A firm can raise share capital by issuing common or preferred stock. With further public offerings, a company’s equity financing or share capital may alter over time.

Depending on the context, “share capital” can refer to several distinct concepts.  The term used by accountants is significantly more constrained, and it governs how public company balance sheets are interpreted. It is the entire amount of cash the company received through the sale of its shares.

Understanding share capital

It is displayed in the shareholder’s equity section of a company’s balance sheet. Depending on the source of financing, the data may be listed under distinct line items. Common lines for common stock, preference lines for preferred stock, and a line for additional paid-in capital are typically included.

When shares of ordinary and preferred stocks are sold, their par value is reported. In modern business, the “par” or face value is a notional value. “Additional paid-in capital” refers to the actual sum received by a firm over par value.

Only payments for purchases made directly from the company are included in the amount of share capital that a corporation reports. The subsequent sales and purchases of those shares, as well as the change in the value of those shares on the open market, have no impact on the share capital of the corporation.

After its initial public offering (IPO), a firm may choose to do additional offerings. The share capital on its balance sheet would increase because of the money from such later sales.

Types of share capital

Depending on the context, the word “share capital” is frequently used to refer to slightly different things. There are various types o when considering the sum of money, a business can legally raise through the selling of stock.

Accountants are considerably more specifically defined.


A corporation needs approval to conduct the sale of stock before it may raise equity money. The firm must state the entire amount of equity it intends to raise as well as the par value, or base value, of its shares.

The maximum share capital a corporation may issue is referred to as permitted capital.

This places a cap on the total amount of money that can be raised from the sale of those shares, but it does not limit the number of shares a corporation may issue. A corporation may issue and sell up to 5 million shares of stock, for instance, if it receives approval to raise $5 million, and its stock has a $1 par value.


This is the entire amount of shares a firm decides to sell to investors. The authorized share capital’s worth cannot be greater than the par value of the issued one.

Share capital on a balance sheet

The par value of all equity securities, including common and preferred shares, sold to shareholders is what is meant by the term “share capital” in technical accounting.

However, when calculating it, non-accountants frequently include the stock’s price above par value. The par value of a stock is nominal, as mentioned, usually $1 or less. As a result, the paid-in capital, also known as the difference between the par value and the real sale price, is typically large. It is not, however, formally a part of share capital or subject to approved capital restrictions.

Here is an illustration of how it would look on a balance sheet: Let’s say that business ABC issues 1,000 shares. Each share sells for Eur 25 and has a par value of Eur 1. The remaining Eur 24,000 will be listed as extra paid-in capital, and the company’s accountant will record Eur 1,000 as share capital.