A stockholder of record is the registered holder of shares, as stated in the records of the issuer. The stockholder has the rights and responsibilities of ownership. Thus, when the issuer plans to pay dividends to its shareholders, it pays the stockholders of record. These stockholders also have voting rights in regard to such matters as the election of board members and the sale of the issuer to an acquirer. Proxy materials are also sent to the stockholder of record.
Once a stockholder sells the shares, the person or entity is no longer classified as a stockholder of record.