Certified Agents: Frequently Asked Questions

Agents / FAQs

Where do I apply for the upcoming Agent Exam?

The Application to become a Certified NBPA Agent will be posted within the Becoming An Agent section during open application windows. The window for to apply for NBPA agent certification in 2022 will be from September 15, 2021 until December 1, 2021. 

Applications must be submitted electronically. Submissions received by mail will not be accepted. The same applies to payment remittance, which must be received at the time of submission. 


Payment plans and/or extensions for the NBPA Agent Exam are not available. Applications submitted without sufficient funds for the full application fee will be denied and applicants will be subject to additional fees should they reapply in the future. 


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 consider an applicant with sufficient and relevant negotiating experience in lieu of the minimum degree requirement. In order for your application to be considered, you will need to provide a detailed statement describing your negotiating experience,  how it is relevant, and why it should be accepted in lieu of a four year degree. Additionally, you must provide supporting documentation of contracts negotiated in order for your request to be considered.

Be advised that 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. 

Please note that the application fee is non-refundable even if your negotiating experience is not considered to be sufficient negotiating experience 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?

Proof that an applicant meets the minimum education requirements must be provided in order to submit your application. If you have not yet obtained your Bachelors degree but will have prior to the exam date, you may still apply but must provide the following:

  1.  Signed and dated letter from your college/university admissions office confirming your expected graduation date. 
  2. Current transcripts showing your active enrollment in pursuit of your degree
  3. Proof or graduation must be provided to the NBPA Legal department (legal@nbpa.com) in order to sit for the exam. Your diploma should also be provided upon receipt. 

Please be advised: It is your responsibility to complete your application by providing your degree/diploma to the NBPA. Applicants will not receive reminders or requests to provide their degree.

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 - A thorough review of your application and background results will be conducted 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 will receive notice (via email) whether or not they are approved to take the upcoming Agent Exam. Approved applicants will be provided with details such as exam date and time of the NBPA Player Agent review & examination sessions. 

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. These are typically scheduled to occur between January and March. Please be advised that the NBPA will offer one review session and administer only one exam each year. 

Step 7 - Examination results are typically distributed within two to three weeks from the date of the exam. Applicants will be notified that they either passed or failed the exam. They will not be able to review the exam, their answers, or the results. Applicants who did not successfully pass the exam will be informed of the refund process. Those who pass the exam will be provided their NBPA Agent Certification, credentials to access the NBPA Agent Portal and additional relevant resources.  


During the application review process, 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 to ensure you do not miss any communications! 


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


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, 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 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