Difference between Shareholder, Stakeholder, and Stockholder

Updated on July 17, 2015

Investments and investment terms can be confusing. Shareholder, stakeholder and stockholder are three terms that are extremely similar. In fact, there is very little difference.


Shareholder, Stakeholder, and Stockholder

Shareholder is one who owns at least one share of stock in a company.

Stockholder means the exact same thing as shareholder.

Stakeholder is someone who has an interest in something, in this case a business. A shareholder and a stockholder are examples of a stakeholder.


Essentially, these three terms can be used to describe the same person. The only difference is that stakeholder is an umbrella term. It can mean employees and others, not just stakeholders. All shareholders are stakeholders, but not all stakeholders are shareholders.

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