantages of Becoming a MF Distributor

There are many benefits to becoming the best mutual fund distributor (MFD), including:

  • Lucrative Income Potential: Mutual fund distributor commission is usually marked on every mutual fund investment they make for their clients. With the growing popularity of mutual funds in India, the potential to earn a good income as an MFD is significant.
  • Flexible Work Schedule: MF Distributors have flexible working hours. This can be a major plus for people who value flexibility in their work lives.
  • Opportunity to Build Relationships with Clients: Mutual Fund Distributors can build strong relationships helping their clients to achieve their financial goals. This can be an enriching experience.
  • Professional Growth and Development: The dynamic mutual fund industry offers continuous learning opportunities. AMFI and other industry organisations offer a variety of training and development programs to help MFDs stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the mutual fund distributor business.
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunities: Fund distributors can embrace their entrepreneurial spirit by establishing their client base and marketing services to potential investors. Making it an avenue to start their own business.

To Wrap It Up…

In conclusion, AMFI registered Mutual Fund Distributors play a pivotal role in simplifying the world of mutual fund investments for individuals. They offer valuable guidance, facilitate transactions, and build lasting client relationships. As the mutual fund industry continues to evolve, these financial intermediaries are poised to remain essential in helping investors achieve their financial goals and navigate the complex landscape of mutual fund investments.


1. How can I become a MF distributor?

To become the best mutual fund distributor in India, you must:
(a) Pass the NISM Series V-A: Mutual Fund Distributors Certification Examination.
(b) Apply for and obtain an AMFI Registration Number (ARN) from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).
(c) Get empanelled with different mutual fund houses.

2. What is the salary of a mutual fund distributor?

Mutual fund distributors receive commissions from client investments, disbursed as ongoing trail commissions throughout the investment.

3. What is the minimum qualification of mutual fund agent?

While any individual above the age of 18 years can act as a mutual fund distributor, most corporate entities look for graduates with basic knowledge of mutual funds. To start, you need the NISM Series VA certification and AMFI registration.

4. Is mutual fund distribution taxable?

Yes, mutual fund distribution is taxable in India. Dividends received from mutual funds are taxed at the investor’s income tax slab rate.