Investor Bulletin: How to Open a Brokerage Account

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is updating this Investor Bulletin to help you understand what to expect when opening a brokerage account, including what information you will need to provide, what decisions you will be asked to make, and what questions you should ask your broker.

Brokerage accounts differ from investment advisory accounts, which generally are governed by different rules and regulations. For information on opening an advisory account, please see our bulletin: Opening an Investment Advisory Account. For additional information on working with broker-dealers and investment advisers, please see’s Working with Brokers and Investment Advisers.

Before opening an account with any broker, you should always remember to read the firm’s relationship summary (Form CRS) and check the broker’s background and disciplinary history. For guidance in finding a broker’s background or disciplinary history, as well as other tips to consider when selecting a broker, please read our bulletin How to Select an Investment Professional.