MLBPA Agent Certification

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of MLBPA Certification?

There are three different types of MLBPA Certification: General Certification, Limited Certification, and Certification as an Expert Agent Advisor.

As more fully described in Section 3(A) of the Agent Regulations , a General Certified Agent may represent, assist, or advise a Player (as defined by Section 2(b) of the Agent Regulations) in negotiating terms to be included in a Major League contract or “side letter” concerning terms to be included in a Major League contract, and representing that Player in dealings with any Major League Club or the Commissioner’s Office concerning the administration or enforcement of that Player’s Uniform Player’s Contract, the Basic Agreement or the Major League Rules.

A Limited Certified Agent may recruit and/or provide client maintenance services on behalf of a General Certified Agent but may not communicate with a Major League Club on behalf of a Player.

An Expert Agent Advisor may represent, assist and advise a General Certified Agent on behalf of a Player.

Please consult Section 2 of the Agent Regulations for a detailed explanation of the type of work that requires MLBPA General Certification, Limited Certification, and Certification as an Expert Agent Advisor.

What is an Expert Agent Advisor?

An Expert Agent Advisor is an individual designated by at least one General Certified Agent to engage in the representation, assistance, or advising of that Agent, on behalf of a Player, in the negotiations of terms to be included in a Major League Uniform Player Contract or in any other agreement. Please review §3(A) of the Agent Regulations for more information.

An Expert Agent Advisor may not engage in recruiting or Client Maintenance Services. (See §2(C)(3)(b) of the Agent Regulations).

Who can apply to be an Expert Agent Advisor?

An individual is eligible to be certified as an Expert Agent Advisor if he or she (i) is a member, partner or employee of a business entity that is not a sports agency and does not include other General or Limited Certified Agents, (ii) has not been designated on a Player Agent Designation form from a Player who satisfies the definition in §2(B), and (iii) has an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college or university, and either a post-graduate degree from an accredited college or university or four or more years of appropriate negotiating experience.

Do I need MLBPA Certification to represent a player in the Amateur Draft or an international amateur player negotiating a minor league contract and signing bonus?

You do not need MLBPA Certification to represent a player in the Amateur Draft, an international amateur player negotiating a minor league contract and signing bonus, or a non-40 man roster Player.

MLBPA General Certification is required to represent a Player as defined by §2(B) of the Agent Regulations including:

(1) – any player who is a party to a Major League Uniform Player’s Contract or who is listed on a Major League 40-man roster or Major League Reserve List, or a Major League Voluntarily Retired, Emergency Disabled, Military, Restricted, Disqualified or Ineligible List;

(2) – any player who is a Major League free agent by operation of the Basic Agreement, the Major League Rules, or his Major League Uniform Player’s Contract;

(3) – any player who is a professional free agent player most recently employed by either a foreign or U.S. professional baseball league or club (e.g., a Minor League, independent league, Japanese league free agent), and who is engaged in negotiations of, or preparing to negotiate terms to be included in, a Major League Uniform Player’s Contract;

(4) – any other player engaged in negotiations of, or preparing to negotiate, any agreement or “side letter” concerning terms to be included in any future Major League Uniform Player’s Contract.

How do I apply for MLBPA Certification?

Please click here for the Application Instructions.

How much is the Application fee?

The application fee is $2,000 and is payable by check or money order to the Major League Baseball Players Association at the following address:

Major League Baseball Players Association
ATTENTION: Agent Certification
12 East 49th Street, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10017

When will the exam take place?

Applicants who submit a complete application by July 1st of any given year will be eligible to take the written exam in August of that year. Applicants who submit a complete application after July 1st and before December 1st of any given year will be eligible to take the written exam in January of the following year.The next exam will take place on Wednesday August 30, 2017 in New York. The MLBPA will conduct a review session for the exam on Tuesday August 29, 2017 in New York.

What subject matters will be covered in the written test?

The test will be open book and will cover the Basic Agreement, Major League Rules, Joint Drug Agreement and the Agent Regulations. These documents are available for download on the Key Documents section of this webpage. The MLBPA will conduct a preparatory course for the test on the day before the exam.

Can I bring my ipad or laptop into the exam?

While the exam is open book, no electronic devices (including phones, ipads, tablets, or laptops) will be allowed.

What happens if I fail the written test?

An Applicant who fails the test for either certification may retake the test the next time it is offered. An Applicant who fails the test twice must reapply and complete the entire application process again, and will be eligible to submit a new application no earlier than one year from the date of the second failed test.

Am I certified once I pass the written test?

An applicant for General Certification who completes the background investigation and passes the written test will not be certified by the MLBPA until he or she is designated on a Player Agent Designation form by at least one Player, as defined by §2(B) of the Agent Regulations. If the Player’s native language is not English, the Designation form must be signed in both English and that Player’s native language on the same date.

An Applicant for Limited Certification who completes the background investigation and passes the written test will not be certified by the MLBPA until he or she is designated on a Designation of Recruiter or Client Maintenance Service Provider form by a General Certified Agent.

An Applicant for Certification as an Expert Agent Advisor who completes the background investigation and passes the written test will not be certified by the MLBPA until he or she is designated on an Expert Agent Advisor Designation form by at least one General Certified Agent.

These designation forms may be found in the Key Documents section of this webpage.

Applicants will have up to three years after passing the written test to obtain the required designation for their desired certification. If the applicant does not receive the required designation within those three years the application will expire, and that person must reapply and complete the entire application process again.

How will I know if my application was denied?

The MLBPA will provide an Applicant with electronic notice of any decision to deny his or her certification or to impose limits or conditions on the certification granted. The notice shall set forth the action taken, a brief statement of the factual basis for the action taken and the relevant provisions of the Regulations involved in the action taken.

Can I appeal an adverse decision concerning my application?

Any dispute between an Applicant and the MLBPA related to the application and Certification process, including without limitation any dispute about whether the Applicant, Agent or Advisor must provide documents, testimony or other information to the MLBPA or about whether such documents, testimony or information are privileged, is subject exclusively to arbitration under §7(B) of the Agent Regulations. Any Applicant aggrieved with any action taken by the MLBPA, including but not limited to a denial of certification or conditions imposed on a certification, may appeal exclusively to arbitration under §7(B).

The MLBPA in its sole unreviewable discretion may publicize its decision concerning a dispute related to certification once that dispute has concluded. The MLBPA may also provide notice of the resolution of that dispute to all Players who have a Player Agent Designation form with the Applicant and to any General Certified Agent who has designated the Applicant as an Expert Agent Advisor or Limited Certified Agent. The MLBPA may also notify other Players who may be affected, other certified Player Agents or the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball.

Will currently Certified Agents have to submit to a background investigation and written exam?

General and Limited Certified Agents who have previously been evaluated and certified by the Association under the standards set forth in the regulations, as amended October 1, 2010, are not required to take a written test or undergo a background investigation. However, a Player Agent in inactive status who subsequently obtains a Player Designation from a Player as defined in §2(B) or a Designation of Recruiter and Provider of Client Maintenance Services form from a General Certified Agent, or an Expert Agent Advisor in inactive status who receives a Designation of Expert Agent Advisor from a General Certified Agent, must reapply for certification and satisfy the Application and certification requirements for new applicants except that he or she is not required to take the written test unless he or she has been inactive for four years or more. (See §4(J) of the Agent Regulations)

May I loan money to a Player?

A Certified Agent or Applicant for Certification may not make any loans, or promise any loans, money or any other thing of value to a player (including non-40 man players), or any persons related to or associated with such player, without first obtaining the prior written approval of the MLBPA. To request approval of a proposed loan, please e-mail agent.reg@mlbpa.org disclosing the amount, purpose and terms of the loan as well as how long you have represented the Player. A Player Agent or Applicant may only loan or promise to loan money or any other thing of value to a player or to persons related to or associated with a player he currently represents. A Player Agent or Applicant must also report to the MLBPA the terms of any third-party loans made to players in which the agent or applicant has any involvement of any kind, including but not limited to any role in facilitation or arrangement.

When and where are the mandatory MLBPA Agent meetings?

During September of each year, the MLBPA holds a mandatory meeting for all certified agents that represent a player who is potentially salary arbitration eligible in the upcoming offseason.

In early November, the MLBPA holds a meeting which is traditionally designated as mandatory for at least one Player Agent from each firm unless excused. Only general certified agents are invited to the November meetings.

The exact locations and dates for these meetings will be announced in the summer of 2017.

Please be aware that if you fail to attend a mandatory meeting, and your absence has not been excused, you will be subject to a mandatory fine.

What circumstances will cause my Certification to lapse?

An Agent’s certification may be revoked for failure to update his or her Registration in a calendar year, failure to pay the annual administrative fee, and failure to comply with the Agent Regulations, including but not limited to repeated failure to comply with reporting and disclosure requirements.

An Agent or Expert Agent Advisor’s certification will also be deemed relinquished if the Agent is in “inactive status.” Any General Certified Agent, who in the immediately preceding three years has not had a current Player Agent Designation form signed by a Player and filed with the MLBPA, shall be notified by the MLBPA that he or she will be placed in inactive status. An Expert Agent Advisor who in the immediately preceding three years has not had a current designation by a General Certified Agent to assist with representation of a Player who satisfies the definition in §2(B) shall be notified by the MLBPA that he or she will be placed in inactive status.

A General Certified Agent or Expert Agent Advisor may avoid placement in inactive status by providing evidence within thirty (30) days of receiving such notice demonstrating to the MLBPA’s satisfaction that he or she has been appropriately designated within the preceding three years. (See §4(J) of the Agent Regulations).

If an inactive Agent or Expert Agent Advisor subsequently receives an appropriate designation, he or she may reapply for MLBPA Certification as set forth in §4 of the Agent Regulations, except that he or she is not required to retake the written test unless he or she is inactive for four or more years.

Any Player Agent with a Limited Certification who in the immediately preceding ninety days has not had a current Designation of Recruiter or Client Maintenance Services Provider form signed by a Player Agent with General Certification and filed with the MLBPA shall be notified by the MLBPA that he or she will be placed in inactive status. A Limited Certified Agent may avoid placement in inactive status by providing evidence within thirty (30) days of receiving such notice demonstrating to the MLBPA’s satisfaction that he or she has had a current Designation of Recruiter and Client Maintenance Services Provider form from a Player Agent with General Certification within the preceding ninety days.