If you want to buy and sell shares online, you need to:

  1. 1.

    Find an online share dealing account. Use this comparison to compare accounts to find the right one for you.

  2. 2.

    Open your chosen account and transfer in money you want to use to buy shares.

  3. 3.

    Choose the shares you want and purchase them through your account.

  4. 4.

    Trade and sell your shares using the trading platform.

You can also buy and sell shares through a traditional stockbroker, financial adviser or investment manager.

What is a share?

A share is a unit of ownership in a company. Its value is calculated by dividing the value of the company by the number of shares available.

For example, if a company is valued at 50 million and there are 25 million shares available, the share value will be 2. However, this value can rise and fall depending on how the overall stock market performs and other market factors.

Share dealing is a form of investment trading that lets you buy and sell shares in publicly listed companies.

Which are the best shares to buy?

Which shares you choose to invest in depends on a number of factors such as:

  • How much amount you want to invest

  • How long you want to invest for

  • How much risk you're willing to take

If you're looking for help on which companies or stocks to invest in, it's a good idea to get the advice of a financial adviser or share dealing broker.

How to choose a share dealing broker

You could save money when share dealing by using a specialist broker, who acts as an intermediary between you and the stock market.

A broker buys and sells shares for you with the aim of getting the best price possible. There are three types of share dealing broker:

  • Execution only brokers: They follow your instructions to buy and sell shares without giving you any financial advice

  • Advisory brokers: They give you advice on the purchase and sale of shares but leave the final decision up to you

  • Discretionary brokers: They take complete control and deal on your behalf, but usually charge you more for their services

This comparison shows brokers that let you make share dealing trades online.

What is the best online trading platform?

The best online platform for buying and selling shares will depend on several factors such as:

  • How often you want to trade

  • How experienced you are

  • How much money you want to invest

This is why it's important to be aware of your needs and goals when choosing a share trading platform.

Buying and selling shares

Selling shares, or stock, is similar to the process of buying them. Using your trading platform, you have two options:

  • Sell a specific number of shares

  • Sell your shares by their value

If you want to sell all the shares you own in a particular company, you'll have to select the number of shares that you want to sell.

It's important to know that you may be quoted a price that is lower than what you originally bought your stock for. Once you make the order to sell, the transaction is complete and the money from the sale should appear in your trading account.

What costs to look out for

There are several costs to think about before you deal in shares, including:

  • Charge per trade: This is how much you pay for making a single share dealing trade

  • Frequent trader rate: This is a discounted charge per trade for making more than a set number of deals each month

  • Platform fees: Most accounts are free, but some charge an annual fee or a charge for transferring money in or out of your account

This comparison shows how much each share dealing account charges you per trade.

How can shares earn you money?

When you deal in shares, you could earn money through:

  • Growth: This only applies if your shares grow in value and you sell them at a profit

  • Dividends: These can be paid out a few times a year, based on company performance

Not all shares offer dividends, and those that do offer an amount that is proportional to the number of shares you own.

Share dealing FAQs


Do I pay tax on share dealing?


Yes, any profits are subject to Capital Gains Tax and you also must pay 0.5% Stamp Duty. Here is more on investment tax.


Can I use a share dealing telephone service?


Some companies let you buy and sell shares over the phone, but the charges can differ to online dealing. Check the charges before you apply.


How can I cut the cost of share dealing?


If you plan to make several trades each month a frequent trader account could reduce your cost per trade. Check the terms with each company.


Can I buy shares in any company?


No, only companies that are listed on stock exchanges, like the London Stock Exchange (LSE) or the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).


Can I deal in shares through a mobile app?


Yes, but only if the company offers a mobile app. You still need to open an account online and add money before you can make any trades on the app.


Can I transfer shares from one broker to another?


Yes, but you are usually charged for transferring shares from each company, e.g. if you own shares from two companies, you pay two lots of charges.

About our share dealing accounts comparison


Who do we include in this comparison?


We include share dealing accounts from our panel. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Here is more information about how our website works.


How do we make money from our comparison?


We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.