Person or entity that owns shares or equity in a corporation.  A common shareholder is normally entitled to four basic rights of ownership: (1) claim on a share of the company’s undivided assets in proportion to number of shares held; (2) proportionate voting power in the election of directors and other business conducted at shareholder meetings or by proxy; (3) dividends when earned and declared by the board of directors; (4) preemptive right to subscribe to additional stock offerings before they are available to the general public except when overruled by the articles of incorporation or in special circumstances.

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