DEFINITION of 'Dual-Class Ownership'
A type of share division in which companies issue shares that have differing rights. In a dual class ownership structure, the company can issue two classes of shares, Class A and Class B. These classes may have different voting rights, but they represent the same underlying ownership in the company.
BREAKING DOWN 'Dual-Class Ownership'
Often companies that are transitioning from being private to becoming a public companies may use a dual-class structure to maintain control over the company. For example, when Google went public, it issued Class B shares that had no voting rights to ensure that the founders and executives still had control of the company.