1 minute read

Investing let’s you have a say in a company. However, there is a common misconception on the difference between a shareholder and a stakeholder.

Simply put, a shareholder owns a stake in a public company through shares of stocks. A stakeholder holds an interest in a company through means other than shares. In many cases, stakeholders performances’ affect the growth of a company. For more context, shareholders are stakeholders, but stakeholders are not necessarily shareholders of a company. 

Stakeholders can be:

  • Owners and shareholders
  • Employees of the company
  • Bondholders who own company-issued debt
  • Customers 
  • Suppliers and vendors 

Shareholders can be: 

  • an individual, company, or institution that owns at least one share of a company 

The biggest difference between the two is that shareholders focus on a return on their investment. Stakeholders are more concerned about the performance of the company.


Like shareholders, stakeholders have an interest in a company’s performance. However, shareholders focus on the return of their investment and get to be part of its decision-making. 

With Passfolio securities, you can become a shareholder of an American company. We offer stocks in over 3,800 US stocks, ETFs and REITs from the US stock market, with no commission fees and no minimums to start.*

* Securities less than $5 cost $0.02/share. Please see our disclosures on other charges. Please see our fractional shares disclosure.