Issued stock is the shares of a company that have been distributed to investors. These are all of the shares representing the total ownership interest in a business. Issued stock includes shares that have been sold, given to employees or third parties as compensation or payment (respectively), donated, or issued in settlement of a debt - in short, every possible share that has been distributed. This includes shares held both by corporate outsiders and insiders. The amount of issued stock may be reported in a company's financial statements.
If a company reacquires stock and retires it, these shares are no longer considered to be issued.
Issued stock varies from authorized stock, in that authorized stock has only been approved for issuance by the board of directors, while issued stock has actually been distributed.
Issued stock is also called issued shares.