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Voting Shares


Voting shares are shares of stock that grant the shareholder voting rights in a company. These rights allow the shareholder to take part in company decisions, usually concerning board members and corporate policy. Their influence over such decisions is proportional to the number of voting shares they own.


The phonetics of the keyword “Voting Shares” is: /ˈvoʊtɪŋ ˈʃerz/

Key Takeaways

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  1. Voting shares allow shareholders to vote on corporate policies and elect the company’s board of directors. The more voting shares a shareholder has, the more influence they have over these decisions.
  2. Voting shares can also give shareholders the right to vote on other significant company decisions, such as mergers or acquisitions. This gives shareholders an active role in shaping the direction of the company.
  3. Not all shares come with voting rights though. Companies can issue both voting shares and non-voting shares, and the latter do not come with the same voting privileges. This can limit shareholders’ influence over company decisions.



Voting shares are important in the realm of business and finance because they represent a shareholder’s power to influence corporate decisions within a company. Owners of voting shares have the right to participate and vote on critical company matters such as board member appointments, mergers, acquisitions or other changes in corporate policy. This allows shareholders to have a direct impact on the company’s management and future direction. Therefore, the distribution of voting shares can significantly affect the company’s governance and control. In essence, voting shares serve as a pivotal tool for shareholder engagement in corporate decision-making, making it a focal point in business and finance.


Voting shares play a critical role in corporate governance, as they represent the decision-making power within a company. The primary purpose of these shares is to afford shareholders the right to vote on major company matters such as the election of the board of directors, business strategy formulation, policies, and in some cases, significant corporate actions like mergers and acquisitions. Owners of these shares have a direct influence on the company’s future, operations, and top leadership, proportionate to the number of shares they hold.Given their pivotal function, voting shares are typically purchased by investors who are interested in having an active role in the company’s decision-making process. These investors could be individuals, institutions, or even employees of the company. Interestingly, these shares are often held by founders or controlling families to maintain decision-making control. However, shareholders who are less interested in getting involved in company decisions and are more focused on the financial returns may opt for non-voting shares, which often come with higher dividends. In essence, voting shares are used as a tool for corporate control and influence, reflecting the democratic principle of one share, one vote.


1. Facebook Inc: When Facebook became a public company, it created two types of shares – Class A and Class B. Class A shares, which are sold to the public, have one vote per share, while Class B shares, mainly owned by founder Mark Zuckerberg, have 10 votes per share. This structure allows Zuckerberg to maintain control over the company despite owning a minority of the overall shares.2. Google: The tech giant has a similar share structure as Facebook. Google’s Class B shares, which are not publicly traded, possess 10 votes per share and are mainly held by its founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. On the other hand, Class A shares, that are publicly trading, possess one vote per share. This model has allowed the founders to keep control over the company.3. Berkshire Hathaway: The conglomerate led by Warren Buffet has also established a two-tiered share structure. Class A shares carry one vote while Class B shares carry 1/10,000th of a vote. This structure was largely created to allow small shareholders to have a stake in the company without affording them significant voting power.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What are voting shares?

Voting shares are a type of share in a company that entitles the shareholder to vote on company matters and the board of directors at company shareholder meetings.

Why are voting shares important in a business?

Voting shares are important because they give shareholders a say in the company’s decisions and strategy and allow them to influence the direction of the company.

Are all shares voting shares?

No, not all shares are voting shares. There are also non-voting shares that do not give the shareholder the right to vote on company matters, but may offer other benefits, such as increased dividends.

What is the difference between Class A and Class B voting shares?

The difference usually resides in the voting rights attached to each class. Class A shares may have more voting rights than Class B shares. However, this varies and the details are defined by the individual company.

Can a minority shareholder with voting shares influence the company direction?

Yes, a minority shareholder can influence the company’s direction if they hold voting shares. However, their influence will be proportionate to their ownership stake.

How do voting shares affect the value of a company?

Voting shares can potentially increase the value of a company because they give shareholders more control and influence over the company’s actions, which may result in decisions that increase the company’s profits and thus its value.

Can I sell my voting shares?

Yes, voting shares can be bought and sold just like any other shares. However, by selling your voting shares, you will be giving up your voting rights in the company.

Can a company buy back its own voting shares?

Yes, a company can buy back its own voting shares. This is often done to reduce the number of outstanding shares and increase the value of remaining shares.

Who commonly uses voting shares?

Voting shares can be used by anyone, from individual investors to large institutional investors. They are especially common in companies where the founders or executives want to retain control over the company’s strategic direction.

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