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Broker-Dealer

A person or firm in the business of buying and selling securities for its own account or on behalf of its customers.
The term broker-dealer is used in U.S. securities regulation parlance to describe stock brokerages because most of them act as both agents and principals. A brokerage acts as a broker (agent) when it executes orders on behalf of its clients, but acts as a dealer (principal) when it trades for its own account.