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What are the main differences between a nominee shareholder and a beneficiary owner? A beneficiary owner is the legal owner of the shares he or she has purchased from a limited company. The beneficiary owner has the option to remain anonymous, which is where appointing someone to be a nominee shareholder comes in.
The beneficiary owner receives the income or dividends from the share ownership, but it is the nominee shareholder who appears on the share certificate and the company's official documentation and public records.
The nominee shareholder does not own the shares or benefit from the shares in any way. They also have no claim over the shares and have to sign a declaration of trust which states that they will not benefit and that they have no legal claim over the shares, thus protecting the beneficiary owner's assets.
Nominee shareholders do not hold an official post or role within the private company the beneficiary owner has shares in. They have no access to bank accounts or other assets and cannot make key decisions or sign documentation on behalf of the company limited by shares. They are essentially a name on a shares certificate and any official documentation relating to the company's registration.
Nominee shareholders can be individuals or organisations and can be based anywhere in the world, they do not have to be based in the same country as the beneficiary owner or the company they own shares in. A nominee shareholder is often appointed to protect the identity of the beneficiary owner for commercial or personal reasons. There are many reasons a shareholder may want to keep his or her details and details of their investments private.