Stock Certificate

A Stock Certificate is an official legal document issued by a corporation to the shareholder of a specified number of company shares.

How it works

Choose Document
Build your selected document.
Answer Questionaire
Answer a few simple questions with step-by-step instructions.
Download and Print
Print & download forms instantly. Sign & make it legal.

Nowadays, a Stock Certificate in paper form is a rarity. You will only receive a physical certificate if you ask for it specifically. In the digital era, Stock Certificates don't hold the importance they once did. 

However, Stock Certificates still exist, just without the fancy artwork of the past. Stock Certificates were big and had a unique design to avoid counterfeiting. 

Today, all shares are recorded like book-keeping. This method made sure paper certificates are a thing of the past. 

What Is a Stock Certificate?

A Stock Certificate or a Share Certificate is documentation of ownership in a company. All outstanding shares of a corporation must be accounted for, and that's the Stock Certificates" purpose.

As mentioned, the certificate can be a physical piece of paper or issued electronically. However, it's essential to keep in mind that a Stock Certificate does not have a trade value but is merely proof of how many shares are held by a particular shareholder.

If a physical certificate is issued and becomes lost or damaged, you haven't lost any money or shares. Just report it to the corporation and request a new one.

Other Names for Stock Certificate

Depending on your state, a Stock Certificate may also be known as:

  • Share Certificate
  • Certificate of Stock
  • Statement of Ownership of Stock

Who Needs a Stock Certificate?

Every company that is registered as a corporation will issue Stock Certificates to the shareholders. It's also a way for a company to keep track of the total float of shares and the primary purpose of documentation.

Why Use 360 Legal Forms for Your Stock Certificate

Customized for you, by you

Create your own documents by answering our easy-to-understand questionnaires to get exactly what you need out of your Stock Certificate. 

Specific to Your Jurisdiction

Laws vary by location. Each document on 360 Legal Forms is customized for your state.

Fast and easy

All you have to do is fill out a simple questionnaire, print, and sign. No printer? No worries. You and other parties can even sign online.

How to Create a Stock Certificate With 360 Legal Forms

A Stock Certificate doesn't require an extensive list of information, just the essential info. There are several key details to pay attention to, and that's a lot easier if you have a template guiding you through the filling out of the certificate.

Let 360 Legal Forms help with our extensive library of attorney-vetted legal forms. The process is fast and easy. All you have to do is fill out our easy-to-understand questionnaire. Once complete, simply download your form as a PDF or Word document from your secure online account.

What Information Will I Need to Create My Stock Certificate?

To create your document, please provide:

  • Corporation details: The legal name of the corporation, the state of incorporation, and address.
  • Governing Document: Articles, bylaws, statutes, or other adopted documents.
  • Shareholder details: The name and contact information of the shareholder.
  • Shares Information: The number of shares issued to the shareholder, value, and class.
  • Serial Number: Give the stock certificate a unique serial number.
  • Authorized representative: An authorized company officer will sign the certificate.
  • Seal: This is where you put the corporate seal. 

Stock Certificate Terms

  • Share: A unit of equity in a particular corporation.
  • Stock: The ownership of a corporation.
  • Shareholder: A person or entity owning shares in a company.
  • Board of Directors: A group of individuals appointed to manage and oversee a corporation on behalf of the shareholders.
  • Dividend: Profit distribution to a corporation's shareholders, if applicable.
  • Stock Buyback: This refers to a corporation's repurchase of shares from shareholders, usually to prop up the value.
  • Corporate Seal: A corporation's official seal for authenticating documents.

Stock Certificate Signing Requirements

Small corporations have a designated person, usually the company secretary, who is in charge of keeping track of all the float shares. Whether to issue new shares or transfer ownership of existing shares, the document requires said person's signature. Notarization is not required.

What to Do With Your Stock Certificate

If a corporation issued a physical Stock Certificate to a shareholder, the shareholder should keep it for personal records. If a corporation holds physical Stock Certificates, they're a part of the shareholder's internal documentation. As mentioned, digital certificates are far more common nowadays.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most commonly, corporations repurchase shares to prop up the share value. This is beneficial to all shareholders and a corporation may pull the trigger if the shares are undervalued or if it simply has cash on hand. It's also a way for the company’s management to increase the ownership of the company. For example, if the management would like to pick up more voting rights, whether to push through a resolution or stave off a takeover big. 

A stock ledger is the official record of a corporation’s existing float of shares. The ledger is usually in the form of a table and records all transactions, ownership info, and other relevant information regarding its shares. While corporations aren’t always required to keep a ledger by law, they almost always choose to do so. 

A portfolio in the context of investment is a corporation’s holding of financial assets like stocks, properties, cash, cash equivalents, and more. 

An IPO is the process of a private corporation going public by issuing shares that are available for trading at a stock exchange. It is done to raise capital from institutional investors. To participate in an IPO, a corporation has to meet all the requirements set by the SEC. Additionally, the original founders of a corporation can use an IPO as an exit strategy. 

Stock Certificates have a long history. The first stock certificate can be traced back to 1606 and it was issued by the Dutch East India Company. Collecting old stock certificates that no longer have any value is a hobby known as scripophily. One of the last paper stock certificates issued by a major corporation was a Disney certificate in 2013.

Why choose 360 Legal Forms?

Our exhaustive library of documents covers your personal, business, and real estate needs with all of your DIY legal forms.

Easy legal documents at your fingertips
Easy legal documents at your fingertips

Create professional documents for thousands of purposes.

Easily customized
Easily customized

Make unlimited documents and revisions. Sign online in seconds.

Applicable to all 50 states
Applicable to all 50 states

Our documents are vetted by lawyers and are applicable to all 50 states.