14. Share (definition)
NOTE: if you’re new to Ground-Up Governance, or are finding anything a bit strange or confusing, you might want to START HERE.
Many types of corporations are divided up into intangible chunks that people can own. An ownable chunk of a corporation is called a share. Each share basically represents a fraction of what your company is worth. For now, let’s just imagine that when you incorporated Reallie Steilish Inc. you decided to keep all the shares for yourself. If and when anyone else thinks Reallie Steilish Inc. is any good, then the shares are probably worth money to them which means you could sell your shares so that you personally get money. Or Reallie Steilish Inc. could create more shares – dividing it into even smaller chunks – and sell them so that the corporation has more money to spend on getting bigger and better. Money is usually pretty useful to a corporation! And the better the company gets, the more money people are willing to pay to own shares. Be careful, though, because when you sell somebody shares in your corporation, they get some authority, too.
A corporation can have as many or as few shares as it wants. If your corporation has lots and lots of shares – some have, like, hundreds of millions (seriously!) – it just means you’ve divided your corporation up into tinier pieces that can be owned by lots of different people, or even by other corporations. It’s worth repeating, though: everyone who has a share in your corporation also get a bit of authority. That can be a really big deal!
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