What are my rights as a shareholder in a private limited company?

You should be sent any important information for the company including reports and accounts. You are also allowed to view other important documents for example the company’s memorandum and articles of association. There may be other rights under the company’s articles and shareholder’s agreements.

Can different shareholders have different rights?

This may be possible and the details will be in the company’s articles. In certain circumstances companies issue both voting and non-voting shares. However companies are required to treat all shareholders fairly. You can be further protected by a shareholder’s agreement.

A shareholders’ agreement might include restrictions on the sale or transfer of shares. For example, the agreement might require any shareholder who wishes to sell shares to offer them first to existing shareholders.

As a shareholder, can I appoint directors?

This depends on the company’s articles. In many cases new directors are appointed by the board or they may be appointed at a shareholders’ (general) meeting.

Can the shareholders overrule the board of directors?

On the whole no bit there may be occasions which require shareholder approval such as altering the company’s articles of association.

Do I have any rights as a company director?

You will have rights if you are employed by the company and these are covered by existing legislation. The rights of a director tend to found in the articles of association.

What are a company’s articles of association?

These are the rules by which the company is run and operated.

Does a company need to have a shareholders’ agreement?

It is always a good idea to have an agreement as this will assist dealing with issues that may arise. However it isn’t a legal requirement.

Are all partners in a partnership equal?

If there isn’t a partnership agreement then all partners in a partnership are treated equally

What is included in a good partnership agreement?

The objectives, how the partnership will be managed and who is responsible for what. The agreement should also deal with the financial issues of the partnership.

Again legal advice should be sought when setting up an agreement.

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