I make be bringing in some money to a startup (up to tens of millions in the form of government grants and/or contracts) and ideally would like a simple contract that says I get X% of what I bring in. But when I mentioned that to the client I was told "We need to figure something out, since you’re not a registered broker". Apparently I need to register something to have a contract like that. Is that true and if so what do I need to "register" as in order to have such a contract?
You probably need to have a Series 7 broker's license from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and possibly also a parallel occupational license from a state securities regulator if your job is construed as obtaining investment capital. This requires you to pass a quite technical and difficult licensure exam, normally prepared for in a month's long preparation course that covers the relevant laws and regulations and the basic financial concepts.
If the job really is just about helping to secure government contracts, this wouldn't normally be regulated by the SEC, but you would probably have to register as a lobbyist with each of the relevant EU governments, because obtaining a government contract is basically a form of lobbying. If you did the same thing in the U.S. for an E.U. company, you would probably have to register as a "foreign agent." Most E.U. countries would have somewhat parallel registration requirements.