In the past, investors received physical certificates, referred to as in bearer form, when they bought stock.
The problem of old stock certificates doesn't arise very often anymore because most stocks are kept in electronic form in your broker's computer system, which is known as in street name.
That is, every time a security changes its name, splits, or does anything affecting its stock certificate, a new number is assigned to it.
By doing a search starting from the original number, we can find out the security's current equivalent.
This number provides a vital piece of information for searching out a security; it's like stock DNA.
Each security has a unique number, and changes and splits are recorded accordingly.A probated will with the necessary signatures of the executors may be required by the transfer agent before it will transfer ownership.For a fee, stock search companies will do all of the investigative work for you and, if the certificate ends up having no trading value, they may offer to purchase it for a collector's value. Stock search companies may also publish or help you find stock guides to assist you in investigating an old stock.This can be done in many different ways, so it's always best to contact the transfer agent and request instructions. If the company is no longer public, your search ends.In this case, there may be some legal repercussions, and you will need to speak to a lawyer.Yet, assuming that the key function of the stock market is cash, economists known as agency theorists see this separation of control from ownership as the “original sin” of American capitalism, and argue that the evils of managerial control can be overcome by compelling corporate managers as “agents” to maximize the value of corporate shareholders as “principals.” What is missing from the agency-theory argument is a theory of the value-creating firm, or what I call a “theory of innovative enterprise.” The value-creation process requires three social conditions of innovative enterprise: strategic control, organizational integration, and financial commitment.The functions of the stock market may support the types of strategic control, organizational integration, and financial commitment that can result in the generation of high-quality products at low unit costs—the economic definition of innovative enterprise.Generally, incorporation goes through the Secretary of State, and the name of the business will be documented in those databases.You should be able to contact the Secretary of State's office and find out more about your certificate. The main reason you need to go to a transfer agent is companies rarely handle their own securities in-house.Start by looking at a few things on the certificate.Look for the company name and location of incorporation, a CUSIP number, and the name of the person with whom the security is registered.