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Certified Agents: Frequently Asked Questions

Agents / FAQs

How do I apply for the upcoming Agent Exam?

The Application to become a Certified NBPA Agent is available on our website within the Becoming An Agent webpage. 

The application is only available during a three month window beginning in August and concluding in November. Early and/or late applications will not be accepted. The specific application deadline is posted yearly on our Agent page. 

The application will be completed and submitted electronically, as well as the non-refundable application fee and pro-rated agent dues for the remainder of that season. 

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

Do I have to submit the application fee and agent dues at the time of my application?

Yes. Your application will not begin to be processed until the total amount has cleared. 

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). You must use a checking/savings account or you may utilize a wire transfer. Payment instructions are provided upon completion of the application. 

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 click here.

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 

When and how will I find out if my application to take the exam is approved?

WHEN: The Agent Application review process typically takes a couple of months from the date it was received until it is approved/denied. Please account for the time it will take for payment to be cleared. The background investigation will not begin until your application fee and prorated dues payments have cleared. You will not be notified that the application process has begun. To confirm, please check with your financial institution within 14  business days to ensure that the funds provided have cleared. 

HOW: You should expect to receive notice (via email) if your application has been approved or not no later than early December. Please be sure to periodically check your inbox and spam for your notice. You will receive an email from  about your application approval no later than early December.  Please do not inquire about the status of your application prior to December as updates will not be provided. If your application is approved, your notice will contain the date of the review and exam, as well as your scheduled times for both sessions.  Please make appropriate travel arrangements at that time.

What does the review session entail?

The review session is not mandatory but highly recommended. It will take place at our headquarters 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. 

Is there a study guide or practice exam available?

The NBPA does not provide practice exams, however, below are a few sample exam questions.  While a study guide is not provided, those sections of the CBA which are covered in the exam are as follows: 

  • 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


SAMPLE NBPA AGENT EXAM QUESTIONS: 

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, making $4M this Season, 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 happens if I am approved to attend the upcoming Agent Examination and I cannot attend?

Please notify Meagan Macchirole at meagan.macchirole@nbpa.com of your expected absence to ensure a refund of your prorated dues. The application fee is nonrefundable. The NBPA does not retain an individual’s monies to be applied to a future exam.

What is permitted into the examination?

The NBPA Agent Certification Examination is open book. You should bring the CBA, Agent Regulations as well as any additional paper notes. You must bring your own calculator and writing utensils. These items will not be provided.  Electronics (cellphones) are not permitted during the exam and any usage will result in an automatic failing grade. 

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 sign 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. 

What are the next steps in maintaining my Certification?

After becoming Certified by successfully passing the Agent Exam, your next responsibility is to attend one of the three Agent Seminars offered throughout the months of 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. 

How much is the annual fee and when is it due?

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. 

How are Annual Dues Calculated?

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