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Shares and shareholders

What is a share?

A share is a unit of ownership in a Limited Company. For example, a company may have 100 shares, owned by different shareholders.

What is a shareholder?

A person or a corporate body (such as another company) that owns part of a limited company through holding shares in it. Shareholders usually have voting rights in deciding how the company is run and appointing the directors.

Are shareholders required for my limited company?

A limited company (limited by shares) must have at least one shareholder. There’s no limit on the maximum number of share-holders. If you are the only shareholder, you’ll own 100% of the company. The price of an individual share can be any value. You can choose a low share value for example, £1 per share.

Can anyone be a shareholder?

Anyone can own shares in a company, including a corporate body (such as another company)

Do I need more than one shareholder?

No, only one shareholder is required to form a company.

What is the difference between a shareholder and a director?

Shareholders own the company and directors are appointed to run the company. In a small company, these tends to be the same people but do not have to be.

How many shares are required when setting up a company?

There must be at least 1 share issued which is held by somebody upon incorporation. Typical share values are £1 per share.

Can a company have different types of share?

Yes, and different classes of share can have different rights in terms of voting and dividends. For example, a company may have 10 x Ordinary A Shares with sole voting rights and 90 x Ordinary B Shares with no voting rights. The holders of the Ordinary A Shares would control the company through voting rights.

What is the nominal value of a share?

The nominal value is how much a shareholder paid for the share and how much it is worth if the company is wound up. This can be as little as 1p and usually £1.

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