Account Plans

Alpaca Paper Only Account

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

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 only support brokerage accounts for qualified U.S. residents.

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.

Individual Taxable Account

Alpaca Securities LLC supports individual taxable brokerage accounts. At this time, we do not support retirement accounts. For a more formal overview, please see the sign up page of the Alpaca Securities FAQ.

Business Account

We support select business accounts for U.S. and non-U.S. residents. Hedge funds, RIAs, app developers, and service providers, please contact us if you are interested in opening a business account. You can also read more about some of the entities we support.

Account for non-U.S. residents?

We’ve begun collecting interest from non-U.S. residents seeking commission-free U.S. stock trading. Please voice your interest by completing this form.

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.

Suggestions or questions?
We're always happy to hear from you. You can contribute to these docs on GitHub, or you can join our Community Forum or Community Slack to get help from other community members and the Alpaca team.