The book is a list of all the company’s shareholders. The book must be entered immediately after the company is formed.
The Book of shareholders is a public document – everybody has the right to look at the contents.
In the Book of shareholders, all shareholders are entered alphabetically, giving the names, dates of birth and their address. If the shareholder is an enterprise, the record must show the enterprise’s firm (i.e. name), the organisation number and the address. For each shareholder, the number of shares owned is recorded together with the corresponding serial numbers of the shares.
If the company operates with different classes of shares, it must be recorded which class the shares belong to.
When a share is transferred to a new owner, the owner must immediately notify the company. The company then adds the new owner to the Book of shareholders and records the date of the new entry. The company is then obliged to notify the new shareholder that he/she is entered into the Book of shareholders. The note must be dated and state what is recorded in the Book of shareholders about both the shareholder and his/her shares.
As the general rule, shares may be mortgaged. However, mortgaging must be recorded in the book of shareholders.
When the company receives notification of such mortgaging, this is immediately recorded together with the date and the name and address of the mortgagee. If requested by the mortgagee, the company is obliged to issue a statement indicating the recording of the mortgage.
The share – as an actual document – is no longer necessary. According to the current Act, the notification to the company about the transfer of shares or mortgaging of the shares is the legal basis for the status of the ownership.
The rule applies both to new companies and companies formed before the Act was passed in 1997. The revision of the legislation imposes an increased responsibility on the companies to keep the Book of shareholders up to date.