A share certificate is a legal document that brings a sense of ownership as the holder of the share certificate possesses the number of shares as clearly written and no one else can claim it: its issuance is compulsory.
A share warrant is a negotiable instrument that shows that the bearer is entitled to a certain number of shares and its issuance is not compulsory.
The main differences between a share certificate and a share warrant include but are not limited to:
- A share certificate is issued to public or private Companies limited by shares while a share warrant is issued to only public limited companies.
- A share certificate does not require any provision in the Articles of Association while a share warrant should be provided in the Articles of Association.
- A share certificate should be issued within the 3 months after the allotment of shares while a share warrant has no time frame and can be issued within any preferable period.
- A share certificate is issued against partly or fully paid up shares while a share warrant is only issued on fully paid up shares.
- A member in possession of a share certificate has the right to vote and participate in meetings while a bearer of a share warrant has no such rights.
- A share certificate requires certain procedures to be followed, I: e, taking the Share Transfer Form to the Ministry of Lands for assessment, payment of stamp duty and franking at the Ministry of Land. Whereas a share warrant is only required to be delivered to the person entitled to it.
- A share certificate does not require approval from the Central Government while a share warrant requires such approval.
- A bearer of a share certificate is a member of the Company whereas a bearer of a share warrant is not a member of the Company.