To hold company shares in trust for someone else means that the registered shareholder of the shares (the legal owner) is holding the shares on behalf of another person (the beneficial owner). In Singapore, the registered shareholder is listed as the legal owner of the shares on the company’s register of members, while the beneficial owner has an equitable interest in the shares.
There are several reasons why someone might hold company shares in trust for someone else. For example, it could be a way for a parent to hold shares in trust for their child, or for a company director to hold shares on behalf of the company’s employees.
In Singapore, the legal relationship between the registered shareholder and the beneficial owner of the shares is governed by the terms of the trust agreement or arrangement. The trust agreement sets out the terms and conditions of the arrangement, such as the duties and obligations of the trustee, the rights of the beneficial owner, and the circumstances under which the shares can be transferred.
It is important to note that holding company shares in trust does not transfer legal ownership of the shares to the beneficial owner. The registered shareholder retains legal ownership of the shares, and is responsible for any rights and obligations that come with owning the shares, such as voting at shareholder meetings, receiving dividends, and selling the shares.
Overall, holding company shares in trust is a common way to manage ownership of shares in Singapore and can be a useful tool for managing and transferring ownership of shares while maintaining control and protection of the shares.