How to change trading permissions on Interactive Brokers?

Written by
Bence András R.
Fact checked by
Adam N.
Dec 2022

How to change trading permissions at Interactive Brokers?

At Interactive Brokers, you can choose from a wide range of assets to trade. However, to be able to trade certain more complex asset types, you are required to demonstrate more trading experience and financial knowledge, or even a higher income level. Your purpose of trading can also influence the asset types you are allowed to trade.

The required criteria are different for cash and margin accounts. Margin accounts usually require you to have more experience and knowledge; as well as higher net worth in order to cover potential losses.

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How to change trading permissions on Interactive Brokers

Step by step: How to enable certain asset types for trading

There are two different approaches to changing trading permissions at Interactive Brokers. One is before your account is created, and the other is after you have already opened an account.

If you haven’t opened an account yet, you should take the following steps:

  • Start an account open process at Interactive Brokers .
  • Enter some basic personal and contact information as prompted until you reach the 'Regulatory' part of the account open process.
  • After you have provided your income, net worth and purpose of trading, you can add additional products you wish to trade at the 'Trading Experience and Permissions' section.
  • To enable a certain asset type for trading, you first have to select the desired product; then a box will pop up below, asking for your trading experience, the number of trades you have carried per year, and your knowledge level.
  • Provide the information needed, and click the small 'Add' button in the same box if you wish to add more stock exchanges.
  • After you have selected all the asset types you wish to trade, scroll down, provide some more regulatory information and click 'Continue'. If you are not eligible to trade an asset type you have chosen, you will be informed with a warning message. In this case you need to go back and de-select the asset type in question, or reconsider whether to open a cash account only rather than a margin account.

If you already have an account, you should take the following steps:

  • Go to the Interactive Brokers  website.
  • Click on the red ‘Log in’ button in the top right corner.
  • Go to the ‘Client Portal Login’ or the ‘Account Management’ link, enter your name and password, then clear the two-factor authentication process.
  • In the top right corner next to 'Help', click your profile and select 'Settings'. Alternatively, simply start typing 'Account settings' into the search bar and select it once it pops up.
  • Under the 'Trading' segment, look for and click 'Trading Permissions'.
  • Here you can see all available asset types and the ones you have access to.
  • If you already have permission to trade a specific asset type, you can edit the locations you wish to trade it by clicking 'Add/Edit'.
  • If you don't have permission to trade a specific asset type, you can request permission by clicking 'Request' under the chosen asset type.
  • Let's say you don't have access to but would like to trade futures.
    • Simply click 'Request' under 'Futures'.
    • Then select the markets where you wish to trade futures and press 'Continue'.
    • If Interactive Brokers determines that you are eligible to trade futures, you can click 'Continue' again and the request is sent.
    • If Interactive Brokers does not find you eligible to trade futures, a warning message will appear.
    • If your trading experience and knowledge has changed over time, you can click 'Account settings' below the message and update this information in your profile.
    • If your trading experience and knowledge hasn't changed since you signed up with IB but you still wish to proceed with the request, you can likewise click 'Continue'. In this case, you will have to provide your signature electronically to confirm that you read, understood and provided all the necessary information.


Interactive Brokers further reading:

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Author of this article

Bence András Rózsa
Bence András Rózsa

Bence is a former broker analyst for BrokerChooser. Having an MSc in international economy and finance, he focused on equities, cryptos and newcomer financial services. He also gained years of experience within the brokerage industry, specializing in stock and CFD/forex brokers, crypto providers and robo-advisors.

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.

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