Certified Agents: Frequently Asked Questions

Agents / FAQs

How do I apply for the upcoming Agent Exam?

The Application to become a Certified NBPA Agent can be found on our website within the Becoming An Agent webpage during open application window. The application window for 2021 certification eligibility closed at 11:59PM on November 1, 2020. 

The exam will be virtually administered in February or March of 2021. 

The application will be completed and submitted electronically. 

Extensions to remit payment will not be granted.  Please do not contact the NBPA and request to submit an application outside of the window. 

Payments not received in a timely manner from the date an application was submitted will be denied. You will be permitted to resubmit an application, along with your payment up until the November 1, 2020 deadline. 

Do I need to submit the application fee at the same time I submit the application?

Yes. Instructions on how to submit your payment will be provided within the application and may also be found below. Applications will not begin to be processed until the total amount ($1,500) has been received and cleared. 

Failure to remit payment in a timely manner from the date your application was submitted will result in a denial of your application. All payments must be received prior to November 1, 2020 and within 15 days from the date you submitted your application. 

Instructions for payment are as follows: 

International applicants are required to submit their application fees via wire transfer. 

Your payment must account for any fees associated with your wire transfer. Please consult your financial institution with regards to any transfer fees and be aware that insufficient fee payments will delay your application process.

Application fees in the amount of $1,500.00 USD + USD wire transfer fee should be made payable to the following account:

Bank Name: Bank of America

Bank Address: 1 Bryant Park, 36th Floor New York, NY 10036

Account Holder Name: National Basketball Players Association

Account Holder Address: 1133 Avenue of the Americas, 5th Floor New York, NY 10036 United States

Bank Swift Code: BOFAUS3N

Bank ABA: 026009593

Bank Account number: 48306598-3831

First and last name must be provided in the beneficiary reference box and must say 2020 Agent Application.

Example: Jane Doe, Application fee for 2021 Agent Exam

Domestic applicants are permitted to submit their application fees via wire transfer or via personal check, money order, or certified check by mail. 

Should you choose to wire your application fees, please follow the instructions below:

Your payment must account for any fees associated with your wire transfer. Please consult your financial institution with regards to any transfer fees and be aware that insufficient fee payments will delay your application process.

Application fees in the amount of $1,500.00 USD + USD wire transfer fee should be made payable to the following account:

Bank of America
Account# 483065983831
ABA # 026009593
Swift Code# BOFAUS3N

First and last name must be provided in the beneficiary reference box and must say 2020 Agent Application.

Example: Jane Doe, Application fee for 2021 Agent Exam

Should you choose to pay your application fees by mail via personal check, money order, or certified check, please follow the instructions below:

Payment may be in the form of a personal check, certified check, or money order. Regardless of the form of payment, the following information MUST be included on the negotiable instrument: Applicant's First Name and Last Name, " Application fee for 2021 Agent Exam"

Fees should be made payable to: The National Basketball Players Association

Below are two addresses to which your payment may be delivered. One address is for overnight payments, the other is for regular mail (please choose one). Please be advised that payments received after the deadline will be rejected. NO exceptions will be made. Applicants are responsible for ensuring their payment is received by the deadline provided above.

Post Office Remittance Address:

National Basketball Players Association

P.O. Box 7410150

Chicago, IL 60674-0150

Overnight Mail:

Bank of America Lockbox Services

National Basketball Players Association 7410150

540 W. Madison, 4th Floor

Chicago Illinois, 60661

Can I pay with a credit card?

The NBPA does not accept credit card payments for the application fees or agent dues (initial or annual).

Please be advised that payment for the 2020 Agent Application must be submitted in one of the following forms: 

  1. Wire Transfer (to include all processing fees charged by your financial institute)
  2. Certified Check to be mailed to disclosed location identified within application
  3. Money Order to be mailed to disclosed location identified within application
  4. Personal Check to be mailed to disclosed location identified within application

Please be advised that payments made via mail must be received by November 1, 2020. Payment received after the deadline will be denied for failure to submit in a timely manner. 

Failure to remit payment in a timely manner from the date your application was submitted will result in a denial of your application. 

***All payments must be received prior to November 1, 2020 or within 15 days from the date you submitted your application, whichever comes first.***


Are international applicants permitted to apply and sit for the exam?

Yes. The NBPA has several International Agents. Within the Application, you will indicate if you are a Non-U.S. Citizen applying and will be directed to provide the necessary documents required to do so. 

Can I preview the Agent Application before beginning the process?

Yes. Please note that the application can only be submitted electronically and will not be accepted in any other form. To preview the NBPA Agent Application, please see below:

Sample 2021 NBPA Agent Application

I did not pass the last examination successfully, or my application was approved and I was unable to sit for the exam, how should I reapply for the next agent exam?

For the 2019 application window, all returning applicants will need to resubmit a complete application. This process is subject to change. 

Am I eligible to sit for the exam if I do not meet the minimum degree requirements?

The NBPA may accept sufficient and relevant negotiating experience in lieu of the degree requirement . You will need to provide supporting documentation as well as an addendum stating why your experience should be accepted in lieu of a degree. Exceptions are granted on a case-by-case basis and an answer cannot be provided until your application, documents, and addendum are reviewed by the NBPA. The addendum and supporting documentation You should submit the aforementioned addendum and supporting documentation should be submitted electronically with your application by clicking “upload additional documents” on the Attachment page. Please note that the application fee is non-refundable even if your negotiating experience is not considered accepted in lieu of the degree requirements. 

I do not currently have my Bachelors Degree but will by the time of the exam. Can I still apply?

Yes, however you will need to provide a letter from your college/university admissions office stating your expected graduation date. Transcripts should still be provided. Proof or graduation must be provided prior to sitting for the exam. It is your responsibility to follow up with the NBPA regarding your Diploma. You will not be permitted to sit for the exam until all required documents are received. 

What does “Accredited College or University” mean?

A College or University recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or the Office of Degree Authorization (ODA). Any foreign institution must have the foreign equivalent of U.S. approved accreditation as determined by the Office of Degree Authorization. 

CLICK HERE  for U.S. Accredited Colleges or Universities 

What are the steps of becoming a Certified NBPA Player Agent?

You've submitted your application to become an NBPA Player Agent, now what?

The NBPA has a thorough review process for each applicant who wishes to become a Certified NBPA Player Agent. When an agent is certified by the NBPA, they are granted access to our members to an unparalleled degree, which means it is our responsibility to thoroughly vet anyone applying for this certification. Below is a breakdown of the application process. 

Step 1 - Once your application is submitted and your payment is received, your application undergoes an initial review process to ensure all sections are complete and all necessary documents and information are available. 

Step 2 - Your application will then begin the background investigation phase of the process. This entails verification of the information provided on your application, including a verification of your education, professional certificates, work experience, civil and criminal history, as well as your social media platforms. 

Step 3 - Review of your background results by the NBPA. During this step, you may be contacted by a member the NBPA Legal Team should there be any questions or concerns regarding your results. If so, you will be asked to provide additional details and may be required to provide supporting documentation. 

Tip: It is better to disclose anything that may come up during your background investigation within your application for two reasons; (1) to avoid delay in the application process should we be inclined to follow up for additional information and (2) failure to disclose serious facts about your history can result in denial of your application. While all applicants will be given the chance to explain any situation that the NBPA deems explainable, failure to disclose can negatively impact the decision to approve or deny your application. 

Step 4 - Applicants are provided notice (via email) whether or not they are approved to take the 2021 Agent Exam. If you are approved, you will be provided with the date and time of the 2021 NBPA Player Agent review session and examination. Additional details regarding the location of the exam will also be provided at this time. Please be advised that the 2021 Examination will be administered remotely and travel to NYC will not be required as it has been so in the past. You will be asked to RSVP to the review session and the exam at this time as well. 

Step 5 - Study! The CBA sections covered in the exam as well as sample exam questions are available within this FAQ. Please read the FAQ section thoroughly. 

Step 6 - Attend the review session and sit for the examination which will be offered in either January or February of 2021. TBA

Step 7 - Results from examination will be released within fourteen business days of the test date. Applicants will be given either a pass or fail grade and will not be able to view the actual results of the exam due to usage of questions in future examination. In addition to your  results, applicants who successfully passed the exam will be provided with their NBPA Player Agent Certificate and other additional resources. 

One more note from the NBPA: Please do not inquire about the status of your application, due to the volume of applications received, status updates are not provided. Please be sure to add "legal@nbpa.com" to your email address book and periodically check your spam and junk mail for our email.  

What does the review session entail?

The review session is not mandatory but highly recommended. The review will be offered the day prior to the exam and is an opportunity to gain clarification and address any concerns on the study materials for the exam. There will be a brief overview of the CBA, Agent Regulations, Salary Cap and additional exam topics but should not be considered as a “prep course” for the exam. You should bring all of your printed study materials and notes to the review. Please be advised that the NBPA Agent Certification Exam changes annually and as such, does not recognize or recommend any external courses or programs in preparation of the exam. 

Agent Exam Preparation - Study Guides & Sample Questions

The NBPA does not provide practice exams, however, sample exam questions can be found at the very bottom of this section.  

The NBPA is the only entity authorized by the Federal Government to Certify and Regulate NBA Player Agents. The Player Agent examination is authored and administered only by the NBPA and no external entities are consulted or knowing of the questions and/or contents of the exam, which changes from year to year. Applicants are encouraged to be cautious of third parties seeking payment in exchange for preparation courses or claiming to have the ability to certify an individual as a NBA Player Agent. With that in mind, there are reputable sources publicly available on the internet that provide excellent CBA FAQs - free of charge (Do not ask for us to identify third party resources, as they can be easily located with a bit of due diligence and google).  

While agents should be familiar with the CBA in its entirety, for the purposes of the exam, the following sections of the CBA may be used a guideline for what is covered on the exam: 

  • Article II

  • Article VII (excluding subsection1)

  • Article VIII

  • Article IX

  • Article X

  • Article XI

  • Article XII

  • Article XXIV

  • Article XXV

  • Article XXVII

  • Article XXIX

  • Article XXXVI

  • Article XLI

  • Exhibit A-C


Question 1: The Nuggets have $10M in Cap Room in the 2017 off-season.  They then sign John Denver, who played the prior season with the Phoenix Suns, to a 1-Year $10M contract.  Next, the Nuggets want to sign their 2017 2nd Round Draft pick to a 1-Year contract paying him the highest Salary possible.

How much can they pay their 2nd Round Pick?

a)     $815,615 – using the Minimum Salary Exception
b)     $1,546,758 – using the Rookie Scale Exception
c)     $4,328,000 – using the Mid-Level for Room Exception
d)    $8,406,000 – using the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception

Correct Answer: C. A team doesn't get to use BOTH Salary Cap Room AND the mid-level exception. Once they create room, the exceptions essentially are replaced by the room.  The only "exception" to this general principle (other than the one-year minimum salary, which teams can always give), is the "Room Exception," which is specifically granted for teams that go under the Cap to use Room.  They get rewarded by having this additional exception to sign an additional player.  In our hypothetical, a team that is under the Cap by more than the amount of the Mid-level exception, does not get to use their Room AND also the mid-level exception.

Question 2: The Jazz want to trade Bob Cousy, who was signed to a one-year contract for $4M on July 10, 2019, to the Magic; only $2M of Cousy's Salary is protected for Skill and Injury/Illness.  The Jazz are interested in trading only Cousy and no other players.  Additionally, no matter how the trade is structured, the Jazz will be under the Luxury Tax after the trade.

What is the maximum amount of Salary the Jazz can receive in the trade?
a)     $2,000,000
b)    $3,600,000
c)     $4,000,000
d)    $7,100,000

Correct Answer: B. Non-taxpayers can receive 175% of a player's salary back in a trade, plus $100,000. While the player may make $4m this year, for trade purposes a player is considered to make only what they have earned/guaranteed this season. Since the player is only guaranteed $2m, it is $2m*1.75+$100,000= $3.6 million. 

Question 3: Gary Warren terminates his SPAC with his Agent on August 15, 2017.  When can you sign Gary to a new SPAC?

a)  August 16, 2017
b)  August 30, 2017
c)  September 15, 2017
d)  August 16, 2018

Correct Answer: B. After the 15-day cooling off period has expired. 

What will I need to bring on exam day?

The NBPA Agent Certification Examination is open book. You should bring a printed copy of the CBA (at least those sections covered in the exam), Agent Regulations, a calculator and any additional handwritten or printed notes. No electronics (other than a calculator) will be permitted into the examination room. 

Tip: The CBA sections covered on the exam can be found within FAQ question #3. 

When will the results be available and how will I be notified?

You will receive your exam results via email within 10-14 business days of the examination. If you pass the exam, you will receive your certificate as well as additional registration forms and links to aid your newly acquired certification. If you do not pass the exam, you will be provided instructions on how to obtain your score and verbally review your incorrect answers. You will not be able to review any examination questions or the specific answers to those questions as they may  be used in future exams.

What happens if I do not pass this year's examination?

If you do not pass this year's exam you may reapply during the following application window. At this time, there is not a limit for the number of times an applicant may sit for the exam.

If I pass the examination, when can I begin to represent NBA players?

You may begin to hold yourself out as a Certified NBPA Agent upon receipt of your Certificate. Be advised that passing the NBPA Agent Exam is a requirement for certification.  If you hold yourself out or act in any capacity as an NBPA Agent prior to passing the NBPA Agent Exam, you will be subject to discipline including, but not limited to, denial of certification. 

Does my NBPA Certification automatically permit me to represent NCAA and International Players?

Your certification as an NBPA Agent only grants you the ability to represent and negotiate contracts on behalf of NBA Players. Please contact the appropriate regulating bodies for information pertaining to certification requirements of NCAA and International Players(FIBA). Additionally, please note that there are also State and Federal regulations which govern Player Agents. To view your state’s requirements, please click here

How do I maintain my certification after passing the exam?

After becoming Certified by successfully passing the Agent Exam, your next responsibility is to attend one of the three Agent Seminars offered during either May or June. You must attend one of these Seminars for the first three years of your certification and may opt-out every other year thereafter. The Seminars are one day (usually around 8 hours) and are traditionally offered in LA, Chicago, and NYC. Agents are responsible for travel and lodging. Please be advised that the requirements for attending Agent Seminars are subject to change at any time at the sole discretion of the NBPA  

In addition to attending the Agent Seminar, agents must submit their annual dues payment by July 1 every year. An applicant who is certified in January or February of 2021 will be required to make their initial dues payment on July 1, 2021 in order to remain certified for the upcoming 2021-2022 NBA Season. 

Annual Dues: Who, How, and When ?

The annual fee is currently $2,500 and is due on July 1st. Please note that the fee associated with your application is prorated for the remainder of that season. Six months post Certification, you will be required to pay an additional $2,500 for the upcoming season in order to maintain your certification. In other words, Agents certified after the 2021 exam will be required to make their first annual dues payment on July 1, 2021. This will cover the following 2021-2022 NBA Season. 

After an agent’s initial 6-months of certification, agent dues are applied on a per season (July 1–June 30) and are calculated based on the number of players an NBPA Certified Agent represented from the previous season:

  • For Agents with 0-9 players: $2,500.00

  • For Agents with 10-19 players: $5,000.00

  • For Agents with 20 players or more: $7,500.00

Application Payment Schedule & Refunds

Application Fees & Refunds

Payment Schedule 

Unless otherwise instructed, payment must be received within 15 days from the date you submit your application and no later than the close of an application window.

       For illustrative purposes, the 2020 agent application window opened on August 1, 2020 and closed on November 1, 2020. If you applied on August 1, payment should be received by August 15. However, if you applied on October 25, 2020 - payment must be received no later than November 1, 2020. 

Payments not received prior to the deadline will be rejected. 


Should a partial refund be required because your application is denied, rejected, or if you do not successfully pass the agent exam, you will be asked to provide your financial information via a secure link so that your refund may be issued. 

Please note that refunds may only be issued to the account from which your application fee originated. If your application fees are being paid by a third party (i.e., your employer), then you will provide their financial information should a refund be required. 

Application Updates & Examination Details (What to expect)

The 2021 NBPA Certified Agent Examination & Review Dates 

The 2021 exam will be virtually administered on Friday, February 12, 2021. 

The review session will be virtually administered and available for approved applicants on Thursday, February 11, 2021. 

Materials required for the examination are as follows: 

  • Working webcam and microphone
  • Windows (8+) or Mac OS (10.13+) operating system
  • Internet (minimum bandwidth of 300 Kbps).  
  • Test-takers can use any modern/updated browser including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and IE 11

While the agent exam is open-book, notes and exam materials must be hard copied (either handwritten or printed). Once the exam begins, applicant's browser will be locked to the testing screen and navigation to other browsers and/or computer files will be restricted until the exam is completed. 

With the exception of the computer used to take the exam and a standard calculator, the use of electronic devices is strictly prohibited. Unauthorized electronics include mobile devices, tablets, i-Pads, i-Pods, etc. If an applicant is observed using a prohibited device during the exam, their session will be terminated immediately and the exam will be graded as-is, without exception.

Please be advised that by agreeing to participate in the exam and downloading the accompanying software you are hereby agreeing to release, waive, indemnify, and hold harmless the NBPA and any third-party service providers from any and all liability resulting from your use of the software including but not limited to voiding existing equipment warranties and the malfunction or physical damage to computer, computer accessories, computer data or the computer’s programs.

Application Status Updates

  • The application process takes approximately ninety days to complete from the date received. 
  • Applicants should check their inboxes (including spam/trash) for an email from the NBPA. 
  • Please be advised that individual application status updates are not available. Applicants should refrain from contacting the NBPA for status updates unless they have surpassed the 90-day time frame. 
  • Applicants will be notified no later than February 5, 2021. 

How to know if my application has been received or rejected

  • Applications are considered late if they were not received by the deadline or if payment was not received in a timely manner (within 15 days of application). 
  • Applicants who did not receive a background investigation request from the NBPA on or prior to December 1, 2020 should presume their application has been rejected. In addition to a background request, applications properly submitted would have been confirmed via email. If you did not receive such confirmation, your application was not submitted properly and has therefore been rejected. 
  • Applicants who submitted payment for the 2021 Agent Exam but did not receive a confirmation email or a background investigation request from the NBPA are urged to contact agents@nbpa.com as soon as possible in order to initiate a refund. Only applicants who successfully submitted their application on or prior to November 1, 2020 and remitted payment within 15 days of applying are eligible to sit for the 2021 NBPA Agent Certification exam. No exceptions will be made.