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Outstanding Shares

Glossary Term

Outstanding shares (also referred to as issued shares) refers to the number of shares that have been issued and are outstanding at a given time.

Authorized Shares

Glossary Term

The number of authorized shares is the maximum number of shares the corporation is permitted to issue, and is set forth in the certificate of incorporation.

A corporation is created by filing the Articles of Incorporation (if the corporation is created under California law) or the Certificate of Incorporation (if the corporation is created under Delaware law, which is the most common), or a similar document in other states.