Shareholder FAQs

 

What is a share?

A share is part ownership in a company. The number of shares you hold is a measure of how much of that company you own. A share is one of a finite number of equal portions in the capital of a company, entitling the owner to a proportion of distributed, non-reinvested profits known as dividends and to a proportion of the value of the company in the case of liquidation of the company or sale of the shares. Shareholders, also called 'members', can vote on the major decisions of the company such as those taken at the company's Annual General Meeting (AGM).

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Do I need a share certificate?

A share certificate in your name is evidence of your ownership of shares.

However, with the development of electronic means of trading shares, most corporate investors no longer use share certificates. Instead, they rely on secure systems for exchanging data with the registrar and the London Stock Exchange. Some brokers now offer nominee services which enable you to hold shares in electronic format without needing to have a share certificate. This means that in theory you can deal much faster because there is no need to supply certificates as evidence of ownership. However there is often a charge for this service.

Some companies offer a Corporate Sponsored Nominee service to their shareholders featuring paperless share ownership and dealing facilities. Equiniti Financial Services Limited runs this service for a number of companies. If this is offered for one of your shareholdings, more information should be available in literature that you have received from the company, to whom the nominee relates.

For more information about our Corporate Sponsored Nominee service >Click here

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I've lost my share certificate. Can I get a new one?

If you lose your share certificate or it has been stolen, let us know immediately by phoning: 0371 384 2030.

You'll need to tell us about any certificates you still hold so we can identify which share certificate is missing.

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How do I sell my shares?

Details of a matched bargain facility will be posted on the website in due course.

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What is the Annual General Meeting (AGM)?

As a private limited company, the company is not required to hold AGMs.

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What if I want to transfer my shares / I want to transfer the shares but the shareholder is deceased?

If you want to transfer your shares to someone that you know, you can transfer your holding using a stock transfer form, subejct to approval by the Company.

Please note you can only use this form if you hold a share certificate. If your holding is held in a corporate sponsored nominee or you do not hold the certificate for your holding, please contact Equiniti for advice.

Please download the Stock Transfer Form and guidance notes and complete the form and send it back to Equiniti with the share certificates.

You may wish to return the form and relevant share certificate by recorded/special delivery as there may be fees payable if the certificate goes astray.

You will need to provide:

•    the full name and address details for both transferor (the old owner) and transferee (the new owner);
•    the signature of the transferor;
•    the name of the Company (referred to as Name of Undertaking) in which the shares are held;
•    the class of share (for example Ordinary Shares);
•    the amount to be transferred in both words and figures.

Please bear in mind:

•    do not use correction fluid or stick on labels. If you make any mistakes when completing the form, just cross out the error and initial the amendment (s) with the signature of the transferor;
•    please use full names of person(s) to whom the security is being transferred. We are unable to accept initials;
•    ensure that you fully complete and sign both the front and back of form.

Failure to correctly complete the form may result in it being rejected and returned to you.

Unless you instruct Equiniti otherwise by filling in the boxes on the form, Equiniti will automatically send the new certificate to the transferee at the address quoted and any balance certificate back to the transferor.

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty is payable if more than £1000 has been paid for the shares. Any payment under this figure or if no money has changed hands for example a gift, then the transaction is exempt from stamp duty. In these instances please sign and date the back of the stock transfer form.  

If payment over £1000 has been paid for the shares then the person receiving them has to pay stamp duty and should not complete the back of the stock transfer form. For more information please contact the Revenue and Customs Stamp Taxes helpline on 0845 603 0135 who will be able to advise you. More information about Stamp Duty is available on the HM Revenue and Customs website (for example, more details of exemptions are detailed in chapter 2 of the Stamp Office Manual which can be downloaded from HM Revenue and Customs.

I want to give / gift someone my shares, what do I do?

You need to get a stock transfer form and fill in your name as "transferor" and their name as "transferee". You should put "gift" or "nil" in the box, which asks how much consideration, was paid.

How do I register the death of a shareholder?

If you are administering an estate, you may need to transfer shares into the names of beneficiaries or sell the holding.

The first step is to write to Equiniti at: Equiniti Aspect House Spencer Road Lancing West Sussex BN99 6DA telling them what you are going to do. Equiniti will then place a temporary marker on the register to ensure that wherever possible, Equiniti do not issue further dividend payments in the shareholder's name. Equiniti will also send you the forms that you will need to complete.

There are two ways of re-registering the holding, depending on the size of the estate.

Large Estates

If the estate is large, you may need to obtain a grant of representation. This is a term that describes the document that appoints the representatives who will administer the estate. Your solicitor will be able to advise you how to do this or you can contact the Probate Registry (England & Wales), Sheriff's Court (Scotland) or Royal Courts of Justice (Northern Ireland) for more details. Their number is in Yellow Pages or the Phone Book.

Equiniti will then ask you to return the completed forms with an 'office copy' of the grant. This is a copy of the front page of the document which has been sealed by the Probate Registry, Sheriff's Court or Royal Courts of Justice.

If you are going to transfer the shares, Equiniti will ask you to complete a transfer form and return it to us with the share certificates for the holding. Equiniti will then issue a certificate in the new name.

Small Estates

If the estate is small, with relatively few assets, and you do not need to obtain a grant of representation, many companies have special arrangements designed to make it easier to sell or transfer the shares.

To qualify the total value of the estate must be below the inheritance tax limit and the value of any stock or shareholding should not exceed £10,000. There is a Charge for this procedure. If you are going to apply for a UK grant of representation you will not be able to use the small estates procedure. The original death certificate is also required.

To follow this procedure, please write to us with a copy of the death certificate, confirming that the value of the estate is below this threshold and Equiniti will send you the forms you need.

Shares in Joint Names

If shares were held in joint names, the account can simply be re-registered in the sole name of the other holder. Equiniti will need a copy of the death certificate to amend the register.

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Contact Equiniti

General Enquiries

For general enquiries about your holding, you can contact Equiniti by writing to:

Equiniti,

Aspect House, Spencer Road,

Lancing, West Sussex

BN99 6DA.

Please state the name of the company or companies in which you hold shares as this will help Equiniti to respond quickly.
Equiniti’s call centre provides information and assistance on register queries between 8.30am and 5.30pm each business day. If you have a query, you can call Equiniti on 0371 384 2030

Their less busy periods are between 3pm and 5.30pm. You may like to call Equiniti between these times where your call should be answered more quickly.

Equiniti’s textel/minicom number is 0371 384 2255. 

Overseas callers

If you live outside the UK, you can contact the Helpline above by calling the following:

General Enquiries: (00) 44 121 415 7047

Other general enquiries

Please see the websites operated by Equiniti:

www.shareview.co.uk

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