As a Registered Investment Adviser firm, your filing to individual states begins with the Form ADV 1A which is entirely filed online via the IARD system. If you are a brand new start up RIA firm, then you will need to gain access to the IARD system by completing required forms located here. You first have to apply as a Super Account Administrator, the designated officer of the firm who will handle this role. Other officers or employees can also have access as Account Administrators, but the Super Account Administrator is the person in charge of assigning roles to all other officers or employees. In addition, the SAA can assign an outside compliance person as an Account Administrator who can also handle compliance duties related to the IARD system. This is a personal preference with each firm. Some firms prefer to do things themselves with a screen sharing situation with the outside compliance person, while others would rather outsource it to the outside compliance person. There is really no risk in allowing an outside compliance personnel to handle these IARD filings, since there is a record of who logged into the IARD system and when a change was made. In other words, there is a clear audit trail no matter who makes changes within the IARD system whether it be a SAA, an employee of the firm, or an outside compliance person.
You can download a guide that explains step-by-step how to navigate the online filing of Form ADV 1A. It is located here. Instructions on how to complete this document can also be found at the SEC's web site located here. Instructions on how to complete the Form ADV 1A begins on page 1 of 83 when you click on "Part 1A" in the SEC document. The name of the file that opens when you click on "Part 1A" is "formadv-part1a.pdf" in case you want to double check that you opened the right file.