How to buy Microsoft shares in the UK

Buy Microsoft shares in the UK commission-free

We reccommend eToro to buy Microsoft shares in the UK. It’s a comprehensive trading app which allows you to trade and invest in thousands of stocks, currencies and funds and copy the trades of others. Investing is commission-free too.

Capital at risk if you invest.

Table of Contents

In this guide we show you how to buy Microsoft shares in the UK. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is a publicly listed company with its shares listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in the US. 

To buy Microsoft shares in the UK you’ll need to use an investment platform that allows you to buy US shares. You’ll also need to complete a W8-BEN form and we’ll explain how to do this.

In this guide we’ll take you through how to buy Microsoft shares in the UK through a general investment account (GIA), an ISA, a SIPP and a LISA. We’ll also cover how to buy Microsoft stock using fractional shares.

Table of Contents

What is Microsoft?

Microsoft is perhaps best-known for its Windows operating software and Office suite of desktop publishing products. It’s now one of the largest companies in the world and one of the most profitable, making it an option to consider for your US shares portfolio.

Beyond software, Microsoft also owns LinkedIn – the largest social media network for careers in the world – as well as Azure, its cloud computing arm. On top of that, Microsoft also has a huge video games empire, including the Xbox games console and the publisher Activision Blizzard.

As of April-24, Microsoft has a market capitalisation (the total value of all of its shares added together) of an incredible $3 trillion. Microsoft’s largest shareholder and founder is Bill Gates, who is also one of the world’s richest men.

Microsoft is one of the ‘Magnificent 7’

As mentioned, Microsoft is one of the largest companies in the world. It’s also part of the so-called ‘Magnificent 7’ group of technology giants which dominate the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The others are Google (its corporate name is Alphabet), Amazon, Tesla, Meta (Facebook), Apple and Nvidia. Recently, the combined value of these 7 companies has accounted for around 29% of the total value of all stocks listed on the S&P 500.

Together, these companies were responsible for two-thirds of the S&P 500’s gains in 2023.

Microsoft is also considered one of the Big Five US tech giants, commonly referred to as ‘Big Tech’, along with Amazon, Meta, Alphabet and Apple.

Microsoft’s market ticker is MSFT and you’ll need to buy shares via the Nasdaq stock exchange if you want to own a piece of Microsoft.

Microsoft’s live share price

How to buy Microsoft shares

The process to buy shares in Microsoft is simple:

  1. Choose the best investment platform for you
  2. Open the right type of account with them based on your needs
  3. Search for Microsoft (MSFT) on their platform and trade or buy Microsoft shares

We recommend eToro as the best way to buy Microsoft shares in the UK.

eToro

eToro is our top-rated investment app, it’s easy to use, has lots of innovative features and allows you to trade commission-free.

Capital at risk if you invest.

Here’s what the trading screen in eToro’s app looks like:

How to buy Microsoft shares in UK with eToro
Microsoft shares on the eToro trade screen (25th April-24)

Hit ‘Trade’ and you’re ready to buy Microsoft shares with eToro.

You’ll also need to complete a W8-BEN form before you are able to buy Microsoft shares, or any US stock, as a non-US person. More on this below.

This article has been reviewed by Talal, who is a CFA qualified finance professional. Talal previously advised clients with at least £1 billion to invest, so you’re in safe hands.

Buy Microsoft shares in an investment account

If you want to set up an account and buy shares in Microsoft quickly, then a general investment account (GIA), sometimes known as a trading account or just an investment account, is a great way to get started.

eToro

eToro is our top-rated investment app, it’s easy to use, has lots of innovative features and allows you to trade commission-free.

Capital at risk if you invest.

You can have as many GIAs as you wish, even with different providers. There are also no contribution or withdrawal limits or penalties.

But, you may have to pay income tax, dividend tax or capital gains tax on any gains or income received through a GIA. There are a number of allowances before you’d have to pay tax, but it will come down to your individual circumstances.

It should be noted, though, that dividend and capital gains allowances have been significantly reduced in recent years, making ISAs even more attractive options.

Sometimes a GIA is referred to as a dealing account, usually by the more traditional stockbrokers. 

If you’d prefer a traditional stockbroker but which has modern features and customer support over the phone, then we recommend Interactive Investor.

Interactive Investor

With over 400,000 customers, Interactive Investor is one of the largest investment platforms in the UK.

It has over 40,000 shares and investments to choose from, fees which get cheaper the more you invest and one free trade per month. Its customer service is top-rated, too.

Buy Microsoft shares in an ISA

An Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a government-approved product for saving and investing without paying tax. 

Through a Stocks and Shares ISA you can invest in shares, bonds and funds without paying income tax, dividend tax and capital gains tax on your investments.

Tax-wrappers like ISAs are becoming increasingly important for investors as the government has reduced the allowances on dividends and capital gains in recent years.

Whether you’re going to buy shares in Microsoft or not, you should consider opening a Stocks and Shares ISA as a great, tax-efficient way of building an investment portfolio. You can contribute up to £20,000 a year into a Stocks and Shares ISA.

We recommend Interactive Investor as the best Stocks and Shares ISA provider in the UK. It’s one of the largest investment platforms in the UK, has a huge range of investments and excellent customer support.

Interactive Investor

Interactive Investor is the best Stocks and Shares ISA for its huge range of investment options, low pricing and excellent customers service.

Interactive Investor is regulated by the FCA and has FSCS protection.

Read more about ISAs in our expert-written guides:

Buy Microsoft shares in a SIPP

A self-invested personal pension (SIPP) is a brilliant, tax-efficient method of saving for your retirement with lots of investment options and control over how you invest.

Whether you already have a SIPP or want to open one, you may be thinking about adding Microsoft shares to your pension portfolio. 

If you want to buy Microsoft shares in a SIPP then we recommended AJ Bell as our number one SIPP provider.

AJ Bell

For its huge range of investments and low pricing, AJ Bell is our top pick for best SIPP. 

There are thousands of shares, funds, ETFs, investments trusts and bonds to choose from. Plus, 4 ready-made portfolios if you don’t want to pick your own investments.

AJ Bell is also known for its excellent customer service and it has a Trustpilot rating of 4.8.

Capital at risk if you invest.

Buy Microsoft shares in a Lifetime ISA

Lifetime ISAs (often referred to as LISAs) are tax-free savings and investment accounts designed to be put towards your first home or for retirement. 

You have to be an adult aged 40 or under to open a Lifetime ISA. You’re able to contribute up to £4,000 a year, which also counts towards your overall ISA annual allowance of £20,000. 

The major benefit of a LISA is that the government gives you a 25% bonus on top of your contributions.

That can really add up over time so you should strongly consider opening a Lifetime ISA if you’re eligible. But, there are strict penalties for withdrawing money for any other reason than to buy a first home or for retirement.

Hargreaves Lansdown

Not all investment platforms offer a Lifetime ISA but Hargreaves Lansdown does and it’s one of the lowest cost out there.

There’s a huge range of investments, great customer support and no transfer or exit fees.

How to buy shares in Microsoft using fractional shares

You don’t have to own a whole share in a company when investing anymore. You can instead buy a fractional share, which is a proportion of a single share.

Many of the best investment apps in the UK allow you to do this. It’s particularly useful for buying shares in companies with high share prices which can put them out of reach for new investors.

For example, you can buy 10% or 50% of a share instead of one whole share. This lowers the funds required to get exposure to high-priced shares. Currently, fractional shares are not available through ISA accounts – only via general investment accounts (GIAs).

Microsoft’s share price is pretty high in absolute terms, especially for a beginner investor who doesn’t want to invest too much in a single stock. It has ranged between around $303 and $430 per share over the last year (as of April-24). 

If, for example, you’re starting a portfolio with $500 then one Microsoft share could take up as much as 80% or more of your initial portfolio (based on the 52-week range above).

At Generation Money, we recommend that no single share makes up more than 5% of your portfolio value – certainly not more than 10%.

So, if you don’t want to buy a whole share in Microsoft you can still buy a proportion of a share instead.

Our preferred platform for buying fractional shares is eToro, and you can buy fractional Microsoft shares in the UK on their platform.

eToro

eToro is our top-rated investment app, it’s easy to use, has lots of innovative features and allows you to trade commission-free.

Capital at risk if you invest.

Buy Microsoft shares in a Junior ISA

A Junior ISA is a tax-efficient savings and investment account for children, which can only be opened by a child’s parent or guardian.

Once opened, anyone is able to contribute, such as grandparents, and there’s an annual limit of £9,000. All gains and income generated within a Junior ISA is free from income tax, dividend tax and capital gains tax. 

To buy Microsoft (MSFT) shares in a Junior ISA, you’ll need to first open a Junior ISA account for your child. We rate Hargreaves Lansdown as the best Stocks and Shares Junior ISA.

Hargreaves Lansdown

Not all investment platforms offer a Lifetime ISA but Hargreaves Lansdown does and it’s one of the lowest cost out there.

There’s a huge range of investments, great customer support and no transfer or exit fees.

For more on Junior ISAs and why we rate HL as number one, read our full guide to the best Junior Stocks and Shares ISAs.

How to buy Microsoft shares in the UK

We’ve covered all of the main ways of how to buy Microsoft shares in the UK, but as a non-US person you must complete a form known as W8-BEN

All stocks listed in the US are subject to US financial rules and tax laws.

A W8-BEN form is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS, the US’s tax collector) for non-US persons who wish to deal in US-listed securities. The key purpose is tax.

The US sets a withholding tax of 30% on non-US persons for dividends and interest income received on US assets. By completing a W8-BEN form, this tax reduces to 15%. 

Regulated brokers and investment platforms in the UK all require you to complete this form before buying US shares.

All of the investment platforms and brokers in this guide will require you to complete a W8-BEN form before you can buy Microsoft shares in the UK, unless you do so through a SIPP. Buying US shares within a SIPP is free from US withholding tax and does not usually require a W8-BEN form.

Here’s the prompt you’ll see when buying US stocks and ETFs with eToro.

eToro W8 BEN form

eToro makes it easy to complete the W8-BEN form through its app and its online platform by completing a simple form.

Should you buy Microsoft shares?

If you’re reading about how to buy Microsoft shares, you’re probably already thinking ‘should I buy Microsoft shares?’.

We don’t give investment advice. It’s down to you to do your own research on Microsoft stock and make your own investment decision. Although Microsoft has seen huge growth in its share price in the last 10 years, up around 1,000%, past performance isn’t a reliable indicator of future performance.

However, here are some of the themes we think you should research when considering buying Microsoft shares:

  • Microsoft repeatedly faced claims that it is a monopoly or that it has too much power in some of the markets in which it operates, particularly in computer software. It may continue to come under government and regulator scrutiny
  • The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Microsoft’s significant interest in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT and its potential monetisation
  • The strength of Microsoft’s position in computer software, video games and cloud computing and the future growth prospects of these industries

The investment platforms we’ve covered above all have tools and resources available to help you with your research and analysis. We suggest you make use of them – especially the tons of features that eToro provides.

All of the investment platforms in this guide are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and are part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), protecting up to £85,000 of your money in the unlikely event that the platform goes out of business.

Note: to buy Microsoft stock and to buy Microsoft shares means essentially the same thing. Buying stock, or owning stock, tends to be more widely used in the USA than in the UK. 

Start investing

That covers how to buy Microsoft shares in the UK (Nasdaq: MSFT). Let’s summarise.

First, decide which investment platform you want to use. Then decide which type of account you’d like to invest through (or you may already have an investment account). Make sure to complete a W8-BEN form, too.

Don’t forget that Microsoft is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange so you will need to open an account with an investment platform that offers US shares trading. We recommend eToro.

Finally, search for Microsoft (ticker: MSFT) on your chosen investment platform, select how many shares you want to invest in and hit ‘buy’.

Here’s a final reminder of our top picks of each type of account:

You May Also Like

Disclaimer: This article should not be considered financial advice. We do not recommend that you buy Microsoft shares, nor do we recommend that you do not buy Microsoft shares. No view is held or given on the present or future value of any investment mentioned in this article or elsewhere on our site. You should do your own research and make your own investment decisions. Investments may rise or fall in value; your capital is at risk if you invest.

Any company information or statistics mentioned were correct at the date of publication but may have changed since then.

Buy Microsoft shares in the UK

We reccommend eToro, it’s commission-free and has thousands of shares.
Capital at risk if you invest. FCA regulated and FSCS protected.

Generation Money Guarantee

At Generation Money our purpose is to help you make better financial decisions. All of our articles are independently written and/or edited by finance professionals and adhere to strict editorial guidelines. This post may contain links which, if clicked, could result in a payment to the site. These links never impact our editorial policy and all rankings and product recommendations remain unbiased. For more details, read how this site is financed.

Get £200 cashback with Interactive Investor

Get £200 cashback when opening and investing in a SIPP, or transferring a SIPP. Terms apply.

Capital at risk if you invest. Interactive Investor is regulated by the FCA and has FSCS protection.

Recent Articles