It is typical for companies to have varieties or particular classes of shares, each of which grants shareholders a different set of rights, including the ability to vote and the right to dividends or capital, which corporations frequently use.

Read this tutorial to learn about the typical share classes that a firm may issue.

Common shares

Ordinary shares are the only type of shares that most private limited firms hold. Ordinary shares are a corporation's equity ownership and constitute the fundamental voting rights of the company.

Each share of ordinary stock entitles the holder to one vote and equal dividend rights. In the case of a winding-up or sale, these shares also grant the right to distribute the company's assets.

Accumulated shares

Ordinary shares have more rights than deferred shares, which can include:

· Shares with dividends paid only after payment of dividends on all other classes of shares

· Shares that only pay dividends after a specific date or event

· Shares that cannot be traded until a specific date are typically given to employees to encourage their loyalty and offer them a long-term stake in the company.

· Shares that only grant their holders any rights in case of bankruptcy once other shareholders have been paid.

Voting-free shares

The holder of non-voting shares has no voting privileges within the corporation. The holder thus has a claim to a share of the company's capital but is not permitted to attend public meetings.

The majority of non-voting shares are distributed to employees or members of the primary shareholders' families. The primary shareholders can maintain control of the business while having more stockholders thanks to this class of shares.

Preference shares

The owner of preference shares will get dividends before common shareholders since they have a preferential entitlement to a specified amount of dividends. In the event of insolvency, preferred shareholders also have a more extraordinary priority claim to the company's assets.

Management shares

Holders of management shares receive additional voting rights at the company's annual meetings (e.g., two votes for one share). In addition, if these shares are issued to outside investors, company directors can frequently use them to maintain business control.

Alphabet Shares

A firm can change the rights associated with shareholders by using the subclass of ordinary shares known as "Alphabet Shares."

Although each share class can be given a descriptive name (such as non-voting shares, preference shares, or redeemable shares), it is more typical to simply refer to share classes by their alphabetic designations (A, B, C, D, etc.), with each class conferring a different set of voting rights, dividend rights, and capital rights.

Therefore, Alphabet shares give firms the ability to increase or decrease some shareholders' rights. For instance, "A shares" and "B shares" may have different dividend rates, resulting in bigger dividend payments to owners of A shares than to owners of B shares for the same number of shares.


Different share classes grant shareholders various rights. As a result, having various share kinds not only confers various powers but also makes it simpler to distinguish between them.