23+ Free Stock Certificate Templates (Excel / Word / PDF)

stock certificate

A stock certificate template is a piece of paper used to represent ownership in a company. It is also known as a share certificate which represents a legal interest and ownership in a company. This certificate includes information such as shareholder name, company name, the number of shares owned, the date, unique identification number and a corporate seal and signatures.

There was a time when stock certificates were the only way to prove ownership of shares in a company. They are a bit bigger piece of paper than a normal one and mostly have intricate designs to discourage any fraudulent replications.

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
  • Signatures

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.

“Stock Certificate” A historical Thing:

Stock certificates were used to represent partial ownership in a company. These were the only way to represent ownership in a company before the online and internet brokerage completely took over the financial world. It was a physical piece of paper issues to shareholders of a company which shows the details of the Stock Certificate format in word under the shareholder name in a company. But now these certificates have become a thing of the past as electronic trail has replaced the need of stock certificate to represent ownership.

Although now it has become a lot easier to prove ownership in a company. If someone bought a share in a company through a broker. The broker will have an account with the name of the shareholder. One can still request the company to issue a stock certificate of stocks owned in a company but it’s an expensive and time-consuming process due to stock certificate’s unique and intricate designs.

The most common electronic alternative of the stock certificate is a process known as the book-entry form. It eliminates the need to issue a physical certificate. Stock handling and record-keeping become a lot easier with this electronic method.

Information a Corporate Stock Certificate Template Should Represent:

There are some free stock certificate templates available on the internet which are used by small firms with minor customization according to business. But it is important to make sure these templates must include the following information to represent the ownership of stocks,

  • Name of Shareholder
  • Name of Corporation in which shares have been owned
  • Number of shares owned
  • Issuance Date
  • Unique Identification Numbers such as CUSIP or CINS number
  • Seal or stamp for authenticity
  • Authorized Signatures
  • Certificate Number for internal record

How to make a Stock Certificate Template?

Microsoft office suite comes with a lot of handy tools such as Microsoft word which can be used to make a blank stock certificate template. This blank template can later be linked with an excel file having shareholder’s information to automatically regenerate some certificates for all shareholders using macros. Simple steps for making stock Certificate format in the word are;

  • Import intricate border design for a certificate from graphics software or search for free certificate design in the search bar of MS Word.
  • Certificates are mostly in landscape layout. Choose a landscape page size according to border size.
  • Divide the page into two sections, in the upper half write the unique identification number and certificate number on left and right. Paste the company logo in the center and write the company name in a large clear font just below the logo.
  • In the lower half write a detailed declaration for X number of shares transfer to ABC person on XYZ date holding authority signature and seal for the authenticity of the certificate at the bottom.

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; You may also like a certificate of origin template.

Book entry

Official organizations like a brokerage firm, the bank or a transfer agents keep most stock certificates. But, these are usually known for certificates of deposit and bonds.

Electronic records

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;

  1. Cancelling and giving stock certificates
  2. For an organization, acting as the middleman in order to pay interest and dividends of stocks
  3. 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.

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 shares number and the prices of a transaction at the top right side of the document.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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.

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