Guide to corporate governance

What rights does a shareholder in a Singapore company have?

One of the most important rights possessed by a Singapore company’s shareholders is that of the right to receive a portion of the company’s profits. They receive this portion of the profits in the form of dividends. The details about how shareholders are to receive dividends are usually detailed in a shareholders’ agreement.

However, companies which do not have a shareholders’ agreement may nevertheless provide their shareholders with dividends according to the proportion of the company’s shares which they hold. Shareholders also have the right to approve auditors for the company. Should the shareholders deem such a move necessary, they may even choose to remove one or more of the company’s current directors.

Another right of shareholders of a Singapore company is that of attending the company’s general meetings as well as voting during these meetings. Such meetings include annual general meetings (AGMs) and extraordinary general meetings (EGMs). These meetings play important roles in charting the future business path of the company; therefore, shareholders have much of a say in the future of the company’s business prospects.