The shareholders of any company have a responsibility to ensure that the company is well run and well managed. They do this by monitoring the performance of the company and raising their objections or giving their approval to the actions of the management of the company.
To protect their long-term economic interests, shareholders have a responsibility to monitor the conduct of the board of directors and exercise their voting rights by casting thoughtful and informed votes that safe-guard their financial and other interests.
Levels of Ownership Rights
Every company has a hierarchical structure of rights for the three main classes of securities that companies issue: bonds, preferred stock, and common stock. In other words, there’s a pecking order of rights.
Companies are required to send a copy of its annual accounts and reports for each financial year to every shareholder of the company. … Shareholders are not however entitled to receive or inspect copies of general a company’s financial records.
Companies are owned by their shareholders but are run by their directors. … However, shareholders do have some power over the directors although, to exercise this power, shareholders with more that 50% of the voting powers must vote in favour of taking such action at a general meeting.
Profits made by limited by shares companies are often distributed to their members (shareholders) in the form of cash dividend payments. Dividends are issued to all members whose shares provide dividend rights, which most do.
Generally, a majority of shareholders can remove a director by passing an ordinary resolution after giving special notice. This is straightforward, but care should be taken to check the articles of association of the company and any shareholders’ agreement, which may include a contractual right to be on the board.
In the case of a corporation being started by a single individual, there may be only one shareholder. That shareholder may also be the sole director as well as an officer (or all officers for that matter) at the same time.