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How to Choose a Self-Directed IRA Provider

Although it’s possible to start an IRA at almost each financial institution, only a few have the knowledge and regulatory authority. A good custodian can help you through the intricacies of self-directed IRA ownership and safeguard you against pitfalls, like fraud and forbidden transactions.

Below are pointers to help you find a good self-directed IRA provider:

Types of Providers

Self-directed IRA providers may be Administrators, who process the required paperwork to establish IRAs; Facilitators, who usually educate people on self-directed IRAs and help put up single member LLCs; or Custodians, which are either highly regulated banks, credit unions or non-depository banks that are given authority to custody IRA assets.

Better Business Bureau Accreditation

The standards established for BBB accreditation are centered around building trust, truthful advertisements, responsiveness to customers, and protecting customer privacy, among several others. If a provider is not accredited, there is no assurance that they comply with these standards.It’s certainly safer to deal with a BBB-approved provider.

Size, Scale and Expertise

If a provider has smaller assets in their care or comparatively fewer unique investments with IRA eligibility, their capabilities may be limited.Business size tells you so much regarding a provider’s experience and expertise, and you have to go with one that can accommodate your needs for specific alternative asset investment.


There are custodians who specialize in a particular area – for example, exchange-traded assets, private stock, LLCs and all the rest. Have your potential provider explain their level of experience in the specific types of assets you might have for your IRA. Specialists are always updated on all rules and regulations that could impact your self-directed IRA investments.

Geographic Reach

With a smaller regional provider, the focus is often limited, hence cutting you out from some of their services once you are outside their strategic reach.Choose a provider that can service your area – or future area, just in case.

Information Protection

In this generation of data breaches and identity theft, it’s crucial that your provider is serious about keeping your personal and financial information private and secure.They have to be able to tell you in detail the steps they perform to make this possible.

Service Model

Lastly, using qualified IRA funds for alternative asset investments usually demands a lot of paperwork. To set up and maintain a self-directed IRA with a new provider, the process tends to be complex and time-consuming, unless you have a responsive client service team at your disposal.Hence, choose a potential provider that will provide this for you.

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