How to get a company seal is a business step that many new business owners wonder about. Although the company seal is no longer required, it can provide a sense of authenticity to a business document.

What Is a Corporate Seal?

A corporate seal is similar to a state seal except that it is the official seal of the corporation. A corporation is legally considered to be a separate entity from the individual members. This seal acts as the official signature of the corporation. The official signature, or seal, was once required to sign any official documents. This prevented individuals from making decisions without the other members of the corporation agreeing to them.

However, technology upgrades made it difficult to authenticate the corporate seal. Corporate seals are not used as often today. Corporate seals may still be used for bank accounts and other smaller corporate accounts, but they are not often used for legal documents anymore. Different states have different requirements as well, so it is important to check with your state if a corporate seal is needed for legal documents.

What Is the Use of a Company Seal?

The company seal should only be used sparingly and for the most important of business transactions. It should not be used to record meeting minutes or for service level agreements. It should also not be used for vendor contracts. There are a few situations when it is appropriate to use the company seal:

  • Company resolutions
  • High-level contracts and deeds
  • Real estate transfers or land contracts
  • Loan documents and mortgages
  • International documents
  • Issuing stock certificates

Additionally, a company seal cannot be used without prior approval. The use of the company seal should be documented in the Articles of Association or in the board meeting's minutes. In many cases, the company seal must also be accompanied by the president's or CEO's signature.

What Is the Power of a Company Seal?

Although the company seal is not used as often in today's business world, it still remains an official mark of corporations. Some legal documents today still require the company seal. Additionally, it is still an important part of board resolutions. Without a company seal, the resolution is considered to be invalid. Also, larger companies are still expected to have a company seal. Without one, it would be difficult to file certain legal documents.

How to Obtain a Corporate Seal for a Corporation

Although corporate seals were once made of wax, today they are a type of metal stamp. A corporate seal can be obtained by completing the following steps:

  • Register your corporation with the state. Corporations are governed by the state, not federally. It is important to register with the state because the state is often included on the corporate seal.
  • Head to a local office supply store. A corporate seal is not a mandatory part of registering a corporation, so you are not provided with a corporate seal by the Secretary of State. Instead, you can obtain one at an office supply retailer.
  • Design your corporate seal. It is up to you to design your corporate seal. However, most corporate seals do include the name of the corporation, the date incorporated, and the state that the corporation is registered in. Others will also include a corporate symbol.
  • Choose the embosser. The corporate seal is then set into an embossing device. You can choose a handheld or desktop embosser device.
  • Purchase the corporate seal. You will have to pay for your corporate seal.

Official Stock Certificate

Official stock certificates are also not used as often as they were many years ago. Official stock certificates once were used as a title to the companies' stocks. It was an important part of proving ownership of corporate stocks. Today, however, many stock issuing and purchases are completed over the internet, making official stock certificates unnecessary.

Additionally, the state no longer requires that stock certificates accompany the stocks. Stock certificates are still sometimes used as evidence of stock ownership, instead of an official title. They are also used to display authenticity.

If you need help with how to get a company seal, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.