Difference Wiki

Final Dividend vs. Proposed Dividend: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 11, 2023
A final dividend is the confirmed shareholder payment declared after year-end, whereas a proposed dividend is suggested by directors before formal approval.

Key Differences

A final dividend is declared by a company's board after finalizing annual accounts, representing a portion of the company's profits distributed to shareholders. In contrast, a proposed dividend is the preliminary announcement of a dividend, subject to shareholder approval at the company's annual general meeting (AGM).
The final dividend is typically paid after the company's fiscal year-end and is a reflection of the company's full-year financial performance. The proposed dividend, however, is announced before the year-end financial statements are finalized and can be adjusted based on the final financial outcomes.
Shareholders receive the final dividend after it has been approved at the AGM, making it a confirmed and legally binding payment. The proposed dividend, on the other hand, remains a recommendation until shareholders approve it, lacking legal binding until then.
The final dividend amount is usually higher, as it is based on the complete financial picture of the company. The proposed dividend serves as an indication to shareholders of what to expect, and its amount might be conservative or tentative.
Investors often view the final dividend as a strong indicator of a company's financial health and stability. The proposed dividend, while informative, is less definitive and more subject to change based on final profit figures and strategic decisions.

Comparison Chart

Declaration Timing

After fiscal year-end
Before year-end, at fiscal year-end


Approved at AGM
Proposed for approval at AGM

Payment Timing

After AGM approval
Awaiting AGM approval


Full-year financial performance
Tentative financial estimation

Legal Status

Legally binding after AGM
Not legally binding until AGM approval

Final Dividend and Proposed Dividend Definitions

Final Dividend

It's a legally binding payment to shareholders once approved.
After AGM approval, the company issued a final dividend to its shareholders.

Proposed Dividend

It's an estimated dividend based on preliminary financial results.
Based on initial profits, the directors proposed a dividend of 4%.

Final Dividend

A final dividend is declared after considering the full year's financial performance.
The final dividend was set at 5% following a thorough review of the annual financial statements.

Proposed Dividend

It's not legally binding until shareholders approve it.
The proposed dividend will become official once the shareholders approve it at the AGM.

Final Dividend

This dividend is approved by shareholders at the annual general meeting.
Shareholders voted in favor of the proposed final dividend at the AGM.

Proposed Dividend

This dividend provides an early indication of potential shareholder returns.
The proposed dividend gave investors an early insight into the company's profitability.

Final Dividend

A final dividend is the last dividend payment made by a company in a fiscal year.
The company announced a final dividend of $2 per share after a profitable year.

Proposed Dividend

A proposed dividend is a suggested dividend payment announced before year-end.
The board suggested a proposed dividend of $1.5 per share, pending final approval.

Final Dividend

It represents a portion of profits distributed to shareholders after annual earnings are calculated.
The board declared a higher final dividend following the year's strong financial results.

Proposed Dividend

The proposed dividend awaits shareholder approval at the AGM.
Shareholders will vote on the proposed dividend at the upcoming AGM.


Is the final dividend based on the entire fiscal year's performance?

Yes, the final dividend reflects the company's financial performance over the full fiscal year.

When is a proposed dividend announced?

A proposed dividend is typically announced at the end of the fiscal year or during the fiscal year-end results.

Are final dividends higher than interim dividends?

Often, final dividends are higher, reflecting the complete financial year, but this is not always the case.

Do final dividends affect stock prices?

Yes, the announcement of final dividends can influence a company's stock prices.

What is a final dividend?

A final dividend is a payment made to shareholders, approved at the AGM, after a company's fiscal year ends.

What does proposed dividend mean?

A proposed dividend is a tentative dividend suggested by a company's board before year-end, subject to shareholder approval.

Can the proposed dividend amount change?

Yes, the proposed dividend amount can change based on final financial results and AGM decisions.

Is the final dividend always a cash payment?

Typically, yes, but some companies may offer dividends in other forms, like stock.

When is a final dividend paid?

A final dividend is paid after it is approved by shareholders at the AGM.

Can shareholders reject a proposed dividend?

Yes, shareholders can reject a proposed dividend at the AGM.

Are proposed dividends common in all companies?

Proposed dividends are common in public companies but may vary among private corporations.

How do investors view proposed dividends?

Proposed dividends provide investors with an early indication of a company's financial health and potential returns.

Are final dividends mandatory?

No, final dividends are at the company’s discretion and depend on its financial performance and policies.

What influences the amount of a proposed dividend?

The amount of a proposed dividend is influenced by preliminary profit estimates and the company's dividend policy.

How is the final dividend determined?

The final dividend is determined by the company’s profitability and its dividend distribution policy.

Can a company cancel a proposed dividend?

Yes, a proposed dividend can be adjusted or canceled before shareholder approval.

Do all shareholders receive the same proposed dividend?

Yes, proposed dividends are usually uniform across all shareholders, based on the number of shares held.

What happens if a final dividend is not approved?

If a final dividend is not approved at the AGM, it is not distributed to shareholders.

Can a company pay a final dividend without a proposed dividend?

Yes, a company can declare a final dividend directly, without first announcing a proposed dividend.

How do final and proposed dividends impact company financials?

Both affect a company's cash reserves, but final dividends also reflect in financial statements post-approval.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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