Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 13.1. Corporations
8/10/2020

Article 4. Purposes and Powers.

§ 13.1-825. Purposes.

Every corporation incorporated under this Act has the purpose of engaging in any lawful activity, unless:

1. A statute requires the corporation to issue shares or one of the purposes of the corporation is to conduct the business of a public service company other than a sewer company; or

2. A more limited purpose is (i) set forth in the articles of incorporation or (ii) required to be set forth in the articles of incorporation by any other law of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 13.1-204; 1956, c. 428; 1958, c. 564; 1960, c. 296; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 98; 1985, c. 522; 2007, c. 925.

§ 13.1-826. General powers.

A. Unless its articles of incorporation provide otherwise, every corporation has perpetual duration and succession in its corporate name and has the same powers as an individual to do all things necessary or convenient to carry out its business and affairs, including, without limitation, power:

1. To sue and be sued, complain and defend, in its corporate name;

2. To have a corporate seal, which may be altered at will, and to use it, or a facsimile of it, by impressing or affixing it or in any other manner reproducing it;

3. To purchase, receive, lease, or otherwise acquire, and own, hold, improve, use and otherwise deal with, real or personal property, or any legal or equitable interest in property, wherever located;

4. To sell, convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange, and otherwise dispose of all or any part of its property;

5. To purchase, receive, subscribe for, or otherwise acquire, own, hold, vote, use, sell, mortgage, lend, pledge, or otherwise dispose of, and deal with shares or other interests in, or obligations of, any other entity;

6. To make contracts and guarantees, incur liabilities, borrow money, and issue its notes, bonds, and other obligations, which may be convertible into, or include the option to purchase, other securities or property of the corporation, and secure any of its obligations by mortgage or pledge of any of its property, franchises, or income;

7. To lend money, invest and reinvest its funds, and receive and hold real and personal property as security for repayment;

8. To transact its business, locate offices, and exercise the powers granted by this chapter within or without the Commonwealth;

9. To elect directors and appoint officers, employees, and agents of the corporation, define their duties, fix their compensation, and lend them money and credit;

10. To make and amend bylaws, not inconsistent with its articles of incorporation or with the laws of the Commonwealth;

11. To make donations for the public welfare or for religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes;

12. To pay pensions and establish pension plans, pension trusts, profit-sharing plans, bonus plans, and benefit and incentive plans for any or all of the current or former directors, officers, employees, and agents of the corporation or any of its subsidiaries;

13. To insure for its benefit the life of any of its directors, officers, or employees and to continue such insurance after the relationship terminates;

14. To make payments or donations or do any other act not inconsistent with this section or any other applicable law that furthers the business and affairs of the corporation;

15. To pay compensation or to pay additional compensation to any or all directors, officers, and employees on account of services previously rendered to the corporation, whether or not an agreement to pay such compensation was made before such services were rendered;

16. To cease its corporate activities and surrender its corporate franchise; and

17. To have and exercise all powers necessary or convenient to effect any or all of the purposes for which the corporation is organized.

B. Each corporation other than a banking corporation, an insurance corporation, a savings institution or a credit union shall have power to enter into partnership agreements, joint ventures or other associations of any kind with any person or persons. The foregoing limitations on banking corporations, insurance corporations, savings institutions, and credit unions shall not apply to the purchase by any such entity of any security of a limited liability company.

C. Privileges and powers conferred and restrictions and requirements imposed by other titles of the Code on railroads or other public service companies, banking corporations, insurance corporations, savings institutions, credit unions, industrial loan associations or other special types of corporations shall not be deemed repealed or amended by any provision of this chapter except where specifically so provided.

D. Each corporation which is deemed a private foundation, as defined in § 509 of the Internal Revenue Code, unless its articles of incorporation expressly provide otherwise, shall distribute its income and, if necessary, principal, for each taxable year at such time and in such manner as not to subject such corporation to tax under § 4942 of the Internal Revenue Code. Such corporation shall not engage in any act of self-dealing, as defined in § 4941(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, retain any excess business holdings, as defined in § 4943(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, make any investments in such manner as to give rise to liability for the tax imposed by § 4944 of the Internal Revenue Code, or make any taxable expenditures, as defined in § 4945(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. This subsection shall apply to any corporation organized after December 31, 1969, under this chapter or under the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act (§ 13.1-201 et seq.) enacted by Chapter 428 of the Acts of Assembly of 1956; and to any corporation organized before January 1, 1970, only for its taxable years beginning on and after January 1, 1972, unless the exceptions provided in § 508(e)(2)(B) or (C) of the Internal Revenue Code shall apply or unless the board of directors of such corporation shall elect that such restrictions as contained in this subsection shall not apply by filing written notice of such election with the Attorney General and the clerk of the Commission on or before December 31, 1971. Each reference to a section of the Internal Revenue Code made in this subsection shall include future amendments to such Code sections and corresponding provisions of future internal revenue laws.

Code 1950, § 13.1-204.1; 1975, c. 500; 1985, c. 522; 1996, c. 77; 2007, c. 925; 2015, c. 611.

§ 13.1-827. Emergency powers.

A. In anticipation of or during an emergency defined in subsection D, the board of directors of a corporation may:

1. Modify lines of succession to accommodate the incapacity of any director, officer, employee, or agent; and

2. Relocate the principal office, designate alternative principal offices or regional offices, or authorize the officers to do so.

B. During an emergency defined in subsection D, unless emergency bylaws provide otherwise:

1. Notice of a meeting of the board of directors need be given only to those directors whom it is practicable to reach and may be given in any practicable manner, including by publication and radio; and

2. One or more officers of the corporation present at a meeting of the board of directors may be deemed by a majority of the directors present at the meeting to be directors for the meeting, in order of rank and within the same rank in order of seniority, as necessary to achieve a quorum.

C. Corporate action taken in good faith during an emergency under this section to further the ordinary business affairs of the corporation:

1. Binds the corporation; and

2. May not be used to impose liability on a director, officer, employee, or agent of the corporation.

D. An emergency exists for purposes of this section if a quorum of the corporation's board of directors cannot readily be assembled because of some catastrophic event.

1985, c. 522; 2007, c. 925.

§ 13.1-828. Ultra vires.

A. Except as provided in subsection B, corporate action may not be challenged on the ground that the corporation lacks or lacked power to act.

B. A corporation's power to act may be challenged:

1. In a proceeding by a member or a director against the corporation to enjoin the act;

2. In a proceeding by the corporation, directly, derivatively, or through a receiver, trustee, or other legal representative, against an incumbent or former officer, director, employee, or agent of the corporation; or

3. In a proceeding against a corporation before the Commission.

C. In a proceeding by a member or a director under subdivision B 1 to enjoin an unauthorized corporate act, the court may enjoin or set aside the act and may award damages for loss, except anticipated profits, suffered by the corporation or another party because of enjoining the unauthorized act.

Code 1950, § 13.1-206; 1956, c. 428; 1975, c. 500; 1985, c. 522; 2007, c. 925.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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