How to Open A Trading Account: A Step By Step Guide

Online trading in a financial market is one of the most appealing choices for many investors around the world. And yet, even more people refrain themselves from investing in it because they do not know where to start. Without mentioning the fact that the world of finance has always been viewed as a secretive and segregated world from commoners.

Thanks to today’s tech though, that is no longer the case.

IT tech has reached a level today where people have the power of investing in a financial market whenever and wherever they want: the only thing for them to do is to open a trading account with an online broker.

Which is why we decided to write down a small guide regarding how to open a trading account and all the steps involved in it.

Before You Open A Trading Account

The first thing you need to know before opening a trading account with a brokerage service is to check their regulation and with which financial regulators they are complying.

To choose between a selection of regulated brokers only is a mandatory step to take in order to avoid serious problems such as scams, fraudulent schemes (have you ever heard of Ponzi schemes?) and therefore lose all your funds invested. Additionally, one must carefully choose the broker of their choice and research about them – whether they have received a wells notice (read more about them on blogs like or if they are running a scam!

Fortunately, checking brokers’ regulation is not difficult today and it can be done by accessing their official websites. Once there, you can check if the broker licence number matches in their database, which is usually open to everybody, in order to verify if they are actually present in it.

Between the most important regulators worldwide we remember:

  • ASIC – Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Jurisdiction: Australia)
  • IIROC -Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (Jurisdiction: Canada)
  • SFC – Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (Jurisdiction: Hong Kong)
  • CYSEC – Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (Jurisdiction: Cyprus & European Union)
  • CONSOB – Italian Companies and Exchange Commission (Jurisdiction: Italy & European Union)
  • SFSA – Seychelles Financial Services Authority (Jurisdiction: Seychelles)
  • FCA – Financial Conduct Authority (Jurisdiction: United Kingdom)
  • SEC – Securities & Exchange Commission (Jurisdiction: USA)
  • FinCEN – Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Jurisdiction: USA)

Based on where you are staying as a trader, check if your country belongs to the regulator area of jurisdiction.

How To Open A Trading Account?

A trading account may differ very much depending on which broker and kind of account you decide to open to start your financial journey. That being said, the procedure per se to open it is pretty similar across all online brokers.

In order to open a trading account you will have to provide some basic personal information such as:

  • Name
  • Surname
  • Address
  • CC number
  • Occupation

Once you send these data, you will also have to prove them by uploading a series of documents to certify you are the person you claimed to be during the registration. In order to do so you will have to upload:

  • A proof of identity: i.e., passport (preferred), national ID, a driver licence
  • A proof or residence: i.e., a bank statement or a gas bill where it appears your current address

To recognise these documents in general you will have to wait a few minutes. That being said, there are some exceptions and some brokers may let you wait longer, even days, before recognizing them and giving you free access to their trading platforms.

Finally, before you start by depositing money in your account many brokers give you the chance of trying their services with a practice account. This kind of account works exactly like a standard account, with the only difference that they are empowered by a totally virtual balance. As a consequence, you will do your investments with “fake” money and see the results without actually risking your funds.