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Who in a private Company is required to keep a reg

Corporate Governance disclosure

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Who in a private Company is required to keep a register of current shareholders. Assuming it is a 'registrar' of some description,

who would that be in a close company and how can I find out who are the shareholders in a private company.

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By WhichTyler
23rd Nov 2019 14:08

Have you looked on Co House?

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By lionofludesch
23rd Nov 2019 17:08

Traditionally, it would be the secretary but, afaIaa, that's never been the law.

Most companies don't have secretaries any more.

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By Wilson Philips
23rd Nov 2019 17:22

The question should be not “who?” but “where?”

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By johngroganjga
23rd Nov 2019 18:00

The answer to your last question is that information about who a company’s shareholders are is a matter of public record at Companies House.

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Replying to johngroganjga:
By Wilson Philips
23rd Nov 2019 18:13

Not necessarily - if there have been allotments since the last published list of shareholders.

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Replying to Wilson Philips:
By johngroganjga
23rd Nov 2019 18:15

Yes I agree - only snapshots at annual intervals, not changes in real time.

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By johnhemming
24th Nov 2019 08:09

This is a pretty good explanation

Listed companies will have registrars who process share holdings, but you may find that shares are held in nominee names which means there is an additional process you need to go through to find out who the beneficial holders.

As other answers say the annual return at Companies House is often a good starting position, but for a large list of shareholders it won't help. Hence it really depends very much on what you are trying to achieve.

Starting with companies house for a small private company is a good idea, but you could approach the company to ask to inspect the register of shareholders. However, depending on why you want to know that may not be a good idea.

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By fawltybasil2575
24th Nov 2019 15:47

@ Anna . . . . (OP).

1. The direct answer to your first question of who (at a private company) is “required to keep a register of current shareholders”, is simply “such person(s) as that company decides is responsible for maintaining the register of members”.

[I would assume however that your first question has been raised solely to enable you to determine to whom, at the company, you should address your second question. If such assumption is correct, then your question is academic, since you should address that second question simply to (say):-

“The Directors/Secretary”,

such request to be made to the company’s registered office.

2. To answer your second, and clearly the more important, question (which I believe is very probably your major concern) of how you can ascertain who are NOW “the shareholders in a private company”, then I would recommend your reading the legislation itself, namely the Companies Act 2006, and specifically Section 112 onwards (forgive me for being unable to provide a link to that legislation, from this device, but it is easily “googled”).

This legislation explains clearly the obligations of the company to provide such information (upon application) including the obligation of the applicant to provide a reason, and the company’s right to exceptionally apply to the Court to be excused from providing that information.

[Whilst possibly not relevant in your case, the legislation also includes a reference to the right of a private company to keep its register of members at Companies House itself, if all members have agreed thereto, under an amendment to the legislation which took effect from 30 June 2016].


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