How Can I Find Out the Names of the Shareholders of a Company?

You can find out the names of the shareholders of a public company through several resources.

If you wish to find out the names of large shareholders of a public company that has filed with the SEC, you can find this information by searching EDGAR, the SEC’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval System. All companies, foreign and domestic, are required to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR. Anyone can access and download this information for free. You will also find links to a complete list of filings available through EDGAR and instructions for searching the EDGAR database. Its primary purpose is to increase the efficiency and fairness of the securities market for the benefit of investors, corporations, and the economy by accelerating the receipt, acceptance, dissemination, and analysis of time-sensitive corporate information filed with the agency.

You will likely only be able to find out the names of certain of the shareholders of a company if the company is publicly traded. If a company is privately held, you may not be able to find out the names of the shareholders of a company without contacting the company and asking. Most private companies, however, will not give away that information. Private companies that have been funded by venture capital investors will often refer to their investors in press releases that are typically posted on the company’s Web site.