Shareholder register

From CEOpedia | Management online

Shareholder Register - In the United Kingdom, the term of the shareholder register often means the register of members. In other words, a shareholder register refers to a regularly updated list of 'the owners of company's shares. It is required for each current shareholder to be recorded there.

What include Shareholder Register?

The register contains such personal details as person's name and address, as well as the number of owned shares. Moreover, such details as shareholder's occupation and the price paid for the share could also be included. The shareholder register is vital for company's ownership examination. The term shareholder register is widely accepted in Europe and some other continents. Interestingly enough, the USA coined its own term, namely a shareholder list. A shareholder register has to include all the shares that are issued by the company. Additionally, some registers detail all shares issues to any individual shareholder within the period of the last 10 years, together with the date of shares transfers. The registers may include the party's name to whom shares were transferred. The register may include as well the purchase prices of such shares. Should the shares be not fully paid for, the shareholder register should include the amount, which was not paid. The foundation of a shareholder register is a transparent list of beneficial owners of shares (shareholders, who can exercise voting rights related to shares, together with other concrete rights and powers, and are entitled to dividends)[1].

Purpose of shareholder registration

The Shareholder Register aims to provide detailed information on company's shareholders. With the use of a technical connection, company managers may gain access at their own terminals to individual information on shareholders, current positions and past movements, along with aggregate information by nationalities, percentage capital, etc.To be more precise. The shareholder register should list the following information [2]:

  • the shareholder's name and address
  • the number of shares or share certificates;
  • the date of shares issue.


What is worth noticing is the fact that if there was no share certificate issued for the share, the shareholder register should note a lien or other similar right. Most usually it is the company's board of directors that is responsible for maintaining the shareholder register. If there are any doubts as to what should be included in the register, the decision is made during the board meeting. In line with the provisions of law, the board of directors should maintain the register in a reliable manner. However, in other countries apart from the company itself, the register may be kept by an external company. A shareholder may take advantage of their rights only when they are entered into the company's shareholder register. In the event when several persons own shares together, they may take advantage of their rights only by a joint representative. The shareholder register constitutes a public document. Thus, it should be made available for public inspection at the company's registered office. In other words, it is an important document that helps to identify the shareholders and the owners of other company's registered securities. It can be useful when we want to verify the number, nominal value, type as well as the classes of shares and other registered securities. The shareholder register may be also kept with the aim of securing shareholder's rights and monitoring the circulation of shares and other securities that are registered [3].


  1. Soresen, P. B. (2016), Neutral Taxation of Shareholder Income"
  2. Fjærli, E., Alstadsæter, A. (2009), - Neutral taxation of shareholder income?Corporate responses to an announced dividend tax
  3. Pistor, K. (2000), Patterns of legal Change: Shareholder and Creditor Rights in transitton economies

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Author: Pola Ligaj