A share register is a register maintained by a publicly traded company in which it lists all registered shareholders. Entries in a share register serve as proof of ownership in the corresponding company.
They also allow the company to contact shareholders directly rather than through a custodian bank or broker. They also make it possible for companies to keep track of who owns their stock.
All holders of registered shares are entered into the share register. Share registers are disclosed to the general public, so third-parties can access a list of registered shareholders at any time.
Share registers may be operated by a company itself, or they may be managed by third-party share registry service providers on behalf of companies.
There are few direct benefits to owning registered shares as opposed to owning bearer shares. Both registered share and bearer share holders are entitled to participate in annual general meetings (AGMs) and receive dividends.
Some company's may grant special voting rights to holders of registered shares (see also: voting shares). Additionally, in some cases registered shares can be purchased directly from a company or its transfer agent, allowing investors to avoid brokerage fees.
Registered shares with restricted transferability are registered shares which can only be sold with the permission of the corresponding company's management.