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Stock Certificate basics

Corporations can give their shareholders Stock Certificates as proof of ownership of corporate stock. While a certificate lists the stock owner and the number of shares they own, it isn't the stock itself—rather, it's evidence that the shareholder owns the stock.


What is a stock certificate?


A stock certificate serves as physical proof that the certificate holder owns shares in a company. Stock holdings are usually tracked using digital technologies, but you are still required to issue a paper share certificate if your investor requests it.


How do you get a stock certificate?


Making a free Stock Certificate online is simple. Just answer a few questions, and Rocket Lawyer will build your document for you. Consider these questions beforehand to make the process speedier:

  • Does the stock have a par value?
  • What type of stock will be issued?
  • What is the stock certificate number?
  • Is the stock subject to transfer restrictions?

If you don't have all of the details you need, you can skip questions, and save your document for later.


Are stock certificates worth anything?


It depends on whether the company still exists. If the company does exist, then the next step would be to contact the transfer agent, the individual who will inform you of any changes in corporate ownership. If the company no longer exists, the certificate will most likely not be worth anything.


Can you still buy paper stock certificates?


Nowadays, many companies issue shares electronically, however you can get paper certificates if the corporation offers them. Contact your broker or a transfer agent to determine if paper stock certificates can be bought.


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Sample Stock Certificate

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