What is a Shareholder?

A shareholder is an entity that legally owns one or more shares of stock in a company. A company’s shareholders collectively own that company. These shareholders can be individuals or organizations. Shareholders rights are defined in the corporation's articles of incorporation and bylaws.
For example, shareholders may have a right to inspect the company's books and records. Common shareholders are also entitled to vote on significant corporate matters, for example the authorization of additional stock, who sits on the board of directors, or whether a proposed merger should go through.
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