Help Center

Open a Client Account

What type of accounts do you offer?

We offer general investing, retirement, corporate and trust accounts. Learn more about account types here. Before you set up an account for a client you must first set the client up in our system.

How do I set up a new client?

To set up a new client:

  1. Go to your Client Accounts page
  2. Next to Actions select Create Client
  3. Fill out the required Client Information
  4. On the Set Up a Client: Set Up Completed page select one of the listed options

The process of setting up a new client is distinguished from creating an account. Once a new client is created, accounts may be opened.

How do I open an account for a client?

After you set up a client, you can open an account:

  1. On the Set Up a Client: Set Up Completed page, select Create an account
  2. Select the Account type and enter an account name
  3. Choose a pricing plan for this client
  4. Decide whether your client will agree to the Account Certification remotely or in office
  5. If in office, ask your client to review the certifications then check I Agree and select Continue

If, on the Set Up a Client: Set Up Completed page, you do not select Create an account you can open an account for a client at a later time by:

  1. Going to your Client Accounts page
  2. Selecting Create Account In the Account Options Menu located next to the specific client
  3. Select the Account type and enter an account name
  4. Choose a pricing plan for this client
  5. Decide whether your client will agree to the Account Certification remotely or in office
  6. If in office, ask your client to review the certifications then check I Agree and select Continue

What are the password requirements?

  1. Passwords must be at least 10 and no more than 64 characters
  2. Passwords must contain at least one uppercase letter, at least one lowercase letter, at least one number or symbol, and can include spaces.
  3. Passwords are case sensitive.
  4. If resetting your password, you may not use your existing password

Suggestions for maintaining a strong password:

  • Change your password frequently.
  • Do not use simple modifications of your previous passwords.
  • Do not use personal information (name, birthday, anniversary, etc).
  • Avoid common, easy to guess words.
  • Use different passwords for different sites.

Permanent Residence

If you live in more than one state, you will need to determine which is your permanent residence. All states have different definitions of permanent residency. For tax purposes, these definitions often depend on:

  • How many days of the year you spend in a particular state,
  • Whether you keep a residence in a particular state, and
  • Whether you are “domiciled” in a state, based on where they work, live, keep financial assets, vote, and register their car among other things.

You may find more information on the state Websites using the official state abbreviation in the URL to locate the site. For example, view www.state.ca.us to view California’s Web site. For New York, view www.state.ny.us. For Texas, view www.state.tx.us.

How do you define a U.S. person?

For federal tax purposes, you are considered a U.S. person if you are:

  • An individual who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien,
  • A partnership, corporation, company, or association created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States,
  • An estate (other than a foreign estate), or
  • A domestic trust (as defined in Regulations section 301.7701-7).

(Source: 2011 IRS Form W9)

What is the difference between a Resident Alien and Non-resident Alien

Resident Alien

A person is considered a resident alien if they hold an immigrant visa, also known as a green card, or they meet the substantial presence test. To meet the substantial presence test, a person must have lived in the US for:

  • 31 days during the current year, and
  • 183 days during the current year and previous two years combined.

Resident aliens may open an account with us.

Non-Resident Alien

A person is considered a non-resident alien if they are not a U.S. citizen and do not meet the resident alien guidelines above. Non-resident aliens cannot open accounts even if they have a current U.S. residence.

If a non-resident alien opens an account at FOLIOfn, then moves out of the U.S., their account will be restricted. They will be asked to liquidate their holdings or transfer them to another brokerage.

Can I open a foreign account?

Accounts are available to U.S. Citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents with a U.S. address only.

Is there a required minimum account balance to maintain my advised accounts?

There is no required minimum account balance to maintain your advised accounts on our platform. However, your Advisory Firm may have account balance minimums for clients.

What are the client requirements to open an account?

To open an account, a client must meet the following requirements:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien (U.S. Permanent Resident)
  • Valid Social Security Number or Individual Tax Identification Number
  • Valid U.S. address

Am I subject to federal backup withholding?

Most people are not subject to federal backup withholding.

The IRS notifies taxpayers if they are subject to backup withholding. Any of the following reasons may cause your account to be subject to backup withholding:

  • You received specific notification from the IRS stating that you are subject to backup withholding
  • You fail to furnish your taxpayer identification number on Form W9
  • You provide the wrong taxpayer identification number
  • You ignore notices from the IRS claiming that you have under reported interest or dividend income on your tax return

Important: If you have been notified by the IRS concerning your backup withholding status, you must state so when opening a Folio Investing account. If you are unsure of your backup withholding status, all questions should be directed to a tax advisor or the IRS.

How is Total Net Worth calculated?

Total Net Worth as defined by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is the value of your assets minus your liabilities.

Assets include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, other securities, bank accounts, and other personal property. Do not include your primary residence among your assets.

Liabilities include any outstanding loans, credit card balances, taxes, etc. Do not include your mortgage unless a portion of your mortgage debt is greater than the estimated fair market value of your residence, in which case include the amount in excess of the estimated fair market value. In addition, if you incurred additional mortgage debt in the last 60 days—other than as a result of the acquisition of your primary residence include that debt as a liability as well.

How is Liquid Net Worth calculated?

Liquid Net Worth as defined by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is your net worth minus assets that cannot be converted quickly and easily into cash, such as real estate, business equity, personal property and automobiles, expected inheritances, assets earmarked for other purposes, and investments or accounts subject to substantial penalties if they were sold or if assets were withdrawn from them.

Examples of liquid assets:

  • Cash
  • Money market funds
  • Checking account funds
  • U.S. Treasury bills
  • Shares of large blue chip stocks that are actively traded

Assets that would not be included here are those that you cannot sell for a fair price quickly and easily. Examples of illiquid assets:

  • Houses
  • Automobiles
  • Antiques
  • Stocks of small private companies

What types of Corporate, Trust, and other accounts can I open?

Corporation

Corporate accounts are opened under the name and tax identification number of an incorporated business.

General Partnership

General Partnership accounts are opened under the name and tax identification of a general partnership. At least one partner can place trades on behalf of the partnership.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Limited Liability Company accounts are opened under the name and tax identification of the LLC.

Limited Partnership

Limited Partnership accounts are opened under the name and tax identification of a limited partnership. At least one partner can place trades on behalf of the partnership.

Sole Proprietorship

Sole Proprietorship accounts are opened under the name of an unincorporated business that is wholly owned by one individual.

Investment Club

Investment Club accounts can be opened on behalf of investment club clients. The members of the club own the account. The club must have its own tax identification number.

Business Trust

Business trusts are typically created by individuals, who are then referred to as grantors. The trust’s assets are managed by designated trustees on behalf of the trust’s beneficiaries. The provisions of the trust cannot be changed or terminated by the creators without the agreement of the beneficiaries. All property placed in the trust must stay there. Trustees cannot be replaced unless they die or resign.

Any taxes the trust accrues are paid by the trust. When a trustee dies, no estate taxes will be charged on the trust’s assets. In short, an Business Trust offers tax advantages without the flexibility of a Revocable Trust.

Unincorporated Organization

Unincorporated Organization accounts are opened under the name and tax identification number of the unincorporated organization, such as a charity, foundation, labor union, government entity, educational institution, or religious group.

How can I open a FOLIO Advisor account?

You can open an account online only if your firm has already:

  • Signed a selling agreement with FOLIO Advisor, and
  • Authorized you specifically to use FOLIO Advisor.

Your firm should notify you if you are authorized to use this service. In addition, your firm will also provide:

  • A firm ID number, and
  • An employee ID number.

You will need to input these two numbers when you sign up to use FOLIO Advisor on this Web site.

How do I set up a Selling Agreement?

If you need your due diligence or compliance officer to execute a Selling Agreement…

  • Send us an email with the name and email address of your firm’s officer. We will send them our selling agreement.
  • Or, call a Key Account Manager during business hours at 1-888-485-3456 with the contact information of your firm’s officer. At all other times, please call 1-888-485-3456.

If you are a principal and authorized to sign a selling agreement on behalf of your broker/dealer or Registered Investment Advisor…

  • Send us an email requesting the selling agreement.
  • Or, call a Key Account Manager during business hours at 1-888-485-3456. At all other times, please call 1-888-485-3456.

Bill Forward & Bill Arrears

  • Bill Forward: Your recurring charges (e.g., Advisory Fees) are billed and due in the future.
  • Bill Arrears: Your recurring charges (e.g., Advisory Fees) are billed and due after your bill cycle closes. For example, you receive your bill for one quarter, and the policy is to bill in arrears, the bill is actually for last quarter’s advisory fees, as opposed to the current quarter.

FINRA Affiliation

If a change in employment has altered your affiliation (or the affiliation of an immediate family member) with FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), please contact us. Please include:

  • Your full name
  • Account number
  • The contact information for your Compliance Officer

What happens if a client signs the required account opening documents remotely?

He can either Sign Electronically or Print and Sign.

If you use our e-Signature process to have your client Sign Electronically:

  1. Complete the account opening process for your client and select Sign Remotely
  2. Review the client information and select Continue
  3. Select Send Email
  4. He will receive an email prompting him to log into his account at www.FolioClient.com
  5. Upon logging in, he will see Documents Requiring Your Signature
  6. Your client will then verify his personal information, check I Agree and then select Submit to electronically sign the account opening documents
  7. You will then be notified that your client has signed the required documents, and your client can now fund the account so that you can start trading

For help on our e-Signature process, please refer to our Advisor and Client guides

If you decide to have your client Print and Sign:

  1. Complete the account opening process for your client and select Sign Remotely
  2. Review the client information and select Continue
  3. Select New Account Certifications Form
  4. Print the form and send it to your client
  5. Have your client fill out the required information and sign the form
  6. Instruct your client to return the documents to us via email, fax or mail.

Once we receive the documents, we will lift the restriction on your client’s account.

How do I set up and create a business or Qualified Retirement Plan account?

To set up a business or Qualified Retirement Plan account:

  1. Go to your Client Accounts page
  2. Next to Actions select Create a Business
  3. Select the type of business or Qualified Retirement Plan
  4. Fill out the required business or Qualified Plan information
  5. Decide whether your client will agree to the Account Certification remotely or in office
  6. If in office, ask your client to review the certifications, check I Agree and then select Continue

If your client is signing remotely, refer to the question above for instructions on how to sign the required account opening documents remotely.

How do I open additional accounts for a client if they already have one?

To open additional accounts for a client:

  1. Go to your Client Accounts page
  2. In the Account Options menu located next to the specific client, select Create Account
  3. Select the account type and enter an account name
  4. Decide whether your client will agree to the Account Certifications remotely or in office
  5. If in office, ask your client review the certification, check I Agree and then select Continue

If your client is signing remotely, refer to the question above for instructions on how to sign the required account opening documents remotely.