USA Washington

USA Statutes : washington
Title : Washington business corporation act
Chapter : Shareholders
RCW 23B.07.240Corporation's acceptance of votes.(1) If the name executed on a vote, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment corresponds to the name of a shareholder, the corporation, if acting in good faith, is entitled to accept the vote, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment and give it effect as the act of the shareholder.  (2) If the name executed on a vote, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment does not correspond to the name of its shareholder, the corporation, if acting in good faith, is nevertheless entitled to accept the vote, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment and give it effect as the act of the shareholder if:  (a) The shareholder is an entity and the name executed purports to be that of an officer, partner, or agent of the entity;  (b) The name executed purports to be that of an administrator, executor, guardian, or conservator representing the shareholder and, if the corporation requests, evidence of fiduciary status acceptable to the corporation has been presented with respect to the vote, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment;  (c) The name executed purports to be that of a receiver or trustee in bankruptcy of the shareholder and, if the corporation requests, evidence of this status acceptable to the corporation has been presented with respect to the vote, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment;  (d) The name executed purports to be that of a pledgee, beneficial owner, or attorney-in-fact of the shareholder and, if the corporation requests, evidence acceptable to the corporation of the signatory's authority to sign for the shareholder has been presented with respect to the vote, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment; or  (e) Two or more persons are the shareholder as cotenants or fiduciaries and the name executed purports to be the name of at least one of the coowners and the person signing appears to be acting on behalf of all the coowners.  (3) The corporation is entitled to reject a vote, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment if the secretary or other officer or agent authorized to tabulate votes, acting in good faith, has reasonable basis for doubt about the validity of its execution.  (4) The corporation and its officer or agent who accepts or rejects a vote, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment in good faith and in accordance with the standards of this section or RCW 23B.07.220(2) are not liable in damages to the shareholder for the consequences of the acceptance or rejection.  (5) Corporate action based on the acceptance or rejection of a vote, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment under this section, or RCW 23B.07.220(2) is valid unless a court of competent jurisdiction determines otherwise.[2002 c 297 § 26; 2000 c 168 § 3; 1989 c 165 § 72.] RCW 23B.07.010Annual meeting.(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (5) of this section, a corporation shall hold a meeting of shareholders annually for the election of directors at a time stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws.  (2)(a) If the articles of incorporation or the bylaws of a corporation registered as an investment company under the investment company act of 1940 so provide, the corporation is not required to hold an annual meeting of shareholders in any year in which the election of directors is not required by the investment company act of 1940.  (b) If a corporation is required under (a) of this subsection to hold an annual meeting of shareholders to elect directors, the meeting shall be held no later than one hundred twenty days after the occurrence of the event requiring the meeting.  (3) Annual shareholders' meetings may be held in or out of this state at the place stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws. If no place is stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws, annual meetings shall be held at the corporation's principal office.  (4) The failure to hold an annual meeting at the time stated in or fixed in accordance with a corporation's bylaws does not affect the validity of any corporate action.  (5) Shareholders may act by consent set forth in a record to elect directors as permitted by RCW 23B.07.040 in lieu of holding an annual meeting.[2002 c 297 § 20; 1994 c 256 § 28; 1989 c 165 § 60.]Notes:Findings -- Construction -- 1994 c 256: See RCW 43.320.007. RCW 23B.07.020Special meeting.(1) A corporation shall hold a special meeting of shareholders:  (a) On call of its board of directors or the person or persons authorized to do so by the articles of incorporation or bylaws; or  (b) Except as set forth in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, if the holders of at least ten percent of all the votes entitled to be cast on any issue proposed to be considered at the proposed special meeting deliver to the corporation's secretary one or more demands set forth in an executed and dated record for the meeting describing the purpose or purposes for which it is to be held, which demands shall be set forth either (i) in an executed record or (ii) if the corporation has designated an address, location, or system to which the demands may be electronically transmitted and the demands are electronically transmitted to that designated address, location, or system, in an executed electronically transmitted record.  (2) The right of shareholders of a public company to call a special meeting may be limited or denied to the extent provided in the articles of incorporation.  (3) If the corporation is other than a public company, the articles or bylaws may require the demand specified in subsection (1)(b) of this section be made by a greater percentage, not in excess of twenty-five percent, of all the votes entitled to be cast on any issue proposed to be considered at the proposed special meeting.  (4) If not otherwise fixed under RCW 23B.07.030 or 23B.07.070, the record date for determining shareholders entitled to demand a special meeting is the date of delivery of the first shareholder demand in compliance with subsection (1) of this section.  (5) Special shareholders' meetings may be held in or out of this state at the place stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws. If no place is stated or fixed in accordance with the bylaws, special meetings shall be held at the corporation's principal office.  (6) Only business within the purpose or purposes described in the meeting notice required by RCW 23B.07.050(3) may be conducted at a special shareholders' meeting.[2002 c 297 § 21; 1989 c 165 § 61.] RCW 23B.07.030Court-ordered meeting.(1) The superior court of the county in which the corporation's registered office is located may, after notice to the corporation, summarily order a meeting to be held:  (a) On application of any shareholder of the corporation entitled to vote in the election of directors at an annual meeting, if an annual meeting was not held within the earlier of six months after the end of the corporation's fiscal year or fifteen months after its last annual meeting or action by consent in lieu of such a meeting; or  (b) On application of a shareholder who executed a demand for a special meeting valid under RCW 23B.07.020, if:  (i) Notice of the special meeting was not given within thirty days after the date the demand was delivered to the corporation's secretary; or  (ii) The special meeting was not held in accordance with the notice.  (2) The court may, after notice to the corporation, fix the time and place of the meeting, determine the shares and shareholders entitled to participate in the meeting, specify a record date for determining shareholders entitled to notice of and to vote at the meeting, prescribe the manner, form, and content of the meeting notice, fix the quorum required for specific matters to be considered at the meeting, or direct that the votes represented at the meeting constitute a quorum for action on those matters, and enter other orders necessary to accomplish the purpose or purposes of the meeting.[2002 c 297 § 22; 1989 c 165 § 62.] RCW 23B.07.040Action without meeting.(1)(a) Action required or permitted by this title to be taken at a shareholders' meeting may be taken without a meeting or a vote if either:  (i) The action is taken by all shareholders entitled to vote on the action; or  (ii) The action is taken by shareholders holding of record or otherwise entitled to vote in the aggregate not less than the minimum number of votes that would be necessary to authorize or take such action at a meeting at which all shares entitled to vote on the action were present and voted, and at the time the action is taken the corporation is not a public company and is authorized to take such action under this subsection (1)(a)(ii) by a general or limited authorization contained in its articles of incorporation.  (b) The taking of action by shareholders without a meeting or vote must be evidenced by one or more consents, each in the form of a record describing the action taken, executed by shareholders holding of record or otherwise entitled to vote in the aggregate not less than the minimum number of votes necessary in order to take such action by consent under (a)(i) or (ii) of this subsection, and delivered to the corporation for inclusion in the minutes or filing with the corporate records, which consent shall be set forth either (i) in an executed record or (ii) if the corporation has designated an address, location, or system to which the consent may be electronically transmitted and the consent is electronically transmitted to the designated address, location, or system, in an executed electronically transmitted record.  (2) If not otherwise fixed under RCW 23B.07.030 or 23B.07.070, the record date for determining shareholders entitled to take action without a meeting is the date on which the first shareholder consent is executed under subsection (1) of this section. Every consent shall bear the date of execution of each shareholder who executes the consent. A consent is not effective to take the action referred to in the consent unless, within sixty days of the earliest dated consent delivered to the corporation, consents executed by a sufficient number of shareholders to take action are delivered to the corporation.  (3) A shareholder may withdraw consent only by delivering a notice of withdrawal in the form of a record to the corporation prior to the time when consents sufficient to authorize taking the action have been delivered to the corporation.  (4) Unless the shareholder consent specifies a later effective date, action taken under this section is effective when: (a) Consents sufficient to authorize taking the action have been delivered to the corporation; and (b) the period of advance notice required by the corporation's articles of incorporation to be given to any nonconsenting shareholders has been satisfied.  (5) A consent executed under this section has the effect of a meeting vote and may be described as such in any record, except that, if the action requires the filing of a certificate under any other section of this title, the certificate so filed shall state, in lieu of any statement required by that section concerning any vote of shareholders, that consent has been obtained in accordance with this section and that notice to any nonconsenting shareholders has been given as provided in this section.  (6) Notice of the taking of action by shareholders without a meeting by less than unanimous consent of all shareholders entitled to vote on the action shall be given, before the date on which the action becomes effective, to those shareholders entitled to vote on the action who have not consented and, if this title would otherwise require that notice of a meeting of shareholders to consider the action be given to nonvoting shareholders, to all nonvoting shareholders of the corporation. The general or limited authorization in the corporation's articles of incorporation authorizing shareholder action by less than unanimous consent shall specify the amount and form of notice required to be given to nonconsenting shareholders before the effective date of the action. In the case of action of a type that would constitute a significant business transaction under RCW 23B.19.020(15), the notice shall be given no fewer than twenty days before the effective date of the action. The notice shall be in the form of a record and shall contain or be accompanied by the same material that, under this title, would have been required to be delivered to nonconsenting or nonvoting shareholders in a notice of meeting at which the proposed action would have been submitted for shareholder action. If the action taken is of a type that would entitle shareholders to exercise dissenters' rights under RCW 23B.13.020(1), then the notice must comply with RCW 23B.13.220(2), RCW 23B.13.210 shall not apply, and all shareholders who have not executed the consent taking the action are entitled to receive the notice, demand payment under RCW 23B.13.230, and assert other dissenters' rights as prescribed in chapter 23B.13 RCW.[2002 c 297 § 23; 1997 c 19 § 2; 1991 c 72 § 33; 1989 c 165 § 63.] RCW 23B.07.050Notice of meeting.(1) A corporation shall notify shareholders of the date, time, and place of each annual and special shareholders' meeting. Such notice shall be given no fewer than ten nor more than sixty days before the meeting date, except that notice of a shareholders' meeting to act on an amendment to the articles of incorporation, a plan of merger or share exchange, a proposed sale of assets pursuant to RCW 23B.12.020, or the dissolution of the corporation shall be given no fewer than twenty nor more than sixty days before the meeting date. Unless this title or the articles of incorporation require otherwise, the corporation is required to give notice only to shareholders entitled to vote at the meeting.  (2) Unless this title or the articles of incorporation require otherwise, notice of an annual meeting need not include a description of the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called.  (3) Notice of a special meeting must include a description of the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called.  (4) Unless the bylaws require otherwise, if an annual or special shareholders' meeting is adjourned to a different date, time, or place, notice need not be given of the new date, time, or place if the new date, time, or place is announced at the meeting before adjournment. If a new record date for the adjourned meeting is or must be fixed under RCW 23B.07.070, however, notice of the adjourned meeting must be given under this section to persons who are shareholders as of the new record date.[1989 c 165 § 64.] RCW 23B.07.060Waiver of notice.(1) A shareholder may waive any notice required by this title, the articles of incorporation, or bylaws before or after the date and time of the meeting that is the subject of such notice, or in the case of notice required by RCW 23B.07.040(6), before or after the action to be taken by executed consent is effective. Except as provided by subsections (2) and (3) of this section, the waiver must be delivered by the shareholder entitled to notice to the corporation for inclusion in the minutes or filing with the corporate records, which waiver shall be set forth either (a) in an executed and dated record or (b) if the corporation has designated an address, location, or system to which the waiver may be electronically transmitted and the waiver is electronically transmitted to the designated address, location, or system, in an executed and dated electronically transmitted record.  (2) A shareholder's attendance at a meeting waives objection to lack of notice or defective notice of the meeting, unless the shareholder at the beginning of the meeting objects to holding the meeting or transacting business at the meeting.  (3) A shareholder waives objection to consideration of a particular matter at a meeting that is not within the purpose or purposes described in the meeting notice, unless the shareholder objects to considering the matter when it is presented.[2002 c 297 § 24; 1991 c 72 § 34; 1989 c 165 § 65.] RCW 23B.07.070Record date.(1) The bylaws may fix or provide the manner of fixing the record date for one or more voting groups in order to determine the shareholders entitled to notice of a shareholders' meeting, to demand a special meeting, to vote, or to take any other action. If the bylaws do not fix or provide for fixing a record date, the board of directors of the corporation may fix a future date as the record date.  (2) If not otherwise fixed under subsection (1) of this section or RCW 23B.07.030, the record date for determining shareholders entitled to notice of and to vote at an annual or special shareholders' meeting is the day before the first notice is delivered to shareholders.  (3) If the board of directors does not fix the record date for determining shareholders entitled to a share dividend, it is the date the board of directors authorizes the share dividend.  (4) If the board of directors does not fix the record date for determining shareholders entitled to a distribution, other than one involving a purchase, redemption, or other acquisition of the corporation's shares, it is the date the board of directors authorizes the distribution.  (5) A record date fixed under this section may not be more than seventy days before the meeting or action requiring a determination of shareholders.  (6) A determination of shareholders entitled to notice of or to vote at a shareholders' meeting is effective for any adjournment of the meeting unless the board of directors fixes a new record date, which it must do if the meeting is adjourned to a date more than one hundred twenty days after the date fixed for the original meeting.  (7) If a court orders a meeting adjourned to a date more than one hundred twenty days after the date fixed for the original meeting, it may provide that the original record date continues in effect or it may fix a new record date.[1989 c 165 § 66.] RCW 23B.07.080Shareholder participation by means of communication equipment.If the articles of incorporation or bylaws so provide, shareholders may participate in any meeting of shareholders by any means of communication by which all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other during the meeting. A shareholder participating in a meeting by this means is deemed to be present in person at the meeting.[1989 c 165 § 67.] RCW 23B.07.200Shareholders' list for meeting.(1) After fixing a record date for a meeting, a corporation shall prepare an alphabetical list of the names of all its shareholders on the record date who are entitled to notice of a shareholders' meeting. The list must be arranged by voting group, and within each voting group by class or series of shares, and show the address of and number of shares held by each shareholder.  (2) The shareholders' list must be available for inspection by any shareholder, beginning ten days prior to the meeting and continuing through the meeting, at the corporation's principal office or at a place identified in the meeting notice in the city where the meeting will be held. A shareholder, the shareholder's agent, or the shareholder's attorney is entitled to inspect the list, during regular business hours and at the shareholder's expense, during the period it is available for inspection.  (3) The corporation shall make the shareholders' list available at the meeting, and any shareholder, the shareholder's agent, or the shareholder's attorney is entitled to inspect the list at any time during the meeting or any adjournment.  (4) If the corporation refuses to allow a shareholder, the shareholder's agent, or the shareholder's attorney to inspect the shareholders' list before or at the meeting, the superior court of the county where a corporation's principal office, or, if none in this state, its registered office, is located, on application of the shareholder, may summarily order the inspection at the corporation's expense and may postpone the meeting for which the list was prepared until the inspection is complete.  (5) A shareholder's right to copy the shareholders' list, and a shareholder's right to otherwise inspect and copy the record of shareholders, is governed by RCW 23B.16.020(3).  (6) Refusal or failure to prepare or make available the shareholders' list does not affect the validity of action taken at the meeting.[1989 c 165 § 68.] RCW 23B.07.210Voting entitlement of shares.(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section or unless the articles of incorporation provide otherwise, each outstanding share, regardless of class, is entitled to one vote on each matter voted on at a shareholders' meeting. Only shares are entitled to vote.  (2) The shares of a corporation are not entitled to vote if they are owned, directly or indirectly, by a second corporation, domestic or foreign, and the first corporation owns, directly or indirectly, a majority of the shares entitled to vote for directors of the second corporation.  (3) Subsection (2) of this section does not limit the power of a corporation to vote any shares, including its own shares, held by it in a fiduciary capacity.[1989 c 165 § 69.] RCW 23B.07.220Proxies.(1) A shareholder may vote the shareholder's shares in person or by proxy.  (2) A shareholder or the shareholder's agent or attorney-in-fact may appoint a proxy to vote or otherwise act for the shareholder by:  (a) Executing a writing authorizing another person or persons to act for the shareholder as proxy. Execution may be accomplished by the shareholder or the shareholder's authorized officer, director, employee, or agent signing the writing or causing his or her signature to be affixed to the writing by any reasonable means including, but not limited to, by facsimile signature; or  (b) Authorizing another person or persons to act for the shareholder as proxy by transmitting or authorizing the transmission of a recorded telephone call, voice mail, or other electronic transmission to the person who will be the holder of the proxy or to a proxy solicitation firm, proxy support service organization, or like agent duly authorized by the person who will be the holder of the proxy to receive the transmission, provided that the transmission must either set forth or be submitted with information, including any security or validation controls used, from which it can reasonably be determined that the transmission was authorized by the shareholder. If it is determined that the transmission is valid, the inspectors of election or, if there are no inspectors, any officer or agent of the corporation making that determination on behalf of the corporation shall specify the information upon which they relied. The corporation shall require the holders of proxies received by transmission to provide to the corporation copies of the transmission and the corporation shall retain copies of the transmission for a reasonable period of time after the election provided that they are retained for at least sixty days.  (3) An appointment of a proxy is effective when a signed appointment form or telegram, cablegram, recorded telephone call, voice mail, or other transmission of the appointment is received by the inspectors of election or the officer or agent of the corporation authorized to tabulate votes. An appointment is valid for eleven months unless a longer period is expressly provided in the appointment.  (4) An appointment of a proxy is revocable by the shareholder unless the appointment indicates that it is irrevocable and the appointment is coupled with an interest. Appointments coupled with an interest include the appointment of:  (a) A pledgee;  (b) A person who purchased or agreed to purchase the shares;  (c) A creditor of the corporation who extended it credit under terms requiring the appointment;  (d) An employee of the corporation whose employment contract requires the appointment; or  (e) A party to a voting agreement created under RCW 23B.07.310.  (5) The death or incapacity of the shareholder appointing a proxy does not affect the right of the corporation to accept the proxy's authority unless notice of the death or incapacity is received by the officer or agent of the corporation authorized to tabulate votes before the proxy exercises the proxy's authority under the appointment.  (6) An appointment made irrevocable under subsection (4) of this section is revoked when the interest with which it is coupled is extinguished.  (7) A transferee for value of shares subject to an irrevocable appointment may revoke the appointment if the transferee did not know of its existence when the transferee acquired the shares and the existence of the irrevocable appointment was not noted conspicuously on the certificate representing the shares or on the information statement for shares without certificates.  (8) Subject to RCW 23B.07.240 and to any express limitation on the proxy's authority stated in the appointment form or recorded telephone call, voice mail, or other electronic transmission, a corporation is entitled to accept the proxy's vote or other action as that of the shareholder making the appointment.  (9) For the purposes of this section only, "sign" or "signature" includes any manual, facsimile, conformed, or electronic signature.[2002 c 297 § 25; 2000 c 168 § 2; 1989 c 165 § 70.] RCW 23B.07.230Shares held by nominees.(1) A corporation may establish a procedure by which the beneficial owner of shares that are registered in the name of a nominee is recognized by the corporation as the shareholder. The extent of this recognition may be determined in the procedure.  (2) The procedure may set forth:  (a) The types of nominees to which it applies;  (b) The rights or privileges that the corporation recognizes in a beneficial owner;  (c) The manner in which the procedure is selected by the nominee;  (d) The information that must be provided when the procedure is selected;  (e) The period for which selection of the procedure is effective; and  (f) Other aspects of the rights and duties created.[1989 c 165 § 71.] RCW 23B.07.250Quorum and voting requirements.(1) Shares entitled to vote as a separate voting group may take action on a matter at a meeting only if a quorum of those shares exists with respect to that matter. Unless the articles of incorporation or this title provide otherwise, a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter by the voting group constitutes a quorum of that voting group for action on that matter.  (2) Once a share is represented for any purpose at a meeting other than solely to object to holding the meeting or transacting business at the meeting, it is deemed present for quorum purposes for the remainder of the meeting and for any adjournment of that meeting unless a new record date is or must be set for that adjourned meeting.  (3) If a quorum exists, action on a matter, other than the election of directors, is approved by a voting group if the votes cast within the voting group favoring the action exceed the votes cast within the voting group opposing the action, unless the articles of incorporation or this title require a greater number of affirmative votes.  (4) An amendment of articles of incorporation adding, changing, or deleting either (i) a quorum for a voting group greater or lesser than specified in subsection (1) of this section, or (ii) a voting requirement for a voting group greater than specified in subsection (3) of this section, is governed by RCW 23B.07.270.  (5) The election of directors is governed by RCW 23B.07.280.[1989 c 165 § 73.] RCW 23B.07.270Greater or lesser quorum or voting requirements.(1) The articles of incorporation may provide for a greater or lesser quorum, but not less than one-third of the votes entitled to be cast, for shareholders, or voting groups of shareholders, than is provided for by this title.  (2) The articles of incorporation may provide for a greater voting requirement for shareholders, or voting groups of shareholders, than is provided for by this title.  (3) Under RCW 23B.10.030, 23B.11.030, 23B.12.020, and 23B.14.020, the articles of incorporation may provide for a lesser vote than is otherwise prescribed in those sections or for a lesser vote by separate voting groups, so long as the vote provided for each voting group entitled to vote separately on the plan or transaction is not less than a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast on the plan or transaction by that voting group.  (4) Except as provided in subsection (5) of this section, an amendment to the articles of incorporation that adds, changes, or deletes a greater or lesser quorum or voting requirement for a particular corporate action must meet the same quorum requirement and be adopted by the same vote and voting groups required to take action under the quorum and voting requirements then in effect for the corporate action.  (5) An amendment to the articles of incorporation that adds, changes, or deletes a greater or lesser quorum or voting requirement for a merger, share exchange, sale of substantially all assets, or dissolution must be adopted by the same vote and voting groups required to take action under the quorum and voting requirements then in effect for the particular corporate action, or the quorum and voting requirements then in effect for amendments to articles of incorporation, whichever is greater.[1990 c 178 § 11; 1989 c 165 § 75.]Notes:Effective date -- 1990 c 178: See note following RCW 23B.01.220. RCW 23B.07.280Voting for directors Cumulative voting.(1) Unless otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation, shareholders entitled to vote at any election of directors are entitled to cumulate votes by multiplying the number of votes they are entitled to cast by the number of directors for whom they are entitled to vote and to cast the product for a single candidate or distribute the product among two or more candidates.  (2) Unless otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation, in any election of directors the candidates elected are those receiving the largest numbers of votes cast by the shares entitled to vote in the election, up to the number of directors to be elected by such shares.[1989 c 165 § 76.] RCW 23B.07.310Voting agreements.(1) Two or more shareholders may provide for the manner in which they will vote their shares by signing an agreement for that purpose. A voting agreement created under this section is not subject to the provisions of RCW 23B.07.300.  (2) A voting agreement created under this section is specifically enforceable.[1989 c 165 § 78.] RCW 23B.07.400Derivative proceedings procedure.(1) A person may not commence a proceeding in the right of a domestic or foreign corporation unless the person was a shareholder of the corporation when the transaction complained of occurred or unless the person became a shareholder through transfer by operation of law from one who was a shareholder at that time.  (2) A complaint in a proceeding brought in the right of a corporation must be verified and allege with particularity the demand made, if any, to obtain action by the board of directors and either that the demand was refused or ignored or why a demand was not made. Whether or not a demand for action was made, if the corporation commences an investigation of the charges made in the demand or complaint, the court may stay any proceeding until the investigation is completed.  (3) A proceeding commenced under this section may not be discontinued or settled without the court's approval. If the court determines that a proposed discontinuance or settlement will substantially affect the interest of the corporation's shareholders or a class of shareholders, the court shall direct that notice be given to the shareholders affected.  (4) On termination of the proceeding the court may require the plaintiff to pay any defendant's reasonable expenses, including counsel fees, incurred in defending the proceeding if it finds that the proceeding was commenced without reasonable cause.  (5) For purposes of this section, "shareholder" includes a beneficial owner whose shares are held in a voting trust or held by a nominee on behalf of the beneficial owner.[1989 c 165 § 79.]

USA Statutes : washington