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Stockholders are considered a business owner and has the protection of limited liability under the laws of the country which the company of the stock he holds resides. Limited liability means that stockholders are not personally liable for the debts of the corporation. The most stockholders can lose if the company fails is the amount of his or her investment—what the stockholders originally paid for the stock.
Corporations enable stockholders to share in the profits of the company. This fee is shared among stockholders after all other claims are made. This is called dividend. In addition to having a claim on company profits, stockholders are entitled to share in the sale of the company if it is dissolved. They may also vote in person or by proxy on a variety of corporate matters, including the most important matter of who should run the corporation. When the company issues new stock, stockholders have priority to buy a certain number of shares before they are offered for public sale, this referred to as right of issue. Stockholders also receive periodic reports, usually quarterly, that provide information regarding the corporation’s business performance. Stocks generally are negotiable, which means stockholders have the right to assign or transfer their shares to another individual.
To be a stock holder in Nigeria depends on how you purchase you stock. Whether you bought through a public offer on from the secondary market. When you buy from a public offer, you have to wait for about 18 months before you get your share certificate. But even after you get your share certificate, you still need to convert your share certificate to cscs format. Whether a stock is bought on the secondary market, it comes in cscs format. This form of trading is faster and less stress free. But since public offers a some times cheaper, well you be the judge on the best way you want to buy.