All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt
All player corporations in EVE have shares, which are unique to the corporation. On forming a corporation 1000 shares will be created in the corporation wallet. Additional shares can be created by a corporation vote. Upon a successful vote the CEO should return to the Politics section of their Corporation Management Panel and view the Sanctionable Actions. The ability to Apply the Creation of Shares per the vote will now be present and available but Not in Effect. Once applied, the successful creation of the prescribed number of shares will report as an In Effect Sanctionable Action and will be available to the Corporation for distribution.
Shares can be transfered from a corporation to other players or corporations and vice-versa. A player does not need to be in the corporation to hold shares.
Current shareholders and the number of shares they own in the corporation can be seen by opening the corporation wallet, clicking on shares, and then clicking on shareholders.
By being a shareholder in a corporation, you are allowed the following actions.
Votes and Voting Rights
When a corporation creates a corporation vote, all shareholders receive a message with details of the vote, and can right-click on the shares in their own wallet to make a decision on the vote. Any player holding shares can see history of votes in the corporation.
A corporation CEO can issue dividends to all shareholders. This is done from the corporation control panel, home tab. The CEO nominates a sum to dividend, and it is distributed to all shareholders proportional to the % of shares they hold in the company. There is no limitation to the frequency of issuing dividends.
A shareholder inside a corporation that holds more than 5% of the shares, can force a vote to take over CEOship of the corporation.
As all shareholders receive a message with no CSPA charge whenever a vote is made, delivering shares to people and then making a vote will force message delivery to the players.
Shares can be transferred only directly from wallet to wallet, there is no function to trade shares. Therefore the transfer of shares to players is a 2-step action;
- Player A transfers shares to Player B
- Player B transfers payment (eg. ISK) to Player A
As it's a two-step action, it is subject to scamming. The majority of players overcome this through using a player trusted by all parties to act as a broker. This is achieved as follows:
- Player A transfers shares to Trusted Player C
- Player B transfers payment (eg. ISK) to Trusted Player C
- Player C transfers shares to Player B
- Player C transfers payment (eg. ISK) to player A
Tracking past dividends
There are a number of sites that track a history of dividends, including EGSE.
There is no way to force another player to return shares to a corporation, so be careful who you give shares to.
The main meta use for shares is a corporation selling them in order to raise funds, based on future promised dividends. There are many stories of successful corporations honouring these promises, as there are many stories of corporations taking the raised capital as a scam.