Face value refers to the stated value of a security at the time of issuance. Face value can be applied to many things, like currency, but is usually used regarding stocks and bonds. For bonds, the face value is the same thing as par value: the amount the bondholder will receive at maturity. For stocks, the face value refers to the miniscule amount of capital a corporation is required to maintain per share.
[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]