A stock certificate template is a useful tool that indicates the ownership of a specific number of corporate stocks or shares in a corporation. In short, it shows the issuance of shares of stock in the corporation. A specific amount of shares of stock is authorized by the Articles of Incorporation when a new corporation is formed.
You will get the type of stock certificate on the basis of the required type of stock. This certificate is given to someone when they purchase stock in a company. It proves their ownership. This legal document protects the legal rights of both the buyer and the issuer of the stock.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a stock certificate?
- 2 2 Types of Stock Certificates:
- 3 What to include in a stock certificate?
- 4 Things to consider while applying for a stock certificate:
- 5 Identifying the value of old stock certificates:
- 6 Why does an organization issue stocks?
- 7 How do you cash in stock certificates?
- 8 Privileges of a shareholder:
- 9 How do you fill out a corporate stock certificate?
- 10 If you don’t have a stock certificate then what happens?
- 11 When does a stock certificate used?
- 12 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- 13 Is a stock certificate worth anything?
- 14 Can you still purchase paper stock certificates?
- 15 How do you read a stock certificate?
- 16 What is a stock certificate number?
What is a stock certificate?
A stock certificate is a physical piece of paper that shows a legal interest and ownership in a company’s common stock. In addition, it also shows its related stockholder rights. It includes the following information;
- Number of shares owned
- The date of purchase
- An identification number
The stock certificate is a bit bigger than a normal piece of paper. They have intricate designs to avoid replication.
2 Types of Stock Certificates:
Registered stock certificates
A registered stock certificate is issued as evidence of title. It serves as a record for the actual shareholders. In the registration record of the organization, this information appears that issues the stocks.
Bearer stock certificates
A bearer stock certificate is for the bearer of the stocks. This certificate provides him/her all legal rights that are associated with it. However, now, these are rare and were usually used for shares that were purchased offshore. Also, they were used to transfer the title to different assets that without the need to pay stamp duty were owned by the organization issuing the stocks. You should also check the certificate of incumbency templates.
What to include in a stock certificate?
A stock certificate should include the following information;
- The certificate number
- Your corporation’s name
- The state of incorporation
- The sum of the authorized shares
- The authorized shares’ par value
- Name of the shareholder
- The number of shares that the stock certificate indicates
- The type of stock
- A statement that states the shares are non-assessable
- Signatures of the corporation’s representatives (president, secretary, and treasurer)
- Sale signatures and notes
Things to consider while applying for a stock certificate:
Here are the things that you must consider while applying for a stock certificate;
- The certificate will not specify any securities purchased that are purchased. They only mention the shares that are purchased.
- The registered certificate will contain the percentage of the title for the stockholder and the total number of shares.
- The paper has a unique background which is used to make the stock certificate. It must prove the authenticity of the certificate.
- A stockholder can use the registered certificate in legal proceedings.
- Organizations that buy shares may not issue certificates each time. Generally, they are issued the first time they do so.
- A new one can be made in case a certificate gets lost but not before a fine is paid for it. Nowadays, most companies store their stock certificates safe electronically. This way, the chances of them getting lost are slim to none.
- In the certificate, the signature used can’t administer electronically.
Identifying the value of old stock certificates:
The organizations that issued stocks, even if they;
- Lost their privilege under the certificate as an active company
- Merged with another company
- Modified the name of the company
So, this doesn’t indicate that they are not financially active. There are several ways to confirm whether the stock certificates they give are still valuable or not. Here are some of them;
Official organizations like a brokerage firm, the bank or transfer agents keep most stock certificates. But, these are usually known for certificates of deposit and bonds.
Most brokerage firms hold certificates in street names. They typically handle stocks and bonds. Basically, this shows that they keep track of it electronically. This makes them able to make fast purchases, make dividend payments and conduct sales via the underlying organization.
Direct registration system
These days, most stock certificates are processed via a DRS or a Direct Registration System. This system is an electronic database used by transfer agents. It reduces significantly the need of paperwork and the overall cost.
Why does an organization issue stocks?
The main reason is to raise capital for business expansion. For instance, it might require to;
- Set up a new factory
- Launch a new product
- In order to become more profitable, hire more employees on the payroll.
- Merge with another company
- Decrease debt
- Provide more flexibility to the owners of the company
- Pay for new buildings
- Finance new inventories
- In the stock exchange, make the company more valuable
An investment banker typically manages the company’s stock. They act as a link between the organization and the investors. It is an important step to hire as once a company decides to go public, it must follow a number of federal and state regulations. All these federal and state regulations are followed by all publicly traded organizations.
Furthermore, they also have to make some confidential information public like earnings. A perfect deal of effort is make to make sure investors are kept fully aware of anything to do with the company. Also, they have to pay accountants and attorneys to manage the stock. Shareholders must be completely informed of their rights through the rights plan. This plan is generally proposed by the management head of the company.
However, if they decide to buy shares, then they can only enjoy those rights by transferring rights when they are sold and purchase new ones. In the yearly proxy statement, plans for a change in shareholders are usually mentioned in print. You may also see the certificate of achievement template.
How do you cash in stock certificates?
You can still sell an old stock certificate if you get your hands on it either through a transfer agent or a broker who can sell it for you. You should do research how valuable the stock really is before doing so. In your hands, you may be holding a fortune. It would still be wise to have it checked out even in case it turns out to be a useless piece of paper.
To manage companies, most companies make use of transfer agents or individuals who own stock shares in them. Typically, this is a trust organization or an agent. But, some large companies like Disney serves as their own transfer agents.
These agents generally have 3 following major functions;
- Cancelling and giving stock certificates
- For an organization, acting as the middleman in order to pay interest and dividends of stocks
- Manage lost certificates
You can visit the company’s website in order to identify the transfer agent for the organization that is handling your stock shares. To be directed to the agent, head to the Investor relations page. You can always opt for a private firm of transfer agents in case that does not work.
Ask them how you can transfer your stock to direct registration after finding one. DRS only make stock owners able to manage their stocks in entries with an agent instead of an actual paper-based certificate. In simple words, the agent will keep a record of your stocks. This can hold up in court or any other legal proceedings in case called upon. When that is done, then anytime you can sell the stocks you want.
You can always download a free stock certificate template in case you want to go the paper route though. It need to be mailed once it has been filled and certified to the transfer agent along with tracking information.
Let us discuss below privileges of a shareholder;
You own part of a company
In a publicly traded company, when you purchase stock you own part of it. Only one share per vote is allowed by most organizations but this does not reduce its value.
You will get progress reports regularly
You, as part of the owner/shareholder of the company, will receive regular quarterly reports along with a yearly one. This will keep you aware of its financial progress. Before the report was issued along with reviews of company activities, you will receive information that indicates how much money the company has made and lost.
Invitations to annual events
You as a shareholder will get invites to yearly shareholder event meetings. In these meetings, you will get an opportunity to meet other shareholders and management executives. Moreover, you can still vote in your absence through an absentee ballot in case you are unable to attend these events. Enhancing the value of the shareholders and proving the inherent value of the organization are the main responsibility of the board and the managers during those meetings.
How do you fill out a corporate stock certificate?
After downloading the corporate stock certificate template, you need to add the following information;
- Applicable law: At first, you have to write down the name of the state where the company was incorporated.
- Company identification: Here you have to enter the name of the corporation and its legal address.
- Shareholder’s name: In the next line enter the name of the shareholder. You should write the name correctly.
- Number of shares: Next, define the exact amount of shares the person is purchasing.
- Corporate officer’s signature: For legally valid, the document must have the signature of at least two authorized officers.
- Company Embossed seal: After jotting down all the important information you must seal the certificate. Every company has its own seal.
- Date: Enter the date including month and year.
- Certificate’s identification number: Write the number of certificates at the top left side of the document.
- Share’s identification number: Enter the share number and the prices of a transaction at the top right side of the document.
If you don’t have a stock certificate then what happens?
The shareholder doesn’t have evidence of purchase or ownership without a certificate of stock. In case, your securities certificate is lost, destroyed, or stolen then the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission guides you on what to do. This certificate makes you able to record the shares you owned and it also enables you to sell your stock quickly.
When does a stock certificate used?
As proof of ownership, a stock certificate is often provided to shareholders. This is particularly in the case of closely held corporations that have a small group of shareholders or investors. All issued shares must be recorded by the corporation’s secretary. Also, it should maintain an accurate list of all shareholders. As a gift or collectible item, some stocks are purchased.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is a stock certificate worth anything?
It depends on the existence of a company. In case, the company does exist then contacting the transfer agent would be the next step. On the other hand, the certificate will most likely not be worth anything in case the company no longer exists.
Can you still purchase paper stock certificates?
These days, most companies use electronic systems to issue shares. However, if the corporation offers paper stock certificates then you can get them. Contact your broker or a transfer agent to identify whether the paper stock certificates can be purchased or not.
How do you read a stock certificate?
It doesn’t matter from where you receive a stock certificate; you need to know how to read it,
Step#1: Seek out your name on the certificate. It may appear prominently at or near the top of the certificate and represents the ownership of the stock.
Step#2: Look for the number of shares. This informs you of just how much stock you bought.
Step#3: Find out the per-share value. It must likewise be easy to find and reflects the price per share as of the date of buy. The buying price may be a reminder to you of your own stock-buying savvy either the stock value moves upward or downward.
Step#4: Find the date. The certificate makes it simple if you forgot your purchase date.
Step#5: Seek out the company name, signature, and corporate seal. The appearance of the seal and its significance can be traced back through the centuries. However, without a seal and the signatures, the certificate is not logical.
What is a stock certificate number?
A stock certificate generally includes a group of numbers on its face. Every certificate has its own certificate number given by the company which enables it to be tracked. It also contains a CUSIP number given by the Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures which can be used to track the certificate. Moreover, the stock certificate also contains the number of shares that it shows written on its face.