Stock broker regulation
One of the most important things to be aware of is if the stock broker is regulated in the jurisdictions in which they offer their online trading services to. Some of the most popular regulators to be aware of are the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
Not only is it vital to check that the broker is regulated, you should verify that the regulation is up to date by checking the brokers licenses number with the relevant regulator. Different regulators have a different set of rules and restrictions although most are put in place by the government to protect investors interests. Choosing an online stock broker that is regulated can give you account protection that you may not get with an unregulated offshore brokerage firm.