What Is a Stated Value?

A stated value is an amount assigned to a corporation's stock for internal accounting purposes when the stock has no par value. Like par value—which is the face value of a stock stated in the corporate charter—stated value is nominal, typically between $0.01 and $1.00. The stated value has no relation to market price.

Key Takeaways

  • A stated value is an amount assigned to a corporation's stock for internal accounting purposes when the stock has no par value.
  • The stated value has no relation to market price.
  • A company can choose to issue no par value stock, but for its own records, it must assign a stated value to satisfy the minimum requirement for legal capital in the state where it incorporates.
  • For example, if the stated value is $0.01 per share and the company issues 1 million shares, the stated value of its stock is $10,000.
  • Because it is generally illegal for a company to pay dividends or repurchase shares if doing so impairs the legal capital, the stated value helps to provide shareholders with some protection.

How the Stated Values Work

A company can choose to issue no par value stock, but for its own records, it must assign a stated value to satisfy the minimum requirement for legal capital in the state where it incorporates. As an example, if the stated value of a company is $0.01 per share and the company issues 1 million shares, the stated value of its stock is $10,000. This amount is credited to the company's capital stock account and is considered the legal capital of a corporation.

Because it is generally illegal for a company to pay dividends or repurchase shares if doing so impairs the legal capital, the stated value helps to provide shareholders with some protection. However, in practice, with the stated value per share as low as one penny, monetary interest is modest or de minimus.

No Par Value Example

Apple Inc.'s balance sheet for its fiscal year 2019 showed an authorization of 12.6 billion no par value shares and 9.2 billion shares issued and outstanding. The common stock in the shareholders' equity account was worth $45.2 billion as of the end of the fiscal year. There is no note in Form 10-K that breaks down the account into stated value and additional paid-in capital amounts, but it can be assumed that almost all of the $45.2 billion represents additional paid-in capital.