In this article, we will break down the concept of “issue date” so you know all there is to know about it.

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We will look at its definition, see how it is used in business, in law and other common ways we come across the phrase issue date.

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What’s an issue date?

The issue date is when the date when an original document or instrument, security is produced.

A document can be a certificate, license, identification card.

An instrument can be stocks, bonds, notes, debentures or other securities.

For example, if you write a check on August 1st, the issue date of your check will be August 1st as that’s the date the check was produced.

The phrase issue date is used in many disciplines such as business and law.

In business, you will see the phrase “issue date” when speaking of issuing shares, bonds, securities or notes.

If stocks were registered to a certain shareholder on August 1st, we say that the share issue date was August 1st.


Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines issue as:

“To put forth or distribute usually officially”

It can also mean:

“To send out for sale or circulation”

Or even:

“To cause to come forth”

“Issue” date means the date something was officially put in circulation or the date something was sold or came forth.

What is issuance date in business?

The phrase issue date or issuance date is commonly used in business.

Let’s look at a few examples.

Share issue date

If a company goes for an initial public offering and makes its shares available to the public as of August 1st, this date is considered to be the issue date or offering date.

It’s the date that the company has offered and sold its shares to the public.

The company offering or proposing its shares to the public is considered to be the “issuer”.

Bond issue date

An investor may be interested in investing in bonds or debentures to get a regular stream of interest payments.

When a company or a government sells its bonds to investors, the investor can expect to receive interest on the investment as of the bond issue date.

The issue date represents the date the investor officially became a registered bondholder or debentureholder entitling him or her to interest payments.

What is issue date meaning in law?

In law, the issue date meaning is important as it relates to title and ownership rights.

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The legal definition of issue date can be considered as the date when certain rights were awarded, recognized, agreed or officialized.

For example, if a company issues a promissory note to one of its shareholders, the date of issuance represents the day the shareholder acquires rights against the company.

The shareholder has a legal document, produced on the issuance date, entitling him or her to a certain amount of money and obligating the company for the same amount.

Issue date reference in contracts

In a contract, you may see certain contractual clauses make reference to the issue date.

For example, if under an indenture a company is authorized to issue securities, the indenture may have a definition of issue date as follows:

“Issue date means the date appearing on the securities representing the date they were originally issued in accordance with the terms herein”

The contract can provide a specific definition or meaning to the issuing date.

Issue date of documents

Another common use of the phrase issue date is with respect to government documents or official documents.

For example, a birth certificate will make reference to the issued date or date of issue.

The date of issue is when the birth certificate was produced.

Similarly, you’ll have an issue date on your passport, driver’s license, identification cards and other documents.

In many cases, the issue date is important as it marks the first date of the validity of the document.

Generally, you will also see reference to an expiry date or date of expiration of the document that is valid for a limited period of time.

For example, your driver’s license will have both an “issue date” and an “expiry date”.


The issue date is the date when something is put forth and officialized.

From a legal perspective, the issue date is similar to the effective date of a document or instrument.

It’s the date when certain rights are granted or legal obligations are produced.

For example, a shareholder is the rightful owner of the shares in a specific company as of the share issuance date.

From a business perspective, the issue date is when a company issues shares, bonds, debentures, notes, checks, payments or other instruments.

For example, a company issues dividends to a shareholder on August 1st.

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The payment date is the dividend issue date.

Do you have other examples of the use of “issue date”, “issuance date”, “date of issue” or related terms in business or law?