August 16, 2023

Lost Your Share Certificates? Follow Steps to Claim Ownership as per Company Law

Losing important documents, such as share certificates, can be a distressing experience for shareholders. However, there are established procedures under Company Law that allow you to claim ownership despite the loss. This article outlines the necessary steps, legal considerations, and guidelines to follow when you find yourself in this situation.

Understanding Share Certificates and Ownership

Share certificates are tangible proof of ownership in a company. Losing these certificates doesn't necessarily mean losing your ownership rights. Company Law provides remedies to help shareholders reassert their ownership.

Immediate Actions

1. Report Loss: Notify the company immediately about the loss of your share certificates. This initiates the process of invalidating the lost certificates to prevent unauthorized transfers.

2. File an Affidavit: Prepare an affidavit stating the details of the lost share certificates, including the certificate numbers, the number of shares they represent, and any relevant information.

Notifying the Registrar of Companies (RoC)

1. File Form IEPF-5: If you're unable to obtain the duplicate share certificates from the company, you must file Form IEPF-5 with the Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) Authority within 30 days of filing the affidavit.

2. Required Documents: Along with Form IEPF-5, you'll need to submit the affidavit, a copy of the police report (if filed), and any other supporting documents.

Obtaining Duplicate Share Certificates

1. Company Approval: The company's board of directors must pass a resolution approving the issuance of duplicate share certificates.

2. Indemnity Bond: You'll likely be required to provide an indemnity bond as per the company's requirements. This bond protects the company against any future claims related to the lost certificates.

Issuance of Duplicate Certificates

1. Application to Company: Submit an application for duplicate share certificates to the company, accompanied by the required documents, including the indemnity bond.

2. Verification: The company will verify the authenticity of your claim and the documents submitted.

Legal Publication

In some cases, a notice regarding the lost share certificates needs to be published in newspapers to ensure that there are no objections.


Losing share certificates can be unnerving, but the legal framework under Company Law provides a pathway to reclaim ownership through established procedures. By promptly reporting the loss, filing necessary documents, and complying with the company's requirements, shareholders can ensure a smooth recovery process. It's advisable to seek legal counsel and follow the outlined steps to safeguard your ownership rights in the company.



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