What is shareholder


What is a shareholder?

Anyone who owns shares in a stock corporation (AG), a Societas Europaea (European stock corporation) or a partnership limited by shares (KGaA) is considered ashareholder designated. All holders of shares are to be treated equally according to the Stock Corporation Act. However, shareholders can be differentiated according to the size of the stake and the purpose of the acquisition.

The different types

Shareholders can be distinguished between the main shareholder, the major shareholder, the small shareholder, the employee shareholder and the anchor shareholder. The main shareholder owns the largest share in a stock corporation. A major shareholder is a shareholder who owns considerably large shares in the company and thus has a great deal of influence. He can use it to direct the company's fortunes. Small shareholders, on the other hand, have a small percentage of shares and despite having equal rights, this has little influence on the company. An employee shareholder is someone who is an employee of the company and at the same time owns shares in his employer. And anchor shareholders are long-term committed shareholders.

The rights and obligations

Shareholders are entitled to a dividend (a share of net income). When a stock corporation is dissolved, he is entitled to a share of the liquidation proceeds. He has Right to information and right to vote in the general meeting and can challenge resolutions of the general meeting and force an extraordinary general meeting. If new shares are issued, shareholders have priority subscription rights.

The main duty of the shareholder is that the shares they hold are paid for (obligation to make a contribution). This is done with the contribution to the share capital. The financial obligations are thus fulfilled. A very important principle is that the shareholder has a Duty of loyalty to the company Has. He may therefore not act against the interests of the stock corporation. Further obligations can be contained in the articles of association of the respective stock corporation.