The following are the main difference between a debenture and a share:
- A person having the debentures is called debenture holder whereas a person holding the shares is called shareholder.
- Debenture holder is a creditor of the company and cannot take part in the management of the company while a shareholder is the owner of the company. It is the basic distinction between a debenture and a share.
- Debenture holders will get interest on debentures and will be paid in all circumstances, whether there is profit or loss will not affect the payment of interest on debentures. Shareholder will get a portion of the profits called dividend which is dependent on the profits of the company. It can be declared by the directors of the company out of profits only.
- Shares cannot be converted into debentures whereas debentures can be converted into shares.
- Debentures will get priority is getting the money back as compared to shareholder in case of liquidation of a company.
- There are no restriction on issue of debentures at a discount, whereas shares at discount can be issued only after observing certain legal formalities.
- Convertible debentures which can be converted into shares at the option of debenture holder can be issued whereas shares convertible into debentures cannot be issued.
- There can be mortgage debentures i.e. assets of the company can be mortgaged in favor of debenture holders. But there can be no mortgage shares. Assets of the company cannot be mortgaged in favor of shareholders.