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Introduction to Share Classes

Company shares in the UK are listed under a number of different categories.

Under UK company law, the share class system can be very flexible and any type of share can be created to suit your requirements. Different classes of shares and the associated attached rights, should be set out in the company’s articles of association. The most common share class is the Ordinary Share.

Here is a list of the most common share classes that you will likely encounter:

  • Ordinary shares
  • Non-voting shares
  • Redeemable shares
  • Preference shares
  • Management shares
  • Freezer shares and growth shares
  • Other classes of shares
  • Voting shares, dividend shares, capital shares
  • Deadlock articles
  • Changing class rights
  • Converting shares from one class to another

Different classes of shares however have different voting, dividend and / or capital rights and we would always suggest that you take expert advice to identify the most suitable share class for your needs. Most companies however use ordinary shares – they carry one vote per share, are entitled to participate equally in dividends and, if the company is wound up, share equally in the proceeds of the company’s assets after all the debts have been paid.