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What is Record Date?

4 Mins 02 Aug 2023 0 COMMENT

When a stock company makes profits, it may choose to share it with its shareholders, in the form of dividends. The shareholders are the part owners of the company and are entitled to receive a stake in the company’s profits. The dividend payment is decided by the company’s board of directors. The payment is typically made in cash or as cash equivalents.

The dividend payment structure follows a chronological order. The payment structure has four important dates – announcement date, ex-dividend date, record date, and payment date. The meaning of the announcement and payment date is quite simple. The announcement date is the date on which the company announces the distribution of dividends among its shareholders. The payment date is the date on which the dividends are distributed and credited to the accounts of shareholders.

The Record date is one of the most important dates you must mark on your calendar. The article explains the meaning and significance of the record date. It also helps you understand its relationship with the ex-dividend date.

What is record date?

The Record date is the cut-off date set by the company to determine its shareholder’s eligibility to receive dividend payments. The date helps ascertain exactly who the shareholders of the company are, as of the date, that are to be paid dividends. The shareholders of an actively traded stock keep changing continuously. Hence, a record date becomes necessary to determine the eligible shareholders.

If you are an investor and your name is mentioned on the shareholder record list as of the record date, it indicates you are eligible to receive dividend payments. Naturally, this means if you are not on the record list, you will not receive any dividends.

The record date is also used to determine the eligible shareholders while distributing other benefits, such as bonus shares, share splits or rights shares. If an investor holds shares in his demat account on the record date, he is eligible for these corporate actions. The record date is fixed by the company’s board of directors.

What is the relation between the record date and the ex-dividend date?

An ex-dividend date is a day prior to the record date. It is the date beyond which the company will not extend dividend payments to its shareholders. On this day, the stock goes ex-dividend, which means that the stock does not carry the value of its next dividend.

You need to buy a stock before the ex-dividend date to be able to avail of the dividend offering. The date is set based on the associated stock exchange rules.

The record day will now be one day after the ex-dividend day as the Indian stock exchanges now follow the ‘Trade plus 1’ or ‘T+1’ settlement system.

Considering the significance of both dates, the ex-dividend date is of higher importance, as it has a direct impact on your stock buying and selling decisions. The record date is merely the cut-off by which the company receive the list of shareholders and begins with the eligibility determination procedure. You can find both dates mentioned on the stock company’s website and its respective stock exchange website.

There are no rules regarding how long you are required to hold your stocks before redeeming them. You can choose to sell your stocks right after the record date announcement, and still receive the dividend payments you are eligible for.

Refer to the following example to understand the dividend payment timeline of ‘Company A’:

Announcement date

5th May 2022

Ex-dividend date

17th May 2022

Record date

18th May 2022

Payment date

2nd June 2022


A shareholder of Company A stocks will be eligible to receive the dividend only if holds shares in his demat account on the record date, which here is May 18. Therefore, he should purchase the stock on or before May 17. It is because India now follows the T+1 settlement cycle, which means that the shares purchased on a day will get credited to the investor’s account on the next day.

Hence, the shareholders registered in the books of the company as on the record date, May 18, will be eligible to receive dividends. On June 2, 2022, the dividend will be credited to the bank accounts of the shareholders.

As per the rules, the dividend payment date shall be within 30 days from the announcement date, in the case of an interim dividend. However, in the case of a final dividend, a payment date should be within 30 days from the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).

In conclusion, the record date is an important concept for investors to understand. The record date is the date which determines which investors are eligible to receive dividends or other benefits associated with the ownership of a security. Knowing the record date, and the associated rights and privileges, allows investors to maximize their investment potential and make informed decisions.

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