Share Capital: Meaning and Examples

Share Capital: Meaning and Examples

7 mins readComment
Chanchal Aggarwal
Senior Executive Content
Updated on Apr 10, 2024 18:35 IST

Share capital is the money a company raises through the issuance of shares to investors, reflecting the company's financing through equity rather than debt. It's crucial for funding operations and expansion.

Share Capital

Consider a startup eager to disrupt the urban gardening sector. To kickstart its operations, it sells shares to public investors, thereby raising capital. This accumulated amount is known as share capitalIt is fundamental for the company's initial investments, ongoing projects, and future expansions. These essentially fuel the company's journey from a mere idea to a flourishing enterprise. Let's understand the concept of share capital and related concepts in detail. 

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Table of Content

Share Capital Meaning

Share capital refers to the funds that a company raises by issuing shares to investors. It represents the total value of all purchased shares and serves as a key source of financing for the company's operations and growth initiatives. Share capital is divided into different classes of shares, such as common and preferred shares, each with its rights and privileges.

Difference Between Equity Share and Preference Share
Difference Between Equity Share and Preference Share
Ddifference between equity share and preference share is in what they offer. Equity shares provide investors with partial ownership while preference share offer fixed dividends to ins shareholders. Equity more

Difference Between Debt and Equity
Difference Between Debt and Equity
Debt is money borrowed, while equity is ownership in a company or we can say, debt is a liability, while equity is an asset. Debt is an obligation that more

Methods of Raising Share Capital

Companies use various methods to raise share capital, including Initial Public Offerings (IPO), Right Issues, Private Placements, Preferential Allotment, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and Follow-up Public Offerings (FPO)

Initial Public Offering (IPO): Companies can raise capital by issuing and selling shares to the public for the first time.

Rights Issue: Existing shareholders are offered the "right" to purchase new shares in proportion to their current holdings.

Private Placement: Companies can issue new shares by selling them directly to a specific group of investors.

Preferential Allotment: Companies can issue new shares to a specific group of investors, such as promoters or strategic partners.

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs): Companies can issue shares or share-based instruments to their employees as part of compensation and incentive programs.

Follow-up Public Offerings (FPO): A Follow-up Public Offering (FPO) is when a company already listed on a stock exchange issues additional shares to investors after its initial public offering (IPO).

Difference between IPO and FPO
Difference between IPO and FPO
IPO (Initial Public Offering) is the process by which a private company goes public by selling its shares to the public for the first time. On the other hand, more

Difference between Right Issue and Bonus Issue
Difference between Right Issue and Bonus Issue
The key difference between a bonus issue and a rights issue lies in their purpose and impact on shareholders. A bonus issue offers additional shares to shareholders for free, more

Example of Share Capital

Reliance Industries Limited, one of India's largest conglomerates, decides to fund its new digital venture. It issues 5 million shares at ₹2,000 each, raising ₹10 billion in share capital. This move allows Reliance to invest heavily in expanding its digital infrastructure, enhancing its footprint in India's rapidly growing digital economy.

Difference Between Authorised Capital and Paid-Up Capital
Difference Between Authorised Capital and Paid-Up Capital
Authorized capital is the maximum amount of capital a company can legally issue, representing its potential for raising funds. In contrast, paid-up capital is the actual amount of money more

Types of Financial Instruments
Types of Financial Instruments
Financial instruments are assets that can be traded, typically representing a contractual right to a financial value or ownership interest. They include stocks, bonds, options, futures, and currencies and more

Types of Share Capital

Share capital, the foundation of a company's equity, is categorized into various types based on the rights attached to the shares and the purpose of their issuance. The primary types include:

Authorized Capital: The maximum amount of capital a company is authorized to issue, as stated in its charter.

Issued Capital: Part of the authorized capital that has been offered and issued to shareholders.

Subscribed Capital: The portion of issued capital that investors have agreed to buy.

Paid-up Capital: The amount of subscribed capital that shareholders have fully paid to the company.

Called-up Capital: If not fully paid, the total amount called for payment on shares may be less than the paid-up capital.  

Reserve Capital: Part of the authorized capital that can only be issued upon the company's liquidation.

Top Journal Entry Questions for 2024
Top Journal Entry Questions for 2024
Journal entry questions test one's ability to accurately record financial transactions. They involve identifying the correct accounts to debit and credit, helping learners understand how these entries affect a company' more

Difference Between Money Market and Capital Market
Difference Between Money Market and Capital Market
The money market is a part of financial markets where instruments with high liquidity and short-term maturities are traded. Short-term securities with a maturity period of one year or more

Journal Entry of Share Capital

Let’s consider a hypothetical example to understand the share capital journal entry. XYZ Tech Ltd. decides to issue 1,000 new shares at a price of ₹100 each on 9th April 2024. This action is taken to raise funds for new technology investments.



Debit (₹)

Credit (₹)


Bank Account                                    Dr.



To, Share Capital Account

(Being shares issued at ₹100 each, totaling ₹100,000)



Why do Companies Raise Share Capital?

Financing Growth and Expansion: By issuing new shares, companies can raise funds to invest in expanding their operations, developing new products, or pursuing strategic acquisitions. This allows them to fuel growth and scale up their business.

Reducing Debt: Issuing shares can help a company pay off existing debt or reduce its debt-to-equity ratio, improving its financial stability and creditworthiness.

Strengthening the Balance Sheet: Share capital contributes to a company's equity, which strengthens its balance sheet and makes it more attractive to investors, lenders, and business partners.

Providing Working Capital: The funds raised from share issuances can be used to finance day-to-day business operations and meet short-term cash flow needs.

Facilitating Mergers and Acquisitions: Companies can use their shares as a form of currency to acquire other businesses, allowing them to grow through inorganic means.

Unlocking Employee Incentives: Companies can issue shares or share-based instruments to employees as part of their compensation and incentive programs, helping to attract and retain talent.

Factors Affecting Share Capital

Here are the key factors affecting a company's share capital:

Company Growth and Performance:

  • Strong financial performance, profitability, and growth prospects typically allow companies to issue more shares and raise additional capital.
  • Poor financial results or stagnant growth may limit a company's ability to increase its share capital.

Industry and Market Conditions:

  • Favorable market conditions and investor sentiment towards a particular industry can make it easier for companies to raise capital through share issuances.
  • Unfavorable economic conditions or market downturns can make it more challenging to raise share capital.

Regulatory Environment:

  • Government regulations and policies, such as taxation, listing requirements, and disclosure norms, can impact a company's ability to raise share capital.
  • Changes in regulations can affect the attractiveness and feasibility of share issuances.

Capital Structure and Financing Needs:

  • A company's existing capital structure, debt levels, and financing requirements influence its need and capacity to raise additional share capital.
  • Companies may prefer to maintain a certain debt-to-equity ratio, affecting their share capital decisions.

Shareholder Preferences and Control:

  • Existing shareholders' willingness to dilute their ownership and control can impact a company's ability to issue new shares.
  • Companies may also need to consider the preferences and rights of different classes of shareholders when raising capital.

Management Strategies and Corporate Governance:

  • A company's management team's vision, growth plans, and risk appetite can shape their approach to share capital management.
  • Strong corporate governance practices and transparency can also influence investor confidence in a company's share capital decisions.

Advantages of Raising Share Capital

Access to Funds for Growth

Issuing shares allows companies to raise funds to expand their operations, invest in new projects, or pursue acquisitions. This capital can be used to finance the company's long-term growth and development.

Improved Financial Structure

Share capital strengthens a company's balance sheet by increasing its equity and reducing its debt-to-equity ratio. This can improve the company's creditworthiness and make it more attractive to lenders and investors.

Shareholder Diversification

Selling shares to the public can diversify a company's shareholder base, reducing its reliance on a few key investors. This can provide more stability and access to a wider pool of capital.

Valuation and Liquidity

Being a publicly traded company can increase a company's visibility and make its shares more liquid. This can lead to a higher market valuation and better pricing of the company's shares.

Incentive for Employees

Companies can use share-based compensation, such as stock options or restricted stock units, to attract, retain, and motivate employees. This can align the interests of employees with those of shareholders.

Acquisition Currency

Publicly traded shares can be used as a form of currency to acquire other companies or businesses, facilitating inorganic growth.

Prestige and Brand Visibility

Going public and being listed on a stock exchange can enhance a company's brand recognition and prestige, benefiting its business.

Disadvantages of Share Capital

Dilution of Ownership and Control

Issuing new shares leads to diluting existing shareholders' ownership and voting rights in the company. This can result in a loss of control for the company's founders or major shareholders.

Increased Reporting and Regulatory Requirements

Public companies face stricter disclosure requirements, regulatory oversight, and compliance obligations compared to private companies. This can increase administrative expenses and operational complexity for the company.

Volatility in Share Prices:

Due to market conditions, investor sentiment, and other external factors, share prices can be subject to significant fluctuations. This can lead to uncertainty and vulnerability for the company and its shareholders.

Loss of Confidentiality

Going public requires a company to disclose sensitive financial and operational information, which can compromise its competitive position. This loss of confidentiality can be a concern for some companies.

Pressure to Meet Quarterly Expectations

Public companies face constant pressure to meet market expectations and deliver consistent financial performance, which can lead to short-term decision-making. This can distract from the company's long-term strategic objectives.

Increased Stakeholder Scrutiny

Public companies are subject to greater scrutiny from shareholders, analysts, media, and regulatory authorities. This can make the company more vulnerable to public criticism and reputational risks.

Dependence on Capital Markets

Reliance on external capital markets for funding can make the company vulnerable to changing market conditions and investor sentiments. This can limit the company's financial flexibility and autonomy.

About the Author
Chanchal Aggarwal
Senior Executive Content

Chanchal is a creative and enthusiastic content creator who enjoys writing research-driven, audience-specific and engaging content. Her curiosity for learning and exploring makes her a suitable writer for a variety ... Read Full Bio