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Shares authorized, issued and outstanding

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The term “authorized, issued and outstanding” refers to shares in a company that have been sold publicly.

  • They are “authorized” because they fall within the maximum number of shares a company can sell according to its corporate charter.
  • They are “issued” because they have been sold.
  • They are “outstanding” because they have been sold to the public (not to the owners or managers of the company).
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