“Shareholder” and “stockholder” are synonyms. This post explains how most states came to use the former term in their laws, while Delaware consistently has used the latter.
Before Delaware had a general corporation law, Delaware’s legislature created each corporation. The Constitution of Delaware – 1831 so provided in Article II, Section 17, but made no mention of stockholders (or shareholders).
Following a constitutional amendment, Delaware adopted its first general corporation law in 1875. (See Laws of the State of Delaware, Vol. 15 – Part 1, beginning at page 181.) That law includes a few references to “stockholder”, none to “shareholder”. (more…)
People typically think about corporate board members having equal voting rights: One director, one vote. However, for Delaware corporations, that is not always the case.
Delaware Statute – Board Members
This unusual situation is the result of a Delaware statute. (more…)
Several years ago, I wrote about stockholder inspection rights. (See Which Financial Information Must a Corporation Provide to its Shareholders? ) This post explains how stockholders of a Delaware corporation can waive inspection rights.
Delaware General Corporation Law Section 220 gives stockholders a right to “inspect for any proper purpose, and to make copies and extracts from…[t]he corporation’s stock ledger, a list of its stockholders, and its other books and records”. Furthermore, “proper purpose” means “a purpose reasonably related to such person’s interest as a stockholder.” (more…)
This post discusses the process by which a corporation may declare a dividend. This is part of Dana Shultz’s Canonical Questions on the Law™ series of questions and answers about legal issues, concepts and terminology.
Please note that this post assumes that the corporation will pay a cash dividend to its shareholders. If, instead, the corporation wishes to pay a stock dividend (issue more shares to existing shareholders), then somewhat different rules will apply. (more…)
In an earlier post, In Delaware, No Par Value Can Cost a Bundle, I discussed the two methods by which Delaware’s franchise tax for a corporation may be calculated. This post discusses the history of those two methods.
To some extent, this post is educated guesswork. It is based on a Quora question that I answered. Please see What is the rationale/reason (not math) behind the two methods of calculation for Delaware’s domestic franchise tax fee?
This post discusses whether an LLC manager (the person who manages a limited liability company) may be a minor.
In May a Minor Form an LLC?, I discussed whether the organizer of an LLC may be a minor. In that post, I noted that only five states – Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon and Texas – prohibit a minor from organizing an LLC. So, those are the states to which I paid the closest attention in writing this post. (more…)
The post is about the definition of the term ” managing member “. I am writing this because of a Quora question that I answered a short while ago. Please see What is the difference between a managing member and a member in an LLC?
I have not confirmed whether all of the following background information applies equally to all states. However, I know that it applies to enough states that I will present the following as applying throughout the U.S., generally. (more…)
Recently, two different individuals emailed me about their desire to form and run a legal entity while remaining anonymous.
I had to tell them that they could not achieve their objective. This post explains why that is the case.
Initial Formation is Easy
It is easy for a founder to be anonymous when taking the first step to form a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC). (more…)
I am writing this post about types of partnerships because of a question that I answered on Quora. Please see Why would a group of people organize their business as a partnership?
in the U.S., there are different types of partnerships. (more…)
I am writing this post about how to form an LLC (limited liability company) because of a question that I answered on Quora. Please see What are the basic requirements for forming of a LLC in US?
The following is an overview of the steps required to form an LLC properly in the U.S.: (more…)