It is the buying and selling of paper share certificates, rather than digitally managed shares.

Find out more information on certificated share dealing here

What is a share certificate?

A share certificate is a document that certifies the possession of shares in a company limited by shares.

How to start certificated share dealing?

You need to open a share dealing account that lets you buy and sell certificated shares, then you can either add money to your account and buy paper shares, or sell your shares online.

Here is how to start share dealing

How to sell share certificates

If you want to buy or sell paper share certificates, you need to use a certificated share dealing broker.

This comparison shows brokers that can sell your share certificates, but it can be expensive so shop around for the cheapest deal.

How to find out what shares you have

There are two type of shares you can buy and sell:

  • Certificated: The shares are in your name, and you get a certificate as proof of the number of shares you own.

  • Electronically held: The shares are held electronically in the name of your broker, and you are the beneficial owner.

It is cheaper and faster to sell electronically held shares, as there is less paperwork your broker needs to do to transfer them.

How to sell your shares online

To sell certificated shares through a broker, you need to open an account with them.
You then need to:

  1. Complete an application confirming your personal details

  2. Give the information on your certificate as proof of ownership

  3. Send your certificate and printed application to the broker to confirm the sale

There is usually a time limit given when you sell certified shares, such as five working days. To sell your shares as cheaply as possible, compare the charges and fees for each broker using our comparison.

If a broker asks you to send the certificate to them faster, think about using a recorded delivery service, but include this when you compare costs between brokers.

How much does it cost to deal in certificated shares?

Most brokers charge you for every certificate you sell, but how much depends on the value of your shares.

For example, if you sell shares worth 10,000 you may get charged 1% (100) to sell them, but if you sell another 10,000 the charge may reduce to 0.5% (50).

Some brokers also charge a fee to cover the administration costs of transferring your certified shares into another name; this is usually around 20.

Certificated share dealing FAQs


Can I transfer my share certificates into electronic shares?


Yes, request a CREST transfer form from your broker, then complete and send it back to them with your certificates. This process is usually free.


Is it cheaper to keep my shares electronically?


No, you may need to pay a broker fee to hold your shares electronically, but it will be cheaper to trade them when you decide to sell.


How do I know if I can still sell my old certified shares?


If the company is still in existence you can ask them to confirm your shares are still valid. Once validated, you can sell your certificates.


Will I pay tax if I sell my share certificates?


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


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).

About our certificated share dealing comparison


Who do we include in this comparison?


We include share dealing accounts from our panel that offer certificated trading. 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.

Further Information