Ownership and Control of my Offshore Company
What´s the difference between a shareholder and the beneficial owner?
A shareholder is a person (individual or corporate), in whose name shares in a particular offshore company are registered. So, it basically is what the name suggests – the "holder" of shares. However, in some situations the shareholder may hold shares for the benefit and on behalf of another person. Such shareholder would be called "nominee shareholder". In such instance, the other person – who would accordingly be the real owner of the shares – is the beneficial owner. In other words, the beneficial owner is the person who is the real, de-facto owner of the shares, entitled to all gains, profits and benefits accruing to such shares. The beneficial owner would also be the one who decides on eventual sale or disposition of shares. So, not all beneficial owners are shareholders and not all shareholders are beneficial owners – while, certainly, it is also possible that both are the same person.