Interactive Brokers account opening

Account opening at Interactive Brokers is fully online but not user friendly.

This means that the registration part of the account opening process can be done on your desktop, but it might be more time consuming due to complicated features.

Check out this comparison table to compare the rating and duration of Interactive Brokers's account opening process to its main competitors:

Interactive Brokers account opening vs. similar brokers
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank DEGIRO
Rating 3.4 stars 2.6 stars 1.3 stars
Account opening time 1-3 days 1-3 days >3 days

An account with an online broker is pretty much like a regular bank account and opening one is at least partly an online process. At some brokers it's as quick as opening a new Gmail account, at other brokers it takes a couple of days until they do some background check on you. Rather than storing just money on it, you will hold your financial assets, such as shares or forex positions, on your account. Opening an account is always free of charge. To learn more about trading accounts, read our article on the topic.

There are a couple of other factors to consider when you are about to open an account at Interactive Brokers. Here are the main pros and cons when it comes to registering at Interactive Brokers:

Pros Cons
No minimum deposit Not user-friendly
Number of base currencies

Visit broker

Interactive Brokers account opening
Countries where Interactive Brokers accounts can be opened

Fortunately, almost anyone can open an account at Interactive Brokers. The few exceptions are typically residents of countries with unstable economic or political backgrounds.

Check out this table to see whether Interactive Brokers is available for residents of the listed countries:

Availability of Interactive Brokers accounts in 15 countries
Country Availability
Australia Yes
Canada Yes
China Yes
Germany Yes
Hong Kong Yes
India Yes
Ireland Yes
Japan Yes
Malaysia Yes
Netherlands Yes
Singapore Yes
South Africa Yes
United Arab Emirates Yes
United Kingdom Yes
United States Yes

Your country is not on this list? Don’t worry, here is a smart geochecker tool for you:

Visit broker

Interactive Brokers account opening
Interactive Brokers account opening requirements

To be able to open an account with an online broker, you are generally required to provide proof of identity and proof of residency. Ideally, this process is completely digital. The difficulty is that some brokers eventually require physical copies of your documents.

Interactive Brokers accepts the following documents for identification purposes:

Proof of identity: national ID / passport / driver's license
Proof of residency: bank statement / utility bill / driver's license / credit card statement

Account opening at Interactive Brokers is fully digital, so you can go through the entire identification process on the company's web platform.

Once registration and the account opening process are done, you will first need to transfer the minimum deposit to your brokerage account from your bank account to be able to start trading.

There is no minimum deposit required by Interactive Brokers.

As such, this is an ideal broker if you want to invest or trade with only a smaller amount of money. It is a good broker to start your investment journey with; and then you can add more funds to your account later as you become more experienced in managing your investments.

Interactive Brokers minimum deposit vs. similar brokers
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank DEGIRO
Minimum deposit $0 $10,000 $0

Besides the Interactive Brokers minimum deposit for standard accounts, there is a $2,000 minimum deposit for margin accounts. A margin account is where you trade with borrowed money, also known as leverage.

Visit broker

Interactive Brokers account opening
Account types at Interactive Brokers

One important choice to make when you open a new account is the “type” of account to create. Each of these has specific requirements and features. Most online brokers offer accounts varying based on your identity or experience, the nature of traded products, available currencies, and included features such as personal investment advice. Of course, each broker company will offer slightly different packages.

You can trade at Interactive Brokers in 22 different base currencies. This is convenient because if your bank account's currency is the same as any of the base currencies, you won't have to pay a conversion fee.

But even if your account's currency is not offered by Interactive Brokers, you can save on conversion fees by opening a multi-currency bank account. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone. You can read more about brokerage fees in this article.

See the following table on how Interactive Brokers's base currency selection compares to its main competitors

Interactive Brokers base currencies vs. similar brokers
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank DEGIRO
Base currencies 22 26 9

Visit broker

Interactive Brokers account opening
The steps of account opening

The specific process of opening an account at Interactive Brokers might differ slightly from the one detailed here, but generally the process involves the following steps:

1. Choose your account

Before you would submit any of your personal information, make sure you have selected the right type of brokerage account for you. Make your choice on the registration page and then proceed to the next step.

2. Add personal info

The next step is to go through the basic information questionnaire. You will have to provide your name, birth date, address, nationality, employment and other similar info. The complexity of this step depends on the broker you chose. You will also have to answer some security questions to make sure you are legally allowed to trade, as well as some questions on your trading experience.

3. Identify yourself

In this part of the process, the broker website will ask you to scan and upload your proof of identity. This can be a passport, an ID card or a bank statement; exact requirements vary by broker. Some online brokers will ask you to mail them physical copies of your documents. This can drag out the account opening process a lot.

4. Seal the deal

Once you've made it through basic registration and identification, you will have a chance to review the information you provided, and then sign a virtual contract after agreeing to the terms and conditions of the broker you chose.

5. Fund your account

Once your account is confirmed and opened, you can start trading. Transfer the minimum deposit, or if there is none, any amount of money to your broker account and let's roll! You are now an investor!

The steps of opening an account at an online broker

For specific instructions on account opening with Interactive Brokers, visit their website or see our own review:

Visit broker

If you want to learn more about the next steps, such as investing in and trading with different types of financial assets, take a look at these articles:

Gergely Korpos

Gergely Korpos

Co-founder, CPO

Author of this article

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

Share

×