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HMRC internal manual

Stamp Taxes on Shares Manual

Companies and shareholders: introduction: evidence of ownership - bearer shares

Companies sometimes issue shares in bearer form (‘bearer shares’). This means that the shares are not listed on any share register but ownership rests with the person who has physical possession of the share certificate at a particular point in time.

The bearer certificate will state that the holder or bearer of the certificate is the legal owner of the share. In order to receive dividends, holders of bearer shares must send the company a voucher claiming the dividends to which they are entitled and that have been declared.

For more information on bearer securities and their treatment for stamp duty and SDRT, see STSM062010.