UK Share Trading

Guide: Getting started

How to get started

To buy and sell UK shares on the internet you have to register and set up an account with one of the brokers offering this service.

Setting up an account may take up to a few weeks, depending on how long the paper work takes to process.

You will be asked to verify your identification by sending in an original bank statement, a copy of your passport or an original utility bill. This is required by the broker as a result of the new money laundering regulations currently in place.

Usually you will be required to deposit money in your account before trading. You should receive interest on these deposits and it is well worth checking the rate of interest offered by different brokers.

Our Financial Directory lists the major online brokers in the UK and can be accessed by going to the Online Brokers directory.

The online brokers' websites will tell you more about how to sign up, how much it costs for each trade and any special offers or incentives provided.

You should be aware that there are two types of online trading facilities.

Real time trading offers the chance to deal immediately with the price offered to you.

There is also a category of online brokers that offer an e-mail service. You use an e-mail rather like you would a phone, as a way of sending your purchase or sale order to the broker. You can usually specify a limit price at which you want to deal so that you don't overpay or undersell your holdings.

You should always check that your chosen broker offers the type of service you are looking for.

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