Stock Certificate

Stock Certificate Template

Utilize our Stock Certificate template to provide evidence of the sale and ownership of stock.

To establish ownership of a specific quantity of stocks or shares, a Stock Certificate is your solution.

Our fillable stock certificate template streamlines the process, allowing you to swiftly complete the necessary information.

Download the template below to get started and gain a better understanding of stock certificates and their essential components.

Table of Contents

What is on a stock certificate?

A stock certificate is a tangible document that serves as evidence of a shareholder's ownership stake in a company. These certificates typically contain various details, which may include:

  1. Number of Shares Owned: The stock certificate specifies the quantity of shares held by the shareholder. This number represents the extent of their ownership in the company.
  1. Date of Purchase: It includes the date when the shares were acquired by the shareholder. This helps track the duration of their ownership.
  1. Identification Number: Each stock certificate is assigned a unique identification or serial number. This number helps in tracking the certificate and distinguishing it from others.
  1. Corporate Seal: Many stock certificates bear the corporate seal of the issuing company. This seal signifies the authenticity of the certificate and the company's endorsement of the ownership.
  1. Signatures: Stock certificates typically feature signatures from authorized individuals, such as company officers or registrars. These signatures validate the certificate's authenticity and the transfer of ownership.
  1. Company Name: The certificate prominently displays the name of the issuing company, identifying the specific entity in which the shareholder holds stock.
  1. Par Value: In some cases, the par value of the shares may be mentioned on the certificate. The par value is the nominal or face value assigned to the shares, and it may be used for accounting and legal purposes.
  1. Stock Class: If the company has multiple classes of stock (e.g., common stock, preferred stock), the certificate will specify the class to which the shares belong.
  1. Restrictions or Legends: Certain certificates may contain restrictive legends or notations, indicating any limitations or conditions associated with the shares. For example, restrictions on transferring the shares or requirements for board approval.
  1. Ownership Details: The certificate may include the shareholder's name, address, and contact information, linking the certificate to its rightful owner.

Consequences of Not Having a Stock Certificate

If you don't possess a Stock Certificate, it can lead to various issues related to ownership verification and legal matters. Stock Certificates serve as crucial evidence of your ownership in a company and offer several benefits:

  1. Proof of Ownership: A Stock Certificate is a tangible document that confirms your ownership of a specific number of shares in a company. Without it, you may lack official proof of your ownership.
  1. Transaction Facilitation: Stock Certificates simplify the process of selling your shares. They provide essential details such as the number of shares owned, purchase date, and identification number, and often feature a corporate seal and signatures.
  1. Legal Protection: In the event of disputes or legal matters, having a Stock Certificate can be invaluable. It serves as concrete evidence of your stake in the company and can help resolve conflicts more efficiently.

However, it's worth noting that the financial industry is gradually transitioning from physical paper certificates to electronic ownership through methods like the Direct Registration System (DRS). This shift eliminates the need for physical certificates and streamlines the ownership process.

If you ever lose a physical Stock Certificate, it's essential to follow the guidance provided by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on what to do if your securities certificate is lost, destroyed, or stolen.

Furthermore, it's important to be aware that some brokers charge significant fees, ranging from $100 to $500, for issuing physical certificates due to the administrative work involved.

When Is a Stock Certificate Utilized?

Stock Certificates serve multiple purposes, offering tangible proof of ownership and even becoming collectible items. Here's when and why they are used:

  1. Ownership Proof: Stock Certificates are commonly issued to shareholders, especially in closely held corporations with a limited number of investors. They serve as tangible evidence of ownership, ensuring transparency and accountability.
  1. Shareholder Records: Corporations keep meticulous records of shares issued and maintain an up-to-date list of shareholders, often facilitated through Stock Certificates.
  1. Gifts and Collectibles: Some individuals purchase stocks as unique gifts or collectible memorabilia. While Disney's Tinker Bell-adorned paper certificates are no longer available, authentic registered Stock Certificates from companies like Pixar and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. may feature beloved characters like Buzz Lightyear and Shrek, appealing to collectors and fans.

If you happen to stumble upon old, dusty Stock Certificates in your attic, you can explore options for cashing them out, as detailed in a Wall Street Journal article.

What to Include in a Stock Certificate?

A Stock Certificate is a crucial document that signifies ownership of shares in a corporation. When preparing one, ensure it contains these vital elements:

  1. Corporation Information:
    • Name of the Corporation
    • State of Incorporation
    • Date of Incorporation
  1. Share Details:
    • Number and Class of Shares Issued
    • Registered Certificate Number
  1. Shareholder Information:
    • Name of Shareholder
    • Date of Certificate Issuance
  1. Authentication:
    • Authorized Signatures
    • Corporate Seal (required in some states)

Consider these additional details that can enhance your Stock Certificate:

  • Corporate Seal: In certain states, including a seal is necessary to validate the certificate.
  • Transfer Restrictions: Be vigilant about any transfer limitations specified in corporate filings.

When creating your corporate Stock Certificate, ponder these questions:

  • Who will be the recipient of the stock certificate?
  • What is the certificate's registration number?
  • When was the stock issued?
  • Where was the company incorporated?
  • How many shares are included, and what is their respective value?


How can I get my stock certificate?

If you've purchased stock from a particular company and wish to acquire a physical stock certificate, follow these steps:

  1. Contact the Company Directly: Reach out to the company whose stock you own. You can usually find their contact information on their official website or through a stock transfer agent. Request that they issue and mail you a physical stock certificate.
  1. Check the Secretary of State Website: If you're unable to locate the company's contact details, visit the Secretary of State website in the state where the business is registered or operates. They often have records and information related to corporations.

What are the different types of stock certificates?

Stock certificates come in two primary forms:

  1. Registered Stock Certificates:
    • These certificates include the shareholder's name and ownership details.
    • Ownership is recorded in the company's books, and dividends are typically paid directly to the shareholder.
    • Registered certificates provide a clear record of ownership and are more secure.
  1. Bearer Stock Certificates:
    • Bearer certificates do not include the shareholder's name.
    • Whoever physically possesses the certificate is considered the owner.
    • Bearer certificates provide anonymity but can be risky if lost or stolen.

These are the main types of stock certificates, each with its own advantages and considerations.

What are the benefits of stock certificates?

Stock and membership certificates play a crucial role in maintaining accurate corporate records and registers. These certificates not only serve as tangible proof of ownership but also enhance the company's credibility by offering shareholders official documentation that represents their ownership in the company.

Sample For Stock Certificate

Loading PDF…

Page 1 of

Related Business Operations Contracts
Loading PDF…