UK Accounting Glossary
Beneficial owner is a legal term which refers to a person who has the right to live in a property and use it as he/she wishes although he/she may not actually possess full ownership, for example, a leaseholder.
The phrase, however, is becoming more and more common in stockmarket usage as a result of the growing importance of nominee accounts. In this instance, the beneficial owner of shares owns shares held in trust by a nominee, which is usually a company set up for this purpose by a stockbroker.
Remember, you may lose your rights to shareholders’ perks, annual reports and your right to vote at annual and special shareholder meetings if you hold your shares in a nominee account.
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This glossary post was last updated: 15th February 2020.