Free Share Certificate Generator

Use the form below to generate a free share certificate for your business.

Create your Free Share Certificate Template

Fill in the form below to have a free personalised Share Certificate emailed to you in Word format. No credit card, sign-up or subscription needed.

Enter the name of the company. This will be the name that it has with Companies House and will end "Limited"

This is the number you can find the certificate of incorporation, or on the Companies House website.

Enter the full legal name of the investor - where this is a person, this is there full name, where this is a company, it's the company's legal name (e.g. including "Limited").


The default is ordinary shares, but you might have e.g. created "Class A" shares.

You can find this on companies house - you'll have set this when you incorporated the company. It will likely be £0.01 or £1. Include the £ sign in your answer.

This is a unique identifier assigned to each certificate issued by the company. It's a crucial element as it helps in the tracking and recording of issued shares and ensures that the share ownership is properly documented and easy to verify. When you, as the owner of the company, are issuing shares and preparing share certificates, you should assign a unique number to each certificate. This number is typically sequential, starting from 1 or another chosen starting point, and increases with each new certificate issued. For example, if you are issuing the first-ever share certificate for your company, you might start with number 1. The next certificate you issue would be number 2, and so on. It's important to maintain a meticulous record of these certificate numbers in your company's register of members / shareholders or share ledger.

Enter the email address you want us to send your contract to. This may take a couple of minutes to arrive.

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Guide to Share Certificates

What is a Share Certificate

A share certificate serves as a physical document issued by a company to certify the ownership of shares in the corporation. It acts as evidence that the person named on the certificate is the legal owner of the number of shares specified therein. Traditionally, these documents include critical details such as the shareholder’s name, the company’s name, the number of shares owned, and the date of issuance. In the digital age, while the transition to electronic records is noticeable, the value and legal standing of physical share certificates remain significant in England and Wales.

The presence of a share certificate facilitates various shareholder activities, including the transfer of shares, provision of shareholder rights, and serves as a key document during legal and financial audits. It is a testament to the shareholder’s stake in the company, reinforcing their entitlement to dividends, voting rights, and a share in the company’s assets upon dissolution. Moreover, share certificates embody the trust and commitment between the shareholder and the corporation, serving as a tangible acknowledgment of the shareholder’s investment.

For private companies in England and Wales, issuing share certificates is not just a traditional practice but a requirement under the Companies Act 2006. This legal framework ensures that the ownership of shares is transparently and accurately recorded, safeguarding both the company and its shareholders’ interests. Despite the prominence of electronic documentation, the physical share certificate remains a symbol of trust, ownership, and the enduring relationship between a company and its shareholders.

In an era where digital transformation is pervasive, the relevance of share certificates persists. They continue to function as a critical element in the corporate governance structure, ensuring that share ownership is clearly defined and legally verifiable. As businesses evolve, the methods of issuing and managing these certificates have also adapted, paving the way for innovations such as free share certificate template generators, which combine tradition with technology to streamline corporate processes.

Why Share Certificates Are Important

Share certificates play a pivotal role in the corporate governance and operational framework of businesses in England and Wales. They serve as irrefutable proof of share ownership, which is crucial for the execution of shareholder rights, including voting at general meetings and claiming dividends. The physical certificate acts as a legal document that can be used in legal proceedings to establish ownership and settle disputes regarding share distribution and entitlements.

The importance of share certificates extends to the realm of financial transactions and credibility. For businesses seeking investment or loans, share certificates are often requisite documentation to prove the equity held by shareholders. They provide a clear snapshot of the company’s ownership structure, which is invaluable for investors, financial institutions, and potential business partners. This transparency not only facilitates financial transactions but also enhances the company’s reputation and trustworthiness in the market.

From a regulatory perspective, the issuance of share certificates is a compliance requirement under the Companies Act 2006 for private companies registered in England and Wales. It ensures that companies maintain an up-to-date record of their shareholders, thereby promoting transparency and accountability in corporate governance. Compliance with this legal obligation not only avoids potential legal complications but also underscores the company’s commitment to adhering to best practices in corporate management.

Furthermore, in the event of a company’s dissolution, share certificates serve as a basis for determining the distribution of assets among shareholders. The clear demarcation of share ownership aids in the equitable distribution of assets, according to the proportion of shares held. This underscores the certificates’ role not only in the operational phase but also in the conclusion of a company’s lifecycle, safeguarding shareholder interests until the very end.

Requirements of Who Can Sign the Certificate

In England and Wales, the Companies Act 2006 stipulates specific guidelines regarding the authorization and signing of share certificates. Typically, the document must be signed by two company officers, usually the director and the secretary of the company. In cases where the company only has one director and no secretary, the sole director can sign the certificate, but it must also be witnessed to attest to the authenticity of the signature.

The requirement for signatures by company officers is designed to ensure the legitimacy and authenticity of the share certificates. It acts as a safeguard against fraud and unauthorized issuance of shares, reinforcing the certificate’s role as a credible and legally binding document. The company seal, if used, alongside the signatures, further enhances the certificate’s integrity, though the use of a seal is no longer a legal necessity but remains a mark of formality and authenticity.

It is imperative for companies to adhere to these requirements meticulously to maintain the legality of the share certificates issued. Any deviation or oversight in following the prescribed signing protocol can lead to disputes regarding the validity of the share ownership, potentially embroiling the company in legal challenges and undermining shareholder confidence.

Moreover, the digital era has ushered in electronic signatures, recognized under the Electronic Communications Act 2000. While the adoption of electronic signatures for share certificates is gaining traction, companies must ensure that such practices conform to legal standards and provide the same level of authentication and integrity as traditional handwritten signatures. This ensures that regardless of the medium, the share certificate’s validity and the shareholders’ rights are unequivocally protected.

What Happens if A Share Certificate is Lost

Losing a share certificate can be a significant concern for shareholders due to the document’s legal and financial importance. In such instances, the company must be notified immediately to mitigate any potential risks associated with unauthorized use or fraudulent activities. The shareholder is typically required to provide a written statement of the loss and, in some cases, may be asked to sign an indemnity agreement. This agreement protects the company in case the lost certificate is used fraudulently, ensuring that the shareholder bears the financial risk.

Upon receiving notification of the loss, the company proceeds to cancel the original share certificate and issue a replacement. This process is crucial to maintaining the integrity of the company’s share register and safeguarding shareholder rights. The replacement certificate is usually marked as such, indicating that it supersedes the lost document, and contains the pertinent details of the original certificate.

The procedure for replacing a lost share certificate can be time-consuming and may involve administrative fees. This underscores the importance of shareholders keeping their certificates in a secure location and maintaining accurate records of their share ownership. Companies can facilitate this process by adopting electronic share registers and issuing electronic certificates, which can simplify the management and replacement of lost certificates.

Furthermore, this scenario highlights the value of free share certificate template generators, which can expedite the creation and issuance of replacement certificates. These tools not only streamline administrative processes but also ensure that the replacement certificates meet the legal and regulatory requirements, maintaining the continuity and legitimacy of share ownership documentation.

The Process of Issuing a Share Certificate

Issuing a share certificate is a pivotal process that formalizes the relationship between a company and its shareholders. Initially, upon the allotment of shares, the company is required to prepare and issue a share certificate to the new shareholder within a specified timeframe, as mandated by the Companies Act 2006. This certificate must include all necessary details such as the company’s name, the number of shares the certificate relates to, and the number of shares owned, ensuring it meets all legal requirements.

The preparation of share certificates has been greatly simplified with the advent of free share certificate template generators. These digital tools offer customizable templates that can be tailored to meet a company’s specific needs, ensuring compliance with legal standards while saving time and reducing the likelihood of errors. The use of such generators facilitates a streamlined process, from the creation to the signing and eventual issuance of the certificate, enhancing efficiency in corporate administration.

Once a share certificate is prepared, it must be duly signed according to the legal requirements discussed previously. Companies should then record the issuance of the certificate in their register of members, updating the shareholding details accordingly. This meticulous record-keeping is essential for maintaining an accurate and up-to-date reflection of the company’s ownership structure, which is critical for both regulatory compliance and corporate governance.

Finally, the share certificate is delivered to the shareholder, signifying the completion of the issuance process. This delivery can be effected physically or electronically, depending on the company’s practices and the shareholder’s preference. As share certificates continue to play a crucial role in the corporate landscape of England and Wales, the integration of digital solutions like template generators into their issuance process represents a significant advancement, marrying tradition with technological efficiency to meet the contemporary needs of businesses and shareholders alike.

The management and issuance of share certificates are fundamental aspects that underpin the operational integrity and legal compliance of companies in England and Wales. As we have explored, share certificates serve not only as a testament to share ownership but also as crucial documents in the broader spectrum of corporate governance, financial transactions, and regulatory adherence. The evolution of processes, facilitated by technological advancements such as free share certificate template generators, has streamlined and enhanced the efficiency of issuing these important documents. For businesses navigating the complexities of corporate management, embracing these innovations offers a pathway to maintaining compliance, ensuring shareholder satisfaction, and upholding the trust and confidence that are the bedrock of successful corporate ventures.

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