FAQs - Equity Stock Transfer

Equity Stock Transfer has proven experience navigating the complex world and exacting requirements needed to successfully execute all your stock transfer needs.  Whether you’re a first time investor with a single stock certificate or a global organization with billions of shares; Equity Stock Transfer can guide you, your company and your shareholders through the complex maze of stock transfer regulations and requirements. Here are some commonly asked questions, but we’re always just an e-mail, tweet, chat or phone call away.

Q: What exactly is a transfer agent?
A: A transfer agent keeps track of the individuals and entities that own stocks and bonds in publicly traded companies.
Q: What are the main functions of a transfer agent?
A: 1. Issue and cancel certificates to reflect changes in ownership. 2. Act as an intermediary for the company. 3. Handle lost, destroyed, or stolen certificates.
Q: What are the transfer fees for processing securities?
A: Our standard transfer fees for processing securities are as follow:

Transfer Processing
Transfer fee (includes one new certificate) $30.00
Each additional certificate $5.00
Certificate cancellation (per certificate) $3.00
Restricted transfers (includes legend removal and examination of legal opinions, broker letters and shareholder representation letters) $100.00
Rush Transfer
24 hour turnaround $50.00
Same day turnaround (if received in good order before noon) $150.00
Rejection fee $25.00
Shipping Charges
FedEx overnight delivery (within the United States) $35.00
FedEx Saturday delivery (within the United States) $75.00
FedEx International $65.00
Prepaid air bills enclosed with transactions No fee
Q: What is a Medallion Guarantee?
A: Medallion Guarantee is a certification used for transferring securities provided by an eligible guarantor institution with a membership in an approved signature Medallion Guarantee Program.  It certifies that the signature is authentic and that the institution affixing the stamp accepts liability for any forgery. The Medallion Guarantee is not the same as an acknowledgement by a notary public.
Q: What are the most common types of security registrations?
A: The most common types are:

  • Individual: This registration gives sole ownership to the single individual. Only legal names must be used. Example: Gary Smith (not G. Smith).
  • Joint ownership:
    • Joint Tenants (also with rights of survivorship): this registration this registration gives two or more individuals equal claim of the assets. Should one of the parties die, ownership of the assets passes to the surviving tenant(s). Example: Gary Smith & Sue Smith Jt Ten
    • Tenants in Common: this registration allows an appropriate portion of the assets to pass to the estate of the holder upon the holder’s death rather than to the surviving tenant. Example: Gary Smith & Sue Smith Ten Com.
  • Custodial: there are several types of custodial registrations, but the most common type refers to a custodian for a minor. The registration requires the names of the custodian and the beneficial owner who is a minor. Example: Gary Smith custodian for Beverly Smith NY Unif Trans Min Act. (Note: the two letter state abbreviation must be indicated as part of the registration).
  • Trust: Registering shares in the name of a Trust requires that specific information be provided: the name of the trustee, the name of the trust and the date of the trust. Example: Gary Jones trustee, the Gary Jones Revocable Trust, under agreement dated 12/12/99.
Q: How do I transfer shares registered in a single or joint registration?
A: We will require the following:

  • The original stock certificate(s).
  • The completed stock power signed by all registered holders {you may also sign on the back of the certificate(s)}. The signature(s) must be Medallion Guaranteed.
  • Transfer instructions detailing your request, which should include all the pertinent information such as the name, address and tax payer identification for the transferee(s), including where to return the new certificate.
Q: How do I transfer shares registered in the name of an entity?
A: We will require the following:

  • The original stock certificate(s).
  • The completed stock power signed by the authorized officer of the entity {you may also sign the back of the certificate(s)}. The title(s) of the signing officer(s) must be indicated next to the signature(s). The signature(s) must be Medallion Guaranteed.
  • An original or Medallion Guaranteed copy of the Resolution dated within 6 months.
  • Transfer instructions detailing your request, which should include all the pertinent information such as the name, address and tax payer identification for the transferee(s), including where to return the new certificate.
Q: How do I transfer shares registered in a custodial registration?
A: We will require the following:

  • The original stock certificate(s).
  • The completed stock power signed by the custodian or the former minor {you may also sign the back of the certificate(s)}. The signature must be Medallion Guaranteed.
  • If the former minor signed the stock power or endorses the certificate(s), we will also require a copy of the birth certificate evidencing that he/she has reached the majority of age for the state where the custodian account was set up.
  • Transfer instructions detailing your request, which should include all the pertinent information such as the name, address and tax payer identification for the transferee(s), including where to return the new certificate.
Q: How do I transfer shares registered to a trust?
A: We will require the following:

  • The original stock certificate(s).
  • The completed stock power signed by the trustee(s) of the trust {you may also sign the back of the certificate(s)}. The trustee(s) must indicate his/her title next to the signature. The signature(s) must be Medallion Guaranteed.
  • Transfer instructions detailing your request, which should include all the pertinent information such as the name, address and tax payer identification for the transferee(s), including where to return the new certificate.
Q: How do I transfer shares registered to a deceased shareholder?
A: We will require the following:

  • The original stock certificate(s).
  • The completed stock power signed by the Executor(s), Personal Representative(s) or Administrator(s). The signer(s) must indicate their fiduciary capacity {you may also sign on the back of the certificate(s)}. The signature(s) must be Medallion Guaranteed.
  • The original court certificate dated within sixty days, evidencing the appointment of the Executor(s), Personal Representative(s), or Administrator(s) of the Estate.
  • A notarized affidavit of domicile.
  • The Inheritance Tax Waiver (if applicable)
  • Transfer instructions detailing your request, which should include all the pertinent information such as the name, address and tax payer identification for the transferee(s), including where to return the new certificate.
Q: How do I remove a deceased joint tenant?
A: We will require the following:

  • The original stock certificate(s).
  • The completed stock power signed by the surviving joint tenant {you may also sign on the back of the certificate(s)}. The signature(s) must be Medallion Guaranteed.
  • The original Death certificate.
  • A notarized affidavit of domicile.
  • The Inheritance Tax Waiver (if applicable)
  • Transfer instructions detailing your request, which should include all the pertinent information such as the name, address and tax payer identification for the transferee(s), including where to return the new certificate.
Q: I am an affiliate of the issuer. How do I remove the legend from my restricted stock certificate?
A: Please read the following important information that may help you determine how to handle your restricted shares: For reporting companies:

  • If the public company files periodic reports with the SEC (10-Ks and 10-Qs) and the affiliate has owned the shares for at least six months, then, the affiliate may sell the shares as long as the public company is current in its reporting requirements. The affiliate will be able to have the restriction removed only from the shares that are being sold. The restrictions require a legal opinion before the transfer agent transfers the shares to the broker’s name without restrictions. We will require a shareholder’s representation letter, the broker’s representation letter indicating the details of the transaction, the filing of Form 144 and the opinion from counsel to the issuer.

For non-reporting companies:

  • Must hold the restricted shares for at least one year. After one year the affiliate may sell the shares. The Issuer must be current in their SEC filings, meaning their most recent quarterly and annual reports have been filed.  The affiliate will be able to have the restriction removed only from the shares that are being sold. The sale must be made in an ordinary brokerage transaction. The restrictions require a legal opinion before the transfer agent transfers the shares to the broker’s name without restrictions. We will require a shareholder’s representation letter, the broker’s representation letter indicating the details of the transaction, a copy of the completed Form 144 and the opinion from counsel to the issuer. 
Q: I am not an affiliate of the issuer. How do I remove the legend from my restricted stock certificate?
A: Please read the following important information that may help you determine how to handle your restricted shares: For reporting companies:

  • If the shares have been owned for over one year and the shareholder has not been an officer, director, or control person of the public company for the past ninety days, the shareholder can submit the shares to have the restrictive legend removed. We will require a shareholder’s representation letter and the written authorization from the issuer allowing the removal of the legend.
  • If the public company files periodic reports with the SEC (10-Ks and 10-Qs) and the shareholder has owned the shares for at least six months, but less than one year, then the shareholder may sell the shares as long as the public company is current in its reporting requirements. The shareholder will be able to have the restriction removed only from the shares that are being sold. The restrictions require a legal opinion before the transfer agent transfers the shares to the broker’s name without restrictions. We will require a shareholder’s representation letter, the broker’s representation letter indicating the details of the transaction and the opinion from counsel to the issuer.

For non-reporting companies:

  • Must hold the restricted shares for at least one year. After one year, the shareholder can submit the shares to have the restrictive legend removed, as long as the company has become current in its reporting obligations with the SEC within the last 12 months preceding the request to remove the legend. We will require a shareholder’s representation letter and the written authorization from the issuer allowing the removal of the legend
Q: How should I send my certificate(s) to Equity Stock Transfer LLC?
A: We suggest that all certificates be sent via certified, registered mail or any “return receipt requested” service. To cover the cost of the Lost Securities Bond, there is a fee of 2% of the current market value of the shares being replaced (with a $50.00 minimum).
Q: What should I do if my certificate(s) are lost, stolen or destroyed?
A: If your certificate(s) are lost, stolen or destroyed, please notify us immediately by mail, fax or email. In response, we will place a stop notation against the certificate(s) and send you instructions and an affidavit of loss and agreement of indemnity.
Q: What is a termination fee? Do you charge a termination fee?
A: Some stock transfer agents charge what is called a termination fee.  These fees can range from $1000 – $5000 and in some cases even higher depending on the transfer agent.  Transfer agents charge these fees in order to discourage clients from moving to other agents. We never charge a termination fee.  If our clients are dissatisfied with the quality of our services then they are free to move without being held hostage by termination fees.
Q: The Issuer wants to find out who owns the shares held by banks or brokers (commonly known as shares held in “street name”). How does the issuer finds out who are the beneficial holders?
A: Shares are frequently held in the names of brokers and banks in order to facilitate the efficient and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions. An Issuer may obtain the NOBO list, which stands for a list of “Non-Objecting Beneficial Owners” directly from Broadridge in order to obtain the names and address of the beneficial holders of such shares. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader™ in order to view, print or download this form. Download free Adobe Acrobat Reader software from Adobe’s website (http://www.adobe.com/products/reader.html.)

NOBO Request Form2011 (Broadridge)