Maine Revised Statutes

§743. Shareholder agreements

1. Shareholder agreement effective despite inconsistency with Act.  An agreement among the shareholders of a corporation that complies with this section is effective among the shareholders and the corporation even though it is inconsistent with one or more other provisions of this Act in that it:
A. Eliminates the board of directors or restricts the discretion or powers of the board of directors; [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
B. Governs the authorization or making of distributions whether or not in proportion to ownership of shares, subject to the limitations in section 651; [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
C. Establishes who are directors or officers of the corporation or their terms of office or manner of selection or removal; [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
D. Governs, in general or in regard to specific matters, the exercise or division of voting power by or between the shareholders and directors or by or among any of them, including use of weighted voting rights or director proxies; [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
E. Establishes the terms and conditions of any agreement for the transfer or use of property or the provision of services between the corporation and any shareholder, director, officer or employee of the corporation or among any of them; [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
F. Transfers to one or more shareholders or other persons all or part of the authority to exercise the corporate powers or to manage the business and affairs of the corporation, including the resolution of any issue about which there exists a deadlock among directors or shareholders; [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
G. Requires dissolution of the corporation at the request of one or more of the shareholders or upon the occurrence of a specified event or contingency; or [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
H. Otherwise governs the exercise of the corporate powers or the management of the business and affairs of the corporation or the relationship among the shareholders, the directors and the corporation, or among any of them, and is not contrary to public policy. [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
[ 2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF) .]
2. Requirements for shareholder agreement.  An agreement authorized by this section must comply with each of the following paragraphs.
A. The agreement must be set forth:
(1) In the articles of incorporation or bylaws and approved by all persons who are shareholders at the time of the agreement; or
(2) In a written agreement that is signed by all persons who are shareholders at the time of the agreement and is made known to the corporation. [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
B. The agreement must be subject to amendment only by all persons who are shareholders at the time of the amendment, unless the agreement provides otherwise or unless the amendment is governed by subsection 8. [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
C. [2003, c. 344, Pt. B, §63 (RP).]
An agreement authorized by this section is valid for an unlimited term unless the agreement provides otherwise.
[ 2003, c. 344, Pt. B, §63 (AMD) .]
3. Notation of existence of agreement required.  The existence of an agreement authorized by this section must be noted conspicuously on the front or back of each certificate for outstanding shares or on the information statement required by section 627, subsection 2. If at the time of the agreement the corporation has shares outstanding represented by certificates, the corporation shall recall the outstanding certificates and issue substitute certificates that comply with this subsection. The failure to note the existence of the agreement on the certificate or information statement does not affect the validity of the agreement or any action taken pursuant to it. Any purchaser of shares who, at the time of purchase, did not have knowledge of the existence of the agreement is entitled to rescission of the purchase. A purchaser is deemed to have knowledge of the existence of the agreement if its existence is noted on the certificate or information statement for the shares in compliance with this subsection and, if the shares are not represented by a certificate, the information statement is delivered to the purchaser at or prior to the time of purchase of the shares. An action to enforce the right of rescission authorized by this subsection must be commenced within the earlier of 180 days after discovery of the existence of the agreement or 2 years after the time of purchase of the shares.
[ 2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF) .]
4. Agreement ceases to be effective.  An agreement authorized by this section ceases to be effective when the corporation becomes a public corporation. If the agreement ceases to be effective for any reason, the board of directors may, if the agreement is contained or referred to in the corporation's articles of incorporation or bylaws, adopt an amendment to the articles of incorporation or bylaws, without shareholder action, to delete the agreement and any references to it.
[ 2007, c. 289, §10 (AMD) .]
5. Limitation on discretion or powers of directors limits liability of directors.  An agreement authorized by this section that limits the discretion or powers of the board of directors relieves the directors of, and imposes upon the person or persons in whom such discretion or powers are vested, liability for acts or omissions imposed by law on directors to the extent that the discretion or powers of the directors are limited by the agreement.
[ 2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF) .]
6. Personal liability on shareholder.  The existence or performance of an agreement authorized by this section is not a ground for imposing personal liability on any shareholder for the acts or debts of the corporation even if the agreement or its performance treats the corporation as if it were a partnership or results in failure to observe the corporate formalities otherwise applicable to the matters governed by the agreement.
[ 2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF) .]
7. Incorporators or subscribers.  Incorporators or subscribers for shares may act as shareholders with respect to an agreement authorized by this section if no shares have been issued when the agreement is made.
[ 2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF) .]
8. Articles of incorporation provide for elimination of board of directors.  If the articles of incorporation of a corporation provide for the elimination of the board of directors, the provisions of this subsection apply, except to the extent an agreement among the shareholders of a corporation that complies with this section expressly provides otherwise.
A. The shareholders of the corporation are deemed directors for purposes of applying provisions of this Act when the context requires and have the powers of directors under this Act. [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
B. The shareholders of the corporation, when taking actions required of directors under this Act, have liability to the extent otherwise imposed by law on directors under this Act. [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
C. When acting as directors, shareholders approve a corporate action by a vote of their shares and not by a per capita vote. [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
D. An amendment to delete a provision that eliminates a board of directors from the articles of incorporation must be adopted by a majority of the votes entitled to be cast by each voting group entitled to vote as a separate voting group on that amendment. [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
E. The provisions of subsection 3 do not apply to certificates of shareholder-managed corporations issued prior to the effective date of this Act but apply to all certificates or information statements issued by shareholder-managed corporations issued after the effective date of this Act. [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
F. The principles applicable to shareholder-managed corporations referred to in this subsection may be varied by or incorporated in an agreement among the shareholders, as long as that agreement complies with and is governed by the provisions of subsections 1 to 7. [2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF).]
[ 2001, c. 640, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 2001, c. 640, Pt. B, §7 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
2001, c. 640, §A2 (NEW). 2001, c. 640, §B7 (AFF). 2003, c. 344, §B63 (AMD). 2007, c. 289, §10 (AMD).