Corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), limited partnerships (LPs) and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) designate ownership in the companies by providing shares of stock, membership interest or partnership interest respectively. These entities issue certificates to the shareholders, members or partners in order to provide proof of ownership. For corporations, these certificates are called stock certificates. For LLCs, they are called membership certificates, and for LPs and LLPs, these are called partnership certificates, since ownership is designated in partnership interest.
A Stock Certificate is a legal document that is issued to a shareholder confirming that particular shareholders interest within the Corporation and designates the amount of shares that shareholder holds within the corporation. This certificate provides written physical proof of ownership rights in the corporation.