Shareholder register: When and why do you need one?

19th August 2022

A ‘register of members’ or ‘share register’ is a legal requirement set out in the Corporations Act 2001.

If your business is looking to raise money from investors, one of the key documents you’ll need to consider is a shareholder’s register.

What is a shareholders register and what does it include?

A shareholder’s register is a list of the shareholders of a company and their respective shareholdings in units or shares. The register will include:

  • name
  • address
  • contact details of each shareholder, and
  • the number and class of shares held.

The shareholders’ register may also include other information such as the date on which each shareholder acquired their shares and any restrictions on the transfer of those shares.

When and why do you need shareholders register?

You will need a shareholders register when your company issues new shares to investors. There are a few key reasons why you might need a shareholders register:

  • To help your shareholders keep track of their shareholdings and ensure they’re entitled to their share of any business profits or losses.
  • To ensure shareholders have access to important information for tax purposes and it is essential when calculating dividend distributions for individual shareholders.
  • To comply with corporate governance requirements, such as the need to have a minimum number of shareholders among others.
  • To help prepare financial statements such as a balance sheet and profit and loss statement. This information is important for both shareholders and investors.

Key tips for maintaining a shareholders register

It’s important to keep the shareholders register up to date, as it will be used to track the ownership of your company’s shares. Here are some other principles to consider when maintaining a register:

  • Accuracy: A register will be used to track the ownership of a company’s shares and will help when it comes to dividing up dividends and retained earnings.
  • Accessibility: Since it will be used by the shareholders, the directors and the shareholders’ lawyers.
  • Confidentiality: The shareholders register must be confidential, as it will contain sensitive information about the shareholders of your company.

Get help creating your shareholders register

A shareholder’s register is an important document for all businesses, no matter how big or small. If you’re not sure whether you need one or how to go about registering your shareholders, don’t worry – we can help.

The Lakis & Knight team offers free one-hour discovery sessions to help business owners create their very own shareholders register. During these sessions, we’ll ask a few key questions about your company and then provide you with the resources and advice you need to get started.

Ready to take the next step? Get in touch with us today to get started.