Common Shareholder

DEFINITION of 'Common Shareholder'

An individual, business or institution that holds common shares in a company, giving the holder an ownership stake in the company. This will also give the holder the right to vote on corporate issues such as board elections and corporate policy, along with the right to any common dividend payments.

BREAKING DOWN 'Common Shareholder'

In the case of bankruptcy, common shareholders are typically the last to receive anything from liquidation. First, companies pay out all debtholders. If there is anything remaining after that, then preferred shareholders are paid, followed by common shareholders. Commons shares may also come in classes such as Class A or B, with each level having different voting rights and dividend rights.

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