Part of your company documentation, a shareholder register is a list of individuals and or corporate entities that own your company’s shares. It lists each holder of an equity interest in the company along with their important details; for example:
A shareholder register is also called a Capitalization Table, or Cap Table, if your company is a start-up or an early-stage venture.
Your shareholder register should include:
The shareholder register contains information required as per the by-laws of your company, local as well as potentially offshore jurisdictions. It is considered a proprietary document, accessible only to certified employees of your company, other shareholders, or third-party vendors who manage the register.
Having an up-to-date shareholder register provides benefits for your company including:
A compliant and updated shareholder register is key for your company, especially while conducting transactions with other businesses because it:
A shareholder register, also known as a stock register or share register, is typically maintained by the company or its designated transfer agent. The responsibility for keeping a shareholder register lies with the company itself or an authorized third-party registrar or transfer agent appointed by the company.
Access to a share register is typically restricted to authorized individuals or entities, such as:
The main difference between the two is that the shareholder register specifically focuses on maintaining a list of shareholders and their details, while a ledger refers to a broader record-keeping system. The shareholder register is a component of the overall ledger system.
The register of shareholders is typically maintained by the company itself or by a registrar or transfer agent appointed by the company. Some companies choose to outsource the maintenance of the shareholder register to a professional registrar or transfer agent who specializes in managing shareholder records and related services.
To prove that you are a shareholder, you typically need to provide relevant documentation or information that confirms your ownership of shares in a company. The specific requirements may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the company's policies, but here are some common methods to prove your shareholder status: