TD Ameritrade account opening

Account opening at TD Ameritrade is fully online and user-friendly.

This means that you can go through the registration process easily in front of your device.

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

TD Ameritrade account opening vs. similar brokers
TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab E-Trade
Rating 2.9 stars 4.5 stars 3.8 stars
Account opening time 1-3 days 1 day >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 TD Ameritrade. Here are the main pros and cons when it comes to registering at TD Ameritrade:

Pros Cons
No minimum deposit Only one account base currency

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TD Ameritrade account opening
Countries where TD Ameritrade accounts can be opened

Opening an account at TD Ameritrade is mainly targeted at USA. However, some account types are thankfully available for residents of a handful of other countries as well.

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

Availability of TD Ameritrade accounts in 15 countries
Country Availability
Australia No
Canada No
China Yes
Germany No
Hong Kong Yes
India No
Ireland No
Japan No
Malaysia Yes
Netherlands No
Singapore Yes
South Africa No
United Arab Emirates No
United Kingdom No
United States Yes

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

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TD Ameritrade account opening
TD Ameritrade 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.

TD Ameritrade accepts the following documents for identification purposes:

Proof of identity: SSN and national ID / passport / driver's license

Account opening at TD Ameritrade 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 TD Ameritrade.

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.

TD Ameritrade minimum deposit vs. similar brokers
TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab E-Trade
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0

Besides the TD Ameritrade zero minimum deposit for US clients, there is a $3,500 minimum for Malaysian and Singaporean clients. Furthermore, margin accounts require a $2,000 minimum deposit. A margin account is where you trade with borrowed money, also known as leverage.

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TD Ameritrade account opening
Account types at TD Ameritrade

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.

Unfortunately, TD Ameritrade offers trading in only one currency, which is the USD.

This matters because if you deposit funds in currencies other than the base currency, your money will be converted into USD.

To save on conversion fees, you can open 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 this table on how TD Ameritrade's base currency selection compares to its main competitors.

TD Ameritrade base currencies vs. similar brokers
TD Ameritrade Charles Schwab E-Trade
Base currencies 1 1 1

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TD Ameritrade account opening
The steps of account opening

The specific process of opening an account at TD Ameritrade 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 TD Ameritrade, visit their website or see our own review:

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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