Common Shareholder

What is a 'Common Shareholder'

A common shareholder is 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.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Stock

    A type of security that signifies ownership in a corporation ...
  2. Voting Right

    The right of a stockholder to vote on matters of corporate policy ...
  3. Preference Shares

    Company stock with dividends that are paid to shareholders before ...
  4. Preferred Stock

    A class of ownership in a corporation that has a higher claim ...
  5. Current Dividend Preference

    A safety feature of preferred shares, whereby holders of such ...
  6. Voting Shares

    Shares that give the stockholder the right to vote on matters ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Knowing Your Rights As A Shareholder

    We delve into common stock owners' privileges and how to be vigilant in monitoring a company.
  2. Investing Basics

    Stocks Basics: Different Types Of Stocks

    There are two main types of stocks: common stock and preferred stock. Common Stock Common stock is, well, common. When people talk about stocks they are usually referring to this type. In fact, ...
  3. Options & Futures

    20 Investments: Preferred Stock

    What Is It? Preferred stock represents ownership in a company, but it usually does not give the holder voting rights (this may vary depending on the company). With preferred shares, investors ...
  4. Investing Basics

    Who is a Shareholder?

    A shareholder is a person, company or other entity that owns at least one share of a company’s stock.
  5. Investing Basics

    What are Class B Shares?

    Class B shares are one classification of common stock issued by corporations.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    Keeping Control of Your Business After the IPO

    Taking a company public doesn't mean founders must completely give up calling the shots. Before the IPO, consider these tactics to keep control after it.
  7. Investing Basics

    Shareholders: Vote Your Proxy and Be Heard

    Voting shares, in person or via proxy ballot, is a right every shareholder should exercise. Here's why.
  8. Investing

    How Your Vote Can Change Corporate Policy

    Shareholders are getting a bigger say in how companies are run. Find out how you can be heard.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Proxy Voting Gives Fund Shareholders A Say

    You have the right to take part in important company decisions - even if you cannot attend the meetings.
  10. Investing News

    How Zuckerberg Will Control Facebook Forever (FB, GOOG)

    Zuckerberg has pledged his wealth for charity, which includes his Facebook stock ownership. Here's how he will still control the Facebook business forever.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What rights do all common shareholders have?

    Learn what rights all common shareholders have, and understand the remedies that can be taken if those rights are violated ... Read Answer >>
  2. Can anyone own common stock in a company?

    Understand who can purchase common stock as well as the key characteristics that differentiate common stock from preferred ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between Class A shares and other common shares of company's ...

    Discover how a company can break down its common stock into multiple classes and how these classes differ from one another ... Read Answer >>
  4. What can shareholders vote on?

    Understand the usual voting rights of common stock shareholders, along with the importance of shareholders exercising their ... Read Answer >>
  5. What are the types of share capital?

    Understand the characteristics of common stock and preferred stock, the two ways by which companies obtain share capital ... Read Answer >>
  6. What are the pros and cons of owning preferred stock instead of common stock?

    Understand and explore the advantages and disadvantages of owning preferred stock as opposed to owning common stock shares ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. MACD Technical Indicator

    Moving Average Convergence Divergence (or MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between ...
  2. Over-The-Counter - OTC

    Over-The-Counter (or OTC) is a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, ...
  3. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis for the reporting of earnings and the paying of dividends.
  4. Weighted Average Cost Of Capital - WACC

    Weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is a calculation of a firm's cost of capital in which each category of capital is ...
  5. Basis Point (BPS)

    A unit that is equal to 1/100th of 1%, and is used to denote the change in a financial instrument. The basis point is commonly ...
  6. Sharing Economy

    An economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else.
Trading Center