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