According to the Irish Commercial Code, all types of companies are required to have at least one shareholder. The shareholders play a major role in a company, as they are the individuals or corporations which invest in a company. Irish shareholders are entitled to receive share in exchange for the amount of money invested. The shares they own gives them certain rights, among which the most common are the right to vote, to receive dividends and the power to appoint or dismiss directors in Irish companies.
Irish private limited liability companies are required to have a maximum number of 9 shareholders.
The Companies Act establishes the principal rights of shareholders in Irish companies, but a shareholders’ agreement may be signed in order to confer other rights as well. Other documents that may offer additional rights to shareholders are the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company. Together with the rights mentioned above, shareholders are also entitled to be informed about the Irish company’s status. They may also verify and obtain copies of documents, such as financial statements, auditors’ reports and other registers. Irish shareholders may also verify a subsidiary’s financial sheets.
Irish companies must convene an annual general meeting the shareholders must attend. Shareholders in Irish companies are also entitled to receive dividend payments from the distributable profits the company made. However, this right is not automatic one. The shareholders are also the ones that may decide winding up a company.
Section 205 in the Companies Law refers to the protection of minority shareholders of Irish companies. The Companies Law allows minority shareholders to seek justice in court if they consider the company’s activities are conducted in an oppressive way. Apart from the Commercial Code, the Listing Rules of the Irish Stock Exchange and the Association of Investment Managers also provide certain mechanisms for the protection of minority shareholders. Among the rights of minority shareholders are the pre-emption rights.
For complete information about the Companies Law and for nominee shareholder services you may contact our specialists in company formation in Ireland.