A shareholder is the owner of an equitable interest in a for-profit corporation. A shareholder does not own legal title to the property of the corporation but owns stock or shares in the corporation. Ownership of the shares or stock of a corporation confers the rights to control the company and to receive residual revenues or profits.

In a close corporation, a family-owned or privately held company, a small number of shareholders own equitable interests in the corporation and often also manage the enterprise. State laws permit greater flexibility in the operations of close corporations than in the operations of the traditional publicly held corporation but also impose greater controls on the transfer of shares to protect the interests of all shareholders. Close corporations, for instance, ...

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