Every business exists to grow.
Why? Because it’s a well-known fact in business that the key to staying in business is growth; to always keep pushing forward and keeping up with changes in your given market.
But, with enough growth, it becomes inevitable that your incoming profits outpace your outgoing expenses. At that point, your business has considerable cash reserves, and it’s more reasonable to use the additional profits to diversify your revenue stream with passive income.
So, there’s a need to invest. But the question becomes: where to invest?
For most small and large businesses, the financial markets offer a flexible way to raise funds, cash in on your investments, and grow your business even more. And, with the decision to step into the financial market comes the need for a business brokerage account.
What is a Business Brokerage Account?
Simply put, a brokerage account is an investment account—and they’re a mainstay in businesses looking to invest their income rather than just saving it.
The brokerage account is an online investment tool used to buy, hold and sell financial assets, stocks, bonds, and other securities. There are different models of brokerage accounts that a business can pick depending on their needs, and they can often be set up in minutes.
Investing through a brokerage account works by depositing funds with a licensed brokering firm and instructing the broker on the type of assets to invest in. There are a lot of brokering firms that specialize in this, and we’re going to be looking at a few of them:
Best Business Brokerage Accounts Summary
TD Ameritrade: Best Overall
TD Ameritrade was founded in 1971 and has since grown to a firm valued by millions of users. The firm offers a large investment selection, well-rounded resources, and tools that accommodate all experience levels when planning investment strategies for a business.
Interactive Brokers: Best Free Trial
Known for its comprehensive platform, IBKR provides an easy medium for investors to trade stocks, futures, cryptocurrencies, and many others—using a single integrated account. It has a massive range of information that can be assessed and utilized to develop your best investment strategy.
TradeStation: Best for Cryptocurrency
Established in 1982, TradeStation has a high reputation for its long track record and transparency. Its trading platforms are known for their stability and reliability, making them perfect for professional-level trading.
Zacks Trade: Best for Broker-Assisted Trading
Zacks Trade has made a name for itself due to its value to active traders and international investors. It has great research material as well as an online trading platform that is available across the globe.
Fidelity: Best in ETFs
Fidelity stands out amongst its peers as one of the best brokerages in the world. It’s a boon for newbie traders and experienced investors alike because of its amazing trading platform and low-cost commission prices.
Firstrade: Best in Options
Fidelity has three trading platforms, making it a haven for beginner and experienced traders. Added with its great prices on options and other tradable securities, Firstrade has earned its name among the best brokerages in the world.
Charles Schwab: Honorable Mention
Charles Schwab is one of the largest brokerage firms in the world and offers well-rounded services that accommodate all types of investors, from beginners to experts. It also offers excellent research and educational materials and a diverse mix of tools suitable for all levels of trading.
Merrill Edge: Honorable Mention
Owned by the Bank of America, Merrill Edge is perfect for both long-term investors and casual traders. It offers banking and brokerage services for a seamless transition and guidance services when investing.
#1: TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade was founded in 1971 and, since then had established itself as one of the top-tier brokerages worldwide—even before Charles Schwab acquired it. They offer commission-free trading for stocks, ETFs, and options and a wealth of interactive learning tools that accommodate all levels of experience and draw in a wide range of investors and business accounts.
Using either its web or mobile platforms, TD Ameritrade grants beginners access to a variety of educational tools—including free third-party research from reputable sources. Excellent customer service also helps streamline the trading process in the case of any issues.
More advanced traders also aren’t left out, as TD Ameritrade offers amazing trading features, portfolios, and analytical tools that can be customized and used for personal investment strategies. Moreover, with its commission-free trading, low-cost stocks, and advanced products like forex trading, TD Ameritrade offers something for everyone.
#2: Interactive Brokers
With Interactive Brokers, investors can trade stocks, funds, options, bonds, and cryptocurrencies using a single integrated account. The brokerage was founded in 1993 and has long since built a reputation for its low costs and top-tier trade execution.
Interactive Brokers is also known for its competitively low margin rates, commission-free trading, and no-transaction-fee mutual funds—all of which make it a boon for active traders and experienced investors.
Interactive Brokers has a comprehensive trading platform where investors can access its wealth of resources, including research reports, analytical tools, educational materials, etc. And, even without subscribing to the platform, you can still access these resources, using the Interactive Broker’s free paper trading and 3-month trial.
Established in 1982, TradeStation is an online brokerage firm with a reputation for reliability and stability. TradeStation has an amazing trading platform with many advanced tools that make it perfect for professional investors. However, newbie investors can also empower themselves with the market basics by taking advantage of the live coaching and large online community of traders offered, for free, by the brokerage.
TradeStation offers a variety of accounts for businesses, including corporate accounts and general and limited partnerships. The brokerage is also known for its amazing wide dealings for cryptocurrency, stocks, ETFs, options, futures, and mutual bonds. Most notably, it offers eight cryptocurrencies for trade and five crypto-to-crypto trading pairs, making it one of the best brokerage firms for cryptocurrency.
#4: Zacks Trade
Zack’s trade is a division of the LBMZ. The brokerage offers a comprehensive platform and amazing features that make it perfect for beginner and intermediate traders. Based in the United States, Zack’s Trade grants access to foreign markets and provides a medium to trade ETFs, penny shares, mutual funds, options, and bonds in 19 countries.
Founded in 1978, the brokerage is most reputable for its in-depth research tools, customizable mobile and desktop platforms, and broker-assisted trading. With the latter, investors are connected to a human broker for advice and guidance for trade—completely free of charge; a service that is not offered elsewhere.
Fidelity is a boon for newbie investors and more experienced traders. The brokerage was founded in 1946 and has risen among its peers to be among the best at what it does. Its trading platform, Active Trader Pro, allows full customization to suit your needs and allows you to build stock charts and place multiple trades simultaneously. Apart from this, Fidelity has other tools like its Real-Time Analytics and Trade Armor that can significantly enhance your trading.
Most notably, Fidelity is known for its commission-free trades on ETFs and stocks and its no-transaction-fee mutual funds. Overall, the brokerage allows the trades of securities like stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, cryptocurrencies, bonds, and options, maintaining low fees and administrative costs.
Firstrade was founded in 1985 and is one of the leading brokerages worldwide, in part, due to its competitive deals on trades. For example, Firstrade offers free stock and options trading, commission-free trades for mutual funds, and no contract fee for options—all of which make it a boon for both serious and casual investors.
Firstrade has three trading platforms and a mobile app for more convenient trading. It offers a unique lending program to investors wherein you can earn extra income by lending your stocks to other financial businesses or institutions. Further, the brokerage’s educational tools are a great boon for both beginner and experienced investors, with a plethora of resources like articles, videos, and podcasts.
#7: Charles Schwab
Established in 1973, Charles Schwab has grown to be one of the largest and most well-rounded brokerage firms worldwide. It is most known for its multiple trading platforms that attract a wide array of customers. These platforms come with a plethora of educational resources, analytical tools, and screeners to accommodate both beginner and experienced investors.
On top of this, Charles Schwab offers commission-free trades on stocks and ETFs, meaning investors don’t have to pay a fee when buying and selling stocks and ETFs online. Moreover, a 24/7 customer service as well as a Robo-advisor and AI features helps to streamline the trading process significantly.
#8: Merrill Edge
Launched in 2010, Merrill Edge provides a convenient platform for trading stocks, ETFs, options, funds, and bonds. Further, as the Bank of America owns it, Merrill Edge also offers banking services to its clients, seamlessly integrating their brokerage needs with their banking needs.
Merrill Edge has several features and services, making it a boon to investors. For example, its Guided Investing provides top-tier portfolio management and the option to work with professional advisors when trading. Additionally, with an account link to the Bank of America, investors can get access to the Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards Program, which offers amazing discounts.
How to Establish a Brokerage Account for Business
Brokerage accounts are just what your business needs when you’re looking to diversify your income streams and add some flexibility. So, here are some things you can do when establishing your first business brokerage account:
Business Brokerage Account Basics
This is always the first step when looking to open a brokerage account and is all about deciding on the type of trader you want to be and your requirement for the broker.
Are you a casual or an active trader? Do you like to have your finger on the stock market? What type of assets do you want to trade in? What’s your budget for trades? Answering such questions and others like it will help determine the type of brokerage account that’s best for your business.
1. Find Companies to Scout
Once you’ve determined the type of brokerage account best for your business, the next step is to narrow your pick of investment firms to those that meet your requirements, either in minimum deposits, tradable securities, etc.
Your research into these companies should thoroughly eliminate the firms that look only good on paper but are otherwise substandard. It’s recommended that you visit the company’s website to learn more about their services and terms. Read their customer reviews, see what others are saying about them, and go through the FAQs, so there aren’t any surprises.
Additionally, most brokerages offer a live chat function where you can speak to customer service. Take advantage of this to ask in-depth questions about things you need clarification on.
2. Open and Fund the Account
Once you’re done with your research and selected the best brokerage for your business, it’s time to open your account. Most brokerages offer the option to open an account digitally through their websites or platforms. During this process, you’ll be asked several in-depth questions about your trading experience, investment goals, and others.
Though the questions may seem unduly invasive, it is necessary for the brokerage to build a profile of you and your business, so they understand the type of advice—if any at all—to give. Some questions are also designed specifically to prevent identity theft and money laundering.
Apart from these, opening your account is a relatively easy step. The easiest way to fund your account (so you can start trading) is to link your brokerage account to your bank account. That makes it infinitely more convenient to move money back and forth.
3. Manage Your Business Investment Account
Finally, with your account open, it is key to set up necessities like your account profile, bank transfers, and expense-tracking accounts. Taking your time with this stage is important so there aren’t any problems that may crop up later on.
You should also become familiar with the trading platform to know how to place stock orders and the like and use the integrated tools to make the process easier. It can sometimes be convenient to link multiple bank accounts to your brokerage accounts, thereby making it your dominant account when banking—that is something to consider when managing your business investment account.
FAQs about online stock brokers for small business
Starting out as a newbie investor, getting overwhelmed by all the new information and jargon is easy. That’s why a good online brokerage with a comprehensive platform and educational tools comes in handy—they can provide the guidance you need. Unfortunately, most online brokerages tend to cater to more experienced traders with less thought for beginners.
Fortunately, TD Ameritrade isn’t like most online brokerages and actively provides newbie traders with all the resources they need to make the best investment choice. TD Ameritrade has no minimum account charge when starting out and offers in-person workshops, in-depth curriculums, and videos that cover a wide of topics that you need to know for the best trading experience.
There are a plethora of online brokerages out there that cater to businesses, and picking the one from the fold can mean the difference between making massive profits when investing or barely getting any returns.
That being said, here are a few things to consider when choosing an online business brokerage:
1. Some brokerages operate out of specific countries and not others, so picking a brokerage firm supported in your country/residence should be your first step and help narrow down the list.
2. Determine the products you’ll like to trade in and choose a brokerage that specializes in them. That way, you get the best deals for the products and enjoy their specialized resources.
3. Different brokerages have different account minimums for trading, so it’s always a good idea to confirm the fee. You don’t exceed your budget and take an unnecessary loss during trading.
The stock market is ever-changing, and predicting the best stock to invest in relies on a number of various factors. That being said, the best stock in the market heavily depends on the type of trading you’re into.
For example, some investors are drawn toward growth stocks that give high rewards for their increased risks. Other traders deliberately look for underperforming stocks to purchase them at the lowest price. Signing up for a stock news app is a great way to get the best information on what’s going on in the financial markets to enable you to decide on the best stock for you.
A business brokerage account is a type of investment account that allows businesses to buy and sell securities, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, through a broker. This type of account can be used by businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to large corporations.
The business brokerage accounts listed in our review are all provided by well-known, reputable firms. Each account has its own set of features and benefits, so be sure to compare them before deciding which one is right for your business.
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