Indicating ownership in your company
C corporations, S corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), limited partnerships (LPs) and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) designate ownership by issuing shares of stock, membership interest or partnership interest respectively.
Why it’s important
Businesses issue certificates to shareholders, members or partners in order to provide proof of ownership. This proof is typically provided in the form of a certificate:
- Stock certificates for corporations
- Membership certificates for LLCs
- Partnership certificates for LPs and LLPs
Features & benefits
BizFilings' stock, membership and partnership certificates are:
- Full-sized (8½ x 11)
- Customized with your company’s name
While BizFilings’ Compliance Kit & Seal includes ownership certificates, often there is a need to purchase more or replacements later in the life of a company. Our stand-alone ordering allows companies to do this at their convenience.
Keep in Mind
Issuing ownership certificates is one of the steps a company should take after its incorporation is complete. This is typically done at an organizational meeting or at an initial meeting of the owners.Steps to Take After Incorporation
What are ownership certificates?Ownership certificates are issued to the owners of a company to formally document their ownership of the company. Types of ownership certificates include:
- Stock certificates. Stock certificates are issued to a corporation’s shareholders to designate their ownership.
- Membership certificates. Membership certificates are issued to an LLC’s members to designate their interest in the LLC.
- Partnership certificates. Partnership certificates are issued to partners in a limited partnership (LP) or limited liability partnership (LLP) to formally document their partnership interest.
Can I order additional stock, membership or partnership certificates beyond what comes in the Compliance Kit & Seal?BizFilings’ Compliance Kit & Seal includes 10 custom Ownership Certificates for your business type. Additional certificates can be purchased separately if desired, or additional certificates can be purchased at a later date. There is a minimum purchase of 10 certificates.
Do I need ownership certificates if I do not offer ownership to the public?Yes, corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), limited partnerships (LPs) and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) all have owners and that ownership must be properly documented, even if ownership is not offered to the public. For corporations, issuing shares is a required formality. Even if you are the only shareholder, the corporation should issue your shares by providing a stock certificate that outlines the number of shares of stock you own. This issuance should also be recorded in the corporation’s stock transfer ledger. While LLCs, LPs and LLPs are not required to follow such steps, it is still recommended that they issue and properly document issuance of membership or partnership certificates to all owners.
Can I issue multiple shares on one certificate?Yes, it is acceptable to issue multiple shares stock, membership interest or partnership interest on one certificate. You do not need a separate certificate for each share.
What do I do with my certificates once I receive them?You should issue the certificates to company owners at the initial meeting of directors (corporations), members/managers (LLCs) or partners (LPs or LLPs) just after your company is incorporated. You should record the shares and certificates issued in the transfer ledger, which is also included in BizFilings' Compliance Kit & Seal. Keep unused certificates in your Compliance Kit & Seal binder for use at a later date, for example, if you add additional owners to your company, or if a current owner changes his/her ownership percentage.
As a stand-alone product—minimum purchase of 20, or 10 are included with our Compliance Kit & Seal.
Tools to help you choose
We have resources to help you understand your options.