Sample Stock Certificates

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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If you're looking for sample stock certificates, chances are good that your company--or one you work with--is planning on issuing stock. This is a significant step for a business, generally proof that a company is doing well, and involves a number of considerations. Let's assume that all the preliminaries are satisfactorily taken care of. The procedure by which stock will be issued has been hammered out by legal counsel and financial advisors.

In sum and in the simplest of circumstances, the board of directors will approve all issued stock. The company charter and articles of incorporation permit the stock being issued at a given time. Compliance with federal securities laws is squeaky clean, complete, and dead on target. This last is not an area that should ever come into question. The Martha Stewart case is a good example. Filings with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) are required within 15 days of the sale of any stock.

Issuing Stock Certificates

But let's say you're the one responsible for the administrative work. What's the language required for certificates? How close to legal tender is a certificate that hasn't been issued or sold? That is, does the paper a certificate is issued on matter? Where do you find stock certificate templates that can be adapted or used as is by your company?

You've seen the boilerplate language on the front of a certificate. The back side typically addresses restrictions to the stock. Generally the language goes something like this: "This certificate and the shares represented ... hereby issued... shall be held subject to all the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation and the By-laws of the corporation and any amendments thereto."

Often enough you won't need to worry about the language, and instead can order certificates from a commercial financial printer. Lithographed certificates come already imprinted with the full corporate information, to include state of incorporation, the number of authorized shares, and the par value. Once stock certificates are issued, of course, they should (almost a must) be recorded on a formal corporate stock ledger, detailing the date issued, the date sold, name and address of the shareholder, and the like.


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