Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
West Palm Beach Business & Personal Injury Attorney
Turn to us for your legal needs. 561-291-8298

What Is The Difference Between A Shareholder And A Stakeholder?


The modern business environment is hyper competitive. It takes the contributions of many different people to make a successful company. Those who have a direct ownership interest in a corporation are called shareholders. Those who have any type of interest in the corporation are called stakeholders. In this blog post, our West Palm Beach shareholder disputes lawyer provides a more in-depth explanation of the difference between shareholders and stakeholders.

What is a Shareholder? 

A shareholder is an individual (or entity) that owns a formal ownership interest in a company. Some shareholders are founders of the company. They may have built the business from the ground up. Other shareholders bought into the company after it was already fully developed—they may even be an investor who owns a very small percentage of shares purchased through the stock markets. Shareholders do not have to be individuals. Institutions can own shares in a corporation.   

What is a Stakeholder? 

A stakeholder is more broad. As defined by Investopedia, a stakeholder is “any party that has an interest in a company and can either affect or be affected by the business.” Stakeholders include everyone from the top executives at a business to recently hired employees. Stakeholders also include individuals and entities that do not actually work for the business, such as third party suppliers and customers.

A Shareholder is a Stakeholder—But Not Every Stakeholder has an Ownership Interest

Every shareholder is a stakeholder in the business. Even if you only one a single share of a large corporation, you are a stakeholder. You have an interest in the future of that company. In contrast, not every stakeholder is a shareholder. Most large businesses have a significant number of stakeholders that do not have any actual ownership interest in the company.

As an example, consider a large multinational corporation like Amazon. Every employee of Amazon is a stakeholder in the business. Beyond that, companies that sell products on Amazon are also stakeholders. With customers being stakeholders as well, most people in South Florida have some form of interest in the future of Amazon.

Disputes Can Arise Between Shareholders and Stakeholders 

Stakeholders and shareholders can get into disputes for a wide variety of different reasons. In most cases, shareholder disputes are centered around the actions or inactions of the people who actually run and control the business—those being corporate officers and corporate directors. Though, shareholder disputes can sometimes involve other stakeholders as well, including employees and third party companies.

Get Help From a Shareholder Lawyer in West Palm Beach

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida shareholder dispute lawyers are skilled, results-oriented advocates for clients. No matter your situation, our attorneys will help you find the best solution. If you have any questions about your legal rights or legal responsibilities, we are more than happy to help. Get in touch with us today to schedule your strictly confidential initial consultation. We represent shareholders in West Palm Beach and throughout South Florida.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Segment Pixel