The rights of a shareholder in a company

The rights of a shareholder in a company


With the financial difficulties of the Fortis Bank and the takeover by the French bank BNP Paribas has anyone heard talk of the general meeting of shareholders several times. In the vote for the takeover by the French bank was heel wet disagreement among the shareholders. But what are - in addition to the right to a dividend - actually the rights of small shareholders for its voice heard in the policy of the company?



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The basic rights of the shareholder



The shareholder is entitled to a dividend , which amounts that the company allows shareholders to share in the profits. The dividend is however no requirement for the company. The shareholder also has a subscription , so he gets priority when any new shares are issued. Besides these duties, the small shareholder other important rights to have their voices heard. within the company These include for the right to attend the general meeting in question, and the right to speak.


The general meeting of shareholders




From the moment you even own a single share, you have the right to the general meeting to attend. by the enterprise The company is obliged to know where to be and when the general shareholders' meeting will be held. In practice this is usually done through an announcement in the newspaper. If you have a share, then it is possible that you will receive a personal invitation. This invitation also contains the agenda of the general meeting. , the company is obliged to make available to the shareholders.



necessary information at least 15 days before the general meeting Usually refers to the financial statements and the annual report that you can look into the headquarters of the company. Optionally, you can request that the company you send that information. The idea is that you can prepare for the meeting. These information , the general meeting shall be deemed always to take place, even though the rise of shareholders is limited.


If there is an extraordinary general meeting, may have a certain percentage of attendees are required. It may for example be a capital increase to be approved. Interesting to know is that you can leave to deliberate with supporters as the General Assembly and that you simply can come again. Then In contrast, the directors of the Company have no such right.


The right to ask questions of the shareholder



The articles of association of the company can not exclude that the minority shareholder has a right to demand it. As a minority shareholder, you can invoke your right to ask questions if you do not agree with things that are happening in the company. Through the question right, you can be critical and express your displeasure about certain decisions.


Alternatively you can try to get other shareholders in your hand and thus influence the policy of the company. The Board of Directors the right to ask questions of the shareholder should not ignore, because that can lead to the annulment of the general meeting. If the directors of the company refuse to answer a question from a shareholder, it is the court competent to this discussion.


The board of directors is not, however, obliged to answer if the answer could mean for the company, for the staff or the other shareholders. Serious damage to your questions
The right to speak of the shareholder



As a shareholder, you have a right to speak , so you can influence. the opinion of other people present at the general meeting Anyway it is a decision made ? by a majority of votes. On your own you can therefore hold no decision;


There is always necessary. majority


if the smaller shareholders believe that their rights are not respected by the major shareholders, they can unite. That way they can take collective action to influence policy. Within the company