Account Plans

Alpaca Paper Only Account (Paper-Trading)

Anyone globally can create an Alpaca Paper Only Account! All you need to do is sign up with your email address.

An Alpaca Paper Only Account is for paper trading only. It allows you to fully utilize the Alpaca API and run your algorithm in our paper trading environment only. You won’t be trading real money, but you will be able to track your simulated activity and balance in the Alpaca web dashboard. As an Alpaca Paper Only Account holder, you are only entitled to receive and make use of IEX market data. For more information about our paper trading environment, please refer to Paper Trading Specification.

Alpaca Brokerage Account (Live-Trading)

After creating an Alpaca Paper Only Account, you can enable live trading by becoming an Alpaca Brokerage Account holder. This requires you to go through an account on-boarding process with Alpaca Securities LLC, a FINRA member and SEC registered broker-dealer. Currently, we support brokerage accounts for qualified U.S. residents and are currently running an invite-only beta program for non-U.S. residents and business entities globally.

With a brokerage account, you will be able to fully utilize Alpaca for your automated trading and investing needs. Using the Alpaca API, you’ll be able to buy and sell stocks in your brokerage account, and you’ll receive real-time consolidated market data. In addition, you will continue to be able to test your strategies and simulate your trades in our paper trading environment. And with the Alpaca web dashboard, it’s easy to monitor both your paper trading and your real money brokerage account. All accounts are opened as margin accounts. Accounts with $2,000 or more equity will have access to margin trading and short selling.

For U.S. Residents: Individual Taxable Account

Alpaca Securities LLC supports individual taxable brokerage accounts. At this time, we do not support retirement accounts.

For Non-U.S. Residents: Invite Only Beta

We started an invite-only beta program for non-U.S. residents to open live-trading accounts. Due to the nature of this beta program, there are several restrictions including that the Alpaca Securities LLC brokerage is available internationally on a limited basis for “non-solicited” customers* only (* Any customer onboarding for live brokerage must electronically sign a Non-Solicitation Agreement certifying that the customer was not directly solicited to open a live brokerage account and must indicate how they became aware of Alpaca).

Although we are working to remove certain restrictions that we have with today’s beta program, we start sending invites to the users who are okay with $30,000 initial funding and using international-wire transfer to deposit funds (This beta program does not support TransferWise or Revolut. ACH does not work with a bank account outside the US). Please read this announcement to learn more about the beta program.

Please fill out this form to be on the invite list.

For Business Entities Globally: Business Trading Account

We are currently running a beta program for the business trading account. This business trading account is prepared for business entities that intend to use Alpaca for trading purposes, but not for building apps/services. If you are looking to integrate with Alpaca API for your apps, please read Build Apps/Services with Alpaca.

Today’s beta program for the business trading account accepts select entities that are mainly Corporations, LLCs, Partnerships in the U.S. and we continue to expand the coverage of eligible business entity types. There’s no charge to open a business trading account, but it does have a $30,000 account minimum. Additionally, please note that business accounts are considered professional data subscribers for which we currently are unable to provide Polygon’s consolidated market data. You would still have access to Alpaca Data API, but if you wanted a consolidated market data feed, you’d need to obtain this through another provider. Please read this announcement to learn more about the beta program.

You can sign up with your email address and follow steps on the dashboard. When our system considers that your business entity is eligible for this beta program, you should be able to go on to upload necessary information through the process to submit the application, otherwise you will be placed on the waitlist. Please note that we are updating the beta eligibility criteria and business trading account opening flow with ongoing basis.

Paper Only Account vs Brokerage Account Features

Feature Alpaca Paper Only Account Alpaca Brokerage Account
Eligibility All Qualified U.S. Residents
Paper Trading
Commission-Free Live Trading N/A
API Access
Free IEX Real-Time Data
Free Consolidated Real-Time Data
Multi-Factor Authentication
Margin Trading
Short Selling
Premarket/Afterhours Trading

Markets Supported

Currently, Alpaca only supports trading of listed U.S. stocks.