Difference Between Shareholder and Stockholder (With Table)

Many companies will have shareholders and stockholders to purchase shares and stocks for them. They need them so that their profit in that company will improve. Their work is to invest their money in purchasing the shares. They can even do this as an individual, or they will approach as a group. It depends on the type of company.

Shareholder vs Stockholder

The main difference between Shareholders and Stockholder is that the function of a shareholder is to buy shares from the company, and they invest their money in buying those shares. While Stockholders buy stocks from a particular company, or they can purchase those stocks from a stock market if they want. 

A shareholder is a person who will invest their money in terms of shares. They can be a single person or a group of people. Their main work is to invest the money in terms of shares. Based on that they will improve the company’s profit. Shareholders are important for all companies. No matter whether the company is small or large, it will have a shareholder to invest in them.

A stockholder is a person who holds the stock of a particular company or will buy the stocks directly from the stock market. Their main work is buying stocks of that company. Sometimes stockholders will also lose their money if something in that company does not go well. This will lead to a loss for that person who purchased stocks. 

Comparison Table Between Shareholder and Stockholder

Parameters of Comparison




The person owning the company’s shares are called Shareholders

A person who has a stake in the company is called Stockholder




Main Focus

Investment returns

Company performance


Equity and preference

Shareholders, government suppliers, and creditors


Companies that are limited with shares will have shareholders

All companies will have stakeholders

What is Shareholder?

A shareholder can be either an individual or an institution that will own the shares of public or private companies. It can even be an organization as well. They can even do this as partners. To become a shareholder in a company, you should have owned at least one share in that company. The main role of the shareholder is to invest their money in that company by purchasing its shares.

The shares can be purchased in certain percentages. If that person is the only shareholder in that company, then they have to purchase the maximum number of shares. If they are not the only shareholder in that company, then the other shareholders will purchase the shares along with them. Every company will have a shareholder. Having a shareholder will help in improving the business. They will help in raising funds from the investors.

Shareholders who invest their money in the form of shares will not give any return investment for the money they invested. Even they cannot get their original payment from the company. Shareholders are very important so that the company will feel secured. They will provide much-needed financial security to the company. Shareholders can get money in two forms, either by dividend or by capital appreciation. There are some disadvantages available, but that depends on the type of company. Shareholders concentrate mainly on the equity and preference side.

What is Stockholder?

A stockholder is a single person or group of companies where they will own the stocks of the shares invested by the shareholders. This kind of stock investment is also known as equity. They will own the shares in terms of joint companies. Shareholders will own the shares of the company, and these shareholders can be the company’s owners as well. Taking care of the shares in terms of stock is the main work of the stockholder.

Most people think that these two terms are the same, and they don’t have any difference. But they are not the same. They have some differences in them. But sometimes, they are synonymous with shareholders. But this is not the case all the time. Stockholders will not own the company. They will just own the securities. If they are in the law and practice, they can’t make any final decision of the company.

You can easily become a stockholder just by purchasing the stocks of that particular company. You don’t need to buy anything apart from buying stocks of that company. You can even buy stocks from the stock market. You need not buy them from the company. Some people will even buy them from a stock company. 

Main Differences Between Shareholder and Stockholder

  1. A shareholder is a person who purchases shares from a particular company. On the other hand, a stockholder is a person who purchases stocks from a company.
  2. A shareholder will purchase shares from only a company. But a stockholder will purchase stocks either from a company or from a stock market.
  3. The practice of shareholder came from 1830. On the other hand, the stockholder came from 1753.
  4. The main focus involved for shareholders is investment returns. On the other hand, the main focus for stockholders is the performance of the company.
  5. Shareholders will include equity and preference. On the other hand, stockholders will include shareholders in them.


Both these practices have been in use for many years. They are very important for a company, and it does not matter whether the company is small or big. It is important for the people who are even going to buy or purchase shares and stocks from that company. Most companies that have limited shares will have shareholders to withstand.

But the majority of companies will have stockholders. Stockholders will come under the category of shareholders. And sometimes, these two are even connected. This kind of purchasing stocks from the company has been in practice for many years, and they came even before shareholders.


  1. https://books.google.com/bookshl=en&lr=&id=QugwjSRiuQoC&oi=fnd&pg=PA325&dq=Difference+Between+Shareholder+and+Stockholder&ots=IqB0YjHRQO&sig=2PRNnOTvqUySw-9loGQblQtyxNQ
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/smj.4250110408