Shareholders, Directors and Officers
Each of these positions play an important and distinct role within a corporation. The same individual can hold one or more of these positions. The roles of each are defined in a corporation's initial Articles of Incorporation and/or By-laws.
Shareholders are owners of the company based on their holdings. They purchase stock in the company and may receive dividends if the company is profitable. They may also vote on major company decisions such as mergers or liquidation. Shareholders are also known as stockholders
Directors, typically operating as part of a Board, make up the governing body elected by shareholders. They are responsible for the management of a corporation's business and affairs.
Officers often consist of roles such as President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Officers are appointed by the Board of Directors. They are responsible for carrying out the Board's policies and they are responsible for making day-to-day decisions. The number of board members and officers (and their responsibilities) will vary and is generally defined in the articles of incorporation or by-laws.
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