Your company must issue a share certificate to all of its shareholders. Our share certificate template can be customised and generated in minutes, to ensure you comply with your legal obligations.
If your company fails to issue share certificates, an offence is committed by the officers of the company and they could be fined. In addition, failing to issue share certificates can lead to confusion and disputes regarding the ownership of shares.
A share certificate is a certificate which a shareholder in a company is entitled to receive evidencing ownership of the shares they hold. Share certificates are legally required to contain certain information, and must be signed either by two directors or by one director in the presence of a witness. Using our share certificate template will help you comply with your legal duties - properly filled in, it includes everything you need and a place for the appropriate signatures.
Every time new shares in your company are issued or existing shares change hands, you must prepare a share certificate and send it to the shareholder who now owns the shares. You have two months from the date that the shares are issued or transferred to do this. The share certificate must be issued free of charge.
You should use our template to issue share certificates:
- when you first set-up your company, to record the number of shares held by each subscriber;
- when you issue shares to a new shareholder; and
- when any shares are transferred to a new shareholder.
In addition, if you have not previously issued any share certificates to your shareholders, you should use this template to create and issue share certificates to each of your shareholders as soon as possible.
In order to complete our share certificate template, you will need:
- your company name;
- your company number;
- the name of the shareholder;
- the address of the shareholder;
- the number of shares held by the shareholder; and
- the class of shares held by the shareholder, including their nominal value (if you are unsure, for further guidance see The nominal value of shares in a new company).
You will also need to decide whether you will have the certificate signed by one director in the presence of a witness, or by two directors.
Once you have collated all of the above information, our document assembly tool can be used to customise our share certificate template and generate share certificates for signature in a few clicks.
For further guidance on when and how you should issue share certificates, see:
- How to issue shares on incorporation, for guidance on issuing share certificates to your subscribers when you first set-up your company;
- The process to follow in order to transfer shares, for guidance on issuing share certificates after a transfer of shares; and
- Steps to take after issuing new shares, for guidance on issuing share certificates after you have issued new shares to an investor or new business partner.
Harry is General Counsel and Company Secretary of FromCounsel, the specialist corporate legal resource trusted by top global law firms and FTSE 100 companies. Before joining FromCounsel in 2021, Harry was a member of Sparqa’s editorial team for over 4 years, having previously practised as a corporate solicitor for 6 years at Farrer & Co. Harry regularly contributes his expertise to the blog, focusing on corporate and commercial law.