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The initial contribution to an IRA -- one that is not a conversion from traditional to Roth -- is just the first sum of money deposited. The importance of it for a Roth is the date, not the amount.

The minimum amount of the initial contribution is determined by the IRA provider. In other words, it's the minimum amount to open or maintain an account.

Ordinarily the maximum amount is the same as the maximum that you are allowed to deposit per year. That is $2,000, or the amount of your qualifying income, whichever is less.

Between January 1 and April 15, however, if you did not max out your IRA contributions the year before, it is possible to contribute for two years at once, so that the effective maximum is $4,000.

It is not analogous to opening a brokerage account and converting it to a Roth IRA, because you cannot do that. A new Roth IRA must be opened specifically as a Roth IRA (do not use the brokerage's regular account application form).
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