Shareholders are only liable for the amount they have invested in the share capital. They enjoy certain rights depending on the type of shares they own. These rights can include any or all of the following:
- To ensure that the directors comply with the regulations in the constitution of the company.
- To receive reports and other information.
- To inspect minutes of general meetings of the company.
- To restrain ultra vires (acts that are completed without the necessary legal authority) and illegal acts.
- To vote on major corporate matters such as the alteration of the constitution.
- To receive a portion of the dividends declared by the company.
- To attend, speak and vote at general meetings.
- To receive annual financial statements, reports and other information about the company.
- To be treated fairly.
- To be entitled to a return of a share of the proceeds should the company go into liquidation.
- To enjoy the rights promised to their share class.
The default rule for shareholders’ voting rights is one vote per share. However, the voting right is subject to the rights and restrictions attached to the class of shares and voting method. On a voting by show of hands, every member or his representative who is present has one vote. On a poll every member present in person or by proxy or by attorney or other duly authorised representative has one vote for each share the member holds.