Yes, you can trade US company options as a UK resident through an options broker. Restrictions on trading tend to focus on US citizens trying to trade UK products such as CFDs or other OTC derivatives, which are basically off-limits to most US citizens or residents. However, there are few restrictions for UK traders wishing to trade US instruments, in this case, options.

On-exchange US options versus CFD options

There is a subtle distinction but it can be an important one if, for example, you are intending to pursue buy-write strategies, where you are hoping to take in or deliver the underlying stock on exercise. If so you will need to trade on-exchange options.

However, If you are just looking for economic exposure via options, and have no designs on ownership of the underlying, then CFDs on options could work for you too.

The size of your account may also be relevant, simply because it may limit what you can trade in. Exchange-traded options are only traded in whole lots or multiples thereof.

Whilst CFDs on options (or indeed Spread bets on the same) allow you to trade in fractions of an options lot.

How risky is trading US company options?

Remember that options are complex products and you will need to demonstrate an understanding of how they work and the risks involved in trading them.

You need to demonstrate a working knowledge of geared derivatives to open a CFD or Spread Betting account, and you have to pass a suitability quiz to do so.

If you are not familiar with thes,e subjects you will need to read up on them in our guide on how to trade options.

Where can you trade US equity options?

Interactive Brokers

As to where you can trade options, if you are going to be trading on-exchange then Interactive Brokers are worth investigating. They are a US firm with UK operations and are options specialists who offer competitive commission rates

Saxo Markets

As an alternative, you could look at Saxo Markets which offer options on more than 1200 listed instruments worldwide. Charges at Saxo are tiered, based on levels of client activity and account size, so the more you do, the less you will ultimately pay.

IG

Finally, you should also consider IG. They offer a wide range of OTC options (CFDs over options) and have done that for over 20 years. However they also recently acquired a US options broker and educator and are likely to roll out on-exchange options trading to UK clients as a result.

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