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In business law, a stakeholder is a party who has an interest and might be affected by the performance and outcome of an entity’s business, project, or enterprise. Common examples of some of a corporation’s stakeholders are shareholders, investors, employees, suppliers, the community, and the government.

In the context of an interpleader action, a stakeholder is a disinterested third party (can be a person or entity) who holds or possesses money or property whose ownership rights are subject to a dispute between two or more parties. Such a stakeholder may file an interpleader suit to avoid multiple liability by having a federal district court determine the party that should have the property. For instance, insurance companies are often stakeholder plaintiffs in interpleader actions.

[Last updated in August of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]