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Buying overseas shares

Buying shares through HL means you have access to lots of overseas markets. Here’s what you need to know about buying overseas shares before you get started. Like all investments, they can fall as well as rise in value, so you could get back less than you invest.

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The costs of buying overseas shares

You don’t need to hold foreign currency to buy overseas shares, the share price is converted into pounds when you deal.

You’ll pay a foreign exchange (FX) charge on top of our standard dealing commission. The only account this doesn't apply to is the Junior Stocks and Shares ISA. Fluctuations in the exchange rate will affect the sterling value of your overseas holdings.

Our foreign exchange charges can be found on our overseas share dealing page.

Buying US shares

You need to complete a form (W-8BEN) before you can buy US shares through HL. It reduces the amount of tax you pay on dividends and interest from any shares you buy. 

For most people, it is quickest to complete the form online. However, we may need you to complete a paper form if you fall into any of the categories below.

You’ll need to complete a paper form if you are: 

  • not a UK resident
  • a US citizen or taxpayer 
  • a joint account holder with someone else 
  • managing a company, charity or trust account 
  • acting as power of attorney 

How to complete a W-8BEN online 

  1. Log in to see your accounts. 
  2. Select the 'Account settings' tab. 
  3. Select 'Share dealing and live prices' from the left-hand list. 
  4. Under 'Vantage Share Dealing', select the W-8BEN form. 
  5. Fill out your details and select ‘Confirm’ to complete.  
Complete a W-8BEN online

How to complete a W-8BEN by post

  1. Go to the overseas share dealing page.
  2. Choose the correct form from the table at the bottom.
  3. Fill in your details using the attached guide.
  4. Send the completed form to:
FREEPOST: Hargreaves Lansdown

Download a form

What happens next

Once your W-8BEN form has been processed, you can search for and buy the shares you're interested in. Find out more about buying shares.

Your W-8BEN needs to be renewed every three years. We'll let you know when it's time.

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