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What’s The Eligibility Criteria For Becoming A Shareholder In A Company?

calendar12 May, 2023
timeReading Time: 5 Minutes
What's The Eligibility Criteria For Becoming A Shareholder In A Company?

As mentioned in the name, a shareholder is a company member with the right to hold shares and a beneficiary power to take the company’s decisions. If any natural person, or any individual or legal entity, invests in the company shares, it is eligible to become a shareholder in a company. To become a shareholder in a company, there are several eligibility criteria that one needs to meet. In this article, we will discuss these eligible required criteria in detail.

What Is The Meaning Of A Shareholder In A Company?

Firstly, let us understand what it means to be a shareholder. A shareholder is a person or an entity that owns a share or shares in a company. By owning these shares, the shareholder becomes a part-owner of the company and has certain rights and responsibilities associated with this ownership.

Eligibility Criteria for Becoming a Shareholder in a Company

Now, let us discuss the eligibility criteria for becoming a shareholder in a company:

  • Minimum Age Requirement: In most countries, the minimum age to become a shareholder is 18 years. This means that a person below the age of 18 cannot own shares in a company.
  • Legal Capacity: To become a shareholder, one needs to have the legal capacity to own property. This means that the person should not be disqualified by law from owning property, either due to bankruptcy, criminal conviction or any other legal restrictions.
  • Adequate Funds: Owning shares in a company requires a financial investment. Therefore, one needs to have adequate funds to purchase the shares. The amount of funds needed will depend on the present market price of the shares & the number of shares one wishes to purchase.
  • Compliance with the Company’s Rules and Regulations: Every company has its own set of rules & regulations that govern the ownership of shares. One needs to comply with these rules and regulations to become a shareholder. For example, some companies may require shareholders to be residents of the country where the company is registered, or they may have restrictions on the no. of shares that can be owned by an individual or entity.
  • Availability of shares: The availability of shares in a company is also a determining factor in becoming a shareholder. If a company is not issuing new shares, then one cannot become a shareholder. Similarly, if all the shares are already owned by existing shareholders, then one cannot become a shareholder unless some of the existing shareholders sell their shares.
  • Legal and regulatory compliance: Depending on the country and the industry or business in which the company operates, there may be legal and regulatory compliance requirements that one needs to meet to become a shareholder. For example, some countries may require shareholders to obtain certain licenses or permits before owning shares in a company.

In addition to the above criteria, some companies may have additional eligibility criteria that need to be met. For example, some companies may require shareholders to have a minimum level of education or experience in a particular field.

Who Can Be The Shareholders In A Company?

Shareholders are individuals, companies or organizations that own shares of a company’s stock. As shareholders, they have an ownership interest in the company and are entitled to certain rights, such as voting on major decisions and receiving dividends.

Here are different types of shareholders that can hold shares in a company:

  • Individuals: This is the most common type of shareholder. Anyone can buy shares in a company as long as they have the funds to do so. Individual shareholders can be anyone from a small retail investor to a high-net-worth individual.
  • Institutional Investors: These are large organizations, like pension funds, insurance companies & mutual funds that invest large amounts of money in various companies on behalf of their clients. Institutional investors typically have significant buying power and can have a big impact on a company’s stock price.
  • Corporate Shareholders: Companies can also be shareholders in other companies. This often occurs when one company acquires another or when two companies merge.
  • Governments: Governments can also be shareholders in companies, particularly in cases where a company is considered strategically important to the country’s economy or national security[1].
  • Private Equity Firms: Private equity firms are companies that specialize in investing in other companies with the aim of making a profit. They typically invest large amounts of money in companies that are not publicly traded, and they often take an active role in managing those companies.
  • Hedge Funds: Hedge funds are similar to private equity firms in that they invest in companies with an aim of making a profit. However, they typically use more aggressive investment strategies and may take short-term positions in stocks.
  • Employee Shareholders: Some companies offer their employees the chance to buy shares in the company as part of their compensation package. This can be a method for employees to share in the company’s success and align their interests with those of the company.

In summary, shareholders can be individuals, institutional investors, corporations, governments, private equity firms, hedge funds, and even employees. Each type of shareholder has its own objectives and investment strategies, and their actions can have a vital impact on a company’s stock price and overall performance.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Shareholder of a Company

Shareholders are individuals or entities who own a portion of a company through the purchase of its shares. As a shareholder, you have certain rights & responsibilities that come with your ownership stake. Here are some of the key roles & responsibilities of a shareholder in a company:

  • Ownership: Shareholders have a proportional ownership interest in the company. The number of shares you own determines your percentage of ownership in the company.
  • Voting: Shareholders have the right to vote on some matters that affect the company, like the election of the board of directors, major business decisions, and changes to the company’s bylaws.
  • Dividends: Shareholders may receive dividends when the company generates profits. The amount of dividends paid out to each shareholder is proportional to their ownership stake.
  • Information: Shareholders have the right to receive information about the company’s financial performance, operations, and other relevant information. Companies typically provide this information through annual reports and other communications.
  • Legal obligations: Shareholders have legal obligations to act in the best company’s interest and its stakeholders. This comprises disclosing any conflicts of interest and complying with all relevant laws and regulations.
  • Liability: Shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts or legal obligations. However, they may lose the value of their investment if the company performs poorly or goes bankrupt.


In summary, becoming a shareholder in a company requires meeting certain eligibility criteria, including the minimum age requirement, legal capacity, adequate funds, compliance with the company’s rules and regulations, availability of shares, and legal and regulatory compliance. It is important to understand these criteria before investing in shares to avoid any legal or financial implications. Overall, the role and responsibilities of a shareholder in a company involve ownership, voting, receiving information, complying with legal obligations, and potentially receiving dividends. Shareholders need to understand their rights and responsibilities to make informed decisions regarding their investment and to act in the best company’s interest and its stakeholders.

Read Our Article: FAQ On Private Limited Company Registration In India- 7 Minutes Read

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