Although investors sometimes ask the SEC for a list of a company's shareholders, the SEC does not maintain shareholder lists.

Under SEC rules, a company must provide shareholders with a process for contacting other shareholders in two limited situations. The first occurs during proxy solicitations – when shareholders solicit proxies in opposition to a company proposal or for a vote on a proposal they favor. The second occurs in connection with a tender offer where persons seek to acquire the company's securities from existing shareholders. In both cases, the company may choose to either give the list to the person who requested it or mail the shareholder's soliciting or tender offer materials to other shareholders at the requesting shareholder's expense.

State laws or a company's charter and by-laws may provide for access to shareholder lists in additional circumstances. To find out how you can obtain more information about a company from the state in which it was incorporated and does business, you can visit the website of the National Association of Secretaries of State.

For more information on the SEC rules when shareholders can request a shareholder list, please read Rule 14d-5 (tender offers) and Rule 14a-7 (proxies) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.