The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has launched a dedicated helpline for small firms in an effort to boost compliance, the self-regulatory organization announced on Monday.

FINRA is offering a new toll-free phone line devoted to small firms, which aims to provide immediate answers on basic questions, while directing more complicated questions to the appropriate FINRA staff.

“One of the real benefits of our role as a self-regulatory organization is our ability to provide firms with the tools and resources to help them comply with regulations – and this new resource is aimed squarely at doing that,” says Robert Cook, president and CEO of FINRA. “

“The helpline will serve as the clearinghouse for more routine calls and general information, which will make it faster and easier for small firms to get answers, and will free up other critical FINRA resources to help firms with more substantive matters such as examinations, financial questions, the implementation of rules and licensing requirements,” he adds.

In the months ahead, FINRA will be hosting periodic conference calls to “provide an additional forum for small broker-dealers to hear directly from senior FINRA staff regarding selected regulatory developments, potential areas for compliance focus and tools or resources that are available to assist with compliance.”

There are approximately 3,400 small firms registered with FINRA, which employ 150 registered reps, or less.