In the US, many brokerages require that you fulfill certain standards before they will let you trade options at various levels. These standards, from what I understand, are secret and at the discretion of each brokerage, but SEC mandates a minimum level that they all must maintain.
Among these are things like minimum balance, income, experience trading options and so on.
What exactly are the minimum standards mandated by the SEC? Surely they must be public information. As I understand it the general idea is to not let people trade options unless they "know what they are doing". Well, what exactly determines this, according to SEC?