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Subscription Agreement


A subscription agreement is a contract between a company and an investor that outlines the terms for the purchase of shares in the company. It details information such as the number of shares bought, the price per share, and the representations and warranties of both parties. The agreement is typically used in private placements or other non-public offerings of securities.


The phonetic pronunciation for “Subscription Agreement” is: səb-ˈskrɪp-ʃən ə-ˈɡriː-mənt

Key Takeaways

1. Definition: Subscription Agreement refers to an investor’s application to join a limited partnership. It is a legal document outlining the terms, conditions, and other pertinent details regarding the purchase of shares in a company.

2. Key Elements: A subscription agreement includes crucial details like the name of the shareholder, the type and number of shares to acquire, the price per share and the agreement date. It also outlines the obligations and rights of the involved parties.

3. Importance: Subscription Agreements are vital because they serve as legally binding commitments between the company and the investor. They confirm the investor’s commitment to purchase shares and the company’s agreement to sell them. They also ensure the protection of both parties’ rights and mitigate potential disputes.


A Subscription Agreement is a fundamental document in the investment sector which plays a crucial role in business and finance. This legally binding contract between a company and an investor outlines the terms of the sale of shares of a company. It’s important because it provides detailed specifics on the purchase price, the number of shares being sold, and the confidential details of the agreement. In addition, it also provides protection to all parties involved. For the company, it safeguards by including sections that require investors to prove they understand the risks of the investment. For investors, it provides detailed information to make informed decisions. Therefore, its role in maintaining healthy business relationships and regulating investment procedures is pivotal.


The primary purpose of a Subscription Agreement is to outline the terms and conditions under which an investor, often a venture capitalist or an angel investor, can purchase shares or other securities from a company. This typically takes place during a funding round when a company is seeking to raise capital for operations or growth. The agreement specifies the number of shares or securities being purchased, the price per share, investor rights, and any warranties or representations made by each party. It serves as a contractual promise that the company will sell these shares and the investor will buy them, subject to the terms and conditions established in the agreement.In a broader context, the Subscription Agreement is used to protect both parties’ interests. For the investor, it provides detailed information about the investment, including how its value can rise or fall, and stipulates the rights they obtain as shareholders. For the company, it allows control over who holds its shares and stipulates what happens in case of an unexpected event or if the investor wants to sell their shares in the future. So, it provides a level of legal and financial protection for both parties and gives them a clear framework within which they are operating.


1. Monthly Streaming Services: One of the best examples of a subscription agreement is the monthly subscriptions we all have for Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc. These streaming services companies allow subscribers to pay a monthly fee in return for movie and TV viewing rights. Every month consumers either pay manually or have it deducted automatically from their account via direct debit until the subscription is manually canceled. 2. Magazine and Newspaper Subscriptions: Traditional print media outlets have used subscription agreements for decades. Readers who wish to receive their favorite newspapers or magazines at home sign a subscription agreement, ensuring they will pay for the service, delivered on a frequent (usually weekly, monthly, or quarterly) basis. For example, you may have a subscription agreement with The New York Times where you agree to have the Sunday edition delivered to your doorstep every week.3. Software and Apps Services: Many companies are opting for a subscription business model, especially in the SaaS (Software as a Service) industry. Companies like Adobe or Microsoft allow users to access their productivity software, via a monthly or yearly subscription. Users enter into a subscription agreement that grants them the rights to use software like Photoshop or Microsoft Office in return for regular payments. In all these examples, the subscription agreement outlines the delivery terms, price, subscription period and other related clauses.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Subscription Agreement?

A Subscription Agreement is a legal contract between a company and an investor stipulating the terms under which the investor can buy shares of the company’s stock.

Why is a Subscription Agreement important?

A Subscription Agreement is crucial as it ensures both parties, the investor and the company, are clear about the terms and conditions of the stock purchase including price, number of shares, and future responsibilities.

Can anyone enter a Subscription Agreement?

No, Subscription Agreements are typically designated for accredited investors who meet certain requirements for income, net worth, asset size, governance status, or professional experience.

How is the price determined in a Subscription Agreement?

The price of the shares in a Subscription Agreement is usually determined by the offering company and includes factors such as company’s value, the investor’s belief in company’s growth, and the current market trends.

What information is generally included in a Subscription Agreement?

Typically, a Subscription Agreement includes the price of the shares, the number of shares being bought, warranties and representations of both parties, confidentiality terms, dispute resolution methods, etc.

Are Subscription Agreements legally binding?

Yes, Subscription Agreements are legally binding contracts. Therefore, any breach of its conditions can lead to legal consequences.

Is a Subscription Agreement the same as a Share Purchase Agreement?

While both are similar, there is a distinct difference. A subscription agreement is used when the company is selling its shares to raise capital, whereas a share purchase agreement is used when an existing shareholder sells a portion of their own shares to a new shareholder.

What is the significance of a Subscription Agreement in venture capital or angel investing?

In these settings, Subscription Agreements are vital as they are used when a company is in the growth stage seeking Series B, C, or further rounds of funding. It stipulates the terms that govern how the investment works and how it interacts with the capital structure of the company.

Can the terms in a Subscription Agreement be negotiated?

Yes, the terms in a Subscription Agreement can be negotiated between the company and the investor, where they both agree on the price and number of shares among other terms.

Related Finance Terms

  • Private Placement: A sale of stock shares to private investors. Subscription agreements are often used in private placements.
  • Investor Suitability: An evaluation to ensure an investor has enough knowledge and resources to enter a subscription agreement.
  • SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission): U.S government agency that regulates subscription agreements and other securities transactions.
  • Accredited Investor: An individual or institution that meets specific financial and knowledge qualifications and is therefore allowed to take part in higher-risk investments like subscription agreements.
  • Capital Raising: Gathering funds to grow a business. Subscription agreements are often used to raise capital in this way.

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