A business corporation must sell shares of stock in order to capitalize the corporation, that is, provide the corporation with its own capital, separate from the money of its owners. This separation provides part of the support for shielding the shareholders from personal liability for the debts and obligations of the corporation.
Shares of stock sold by the corporation represent proportionate ownership interests held by shareholders in the corporation. "Par value" is a dollar value assigned to shares of stock which is the minimum amount for which each share may be sold. There is no minimum or maximum value that must be assigned. Shares may also have "no par value," which means that the Board of Directors will assign a value to the stock below which the shares cannot be issued.
There is no minimum number of shares that must be authorized in the Articles of Incorporation. One or more shares may be authorized. However, the corporation may not sell more shares than it is authorized to issue and it must receive consideration in exchange for its shares.