Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 13.1. Corporations
Chapter 12. Virginia Limited Liability Company Act
5/16/2021

Article 5. Relationship of Members to Each Other.

§ 13.1-1022. Management of limited liability company.

A. Except to the extent that the articles of organization or an operating agreement provides in writing for management of a limited liability company by a manager or managers, management of a limited liability company shall be vested in its members.

B. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, in the articles of organization, or in an operating agreement, the members of a limited liability company shall vote in proportion to their contributions to the limited liability company, as adjusted from time to time, and a majority vote of the members of a limited liability company shall consist of the vote or other approval of members having a majority share of the voting power of all members.

C. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, in the articles of organization, or in an operating agreement, any action required or permitted to be taken by the members of a limited liability company may be taken upon a majority vote of the members.

D. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, the members of a limited liability company have the power and authority to delegate to one or more other persons the members' rights and powers to manage and control the business and affairs of the limited liability company, including to delegate to agents, officers and employees of a member or manager of the limited liability company, and to delegate by a management agreement or other agreement with, or otherwise to, other persons. Such persons may be denominated as officers of the limited liability company without being deemed to have the status of a manager, unless designated as a manager in the articles of organization or an operating agreement.

E. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, the members of a limited liability company may take action permitted or required to be taken by the members without a meeting, without prior notice and without a vote if a consent or consents in writing, setting forth the action so taken, shall be signed by members having not less than the minimum number of votes that would be necessary to authorize or take such action at a meeting. A consent transmitted by a member by electronic transmission shall be deemed to be signed for the purposes of this section. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, on any matter that is to be voted on by members, the members may vote in person or by proxy.

F. The articles of organization or an operating agreement may provide for classes or groups of members having such relative rights, powers, and duties as the articles of organization or an operating agreement may provide, and may make provision for the future creation in the manner provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement of additional classes or groups of members having such relative rights, powers, and duties as may from time to time be established, including rights, powers, and duties senior to existing classes and groups of members.

G. The articles of organization, an operating agreement, or a plan of merger may provide that dissenters' rights with respect to a membership interest shall be available for any class or group of members in connection with any amendment of an operating agreement, any merger in which the limited liability company is a party, any conversion of the limited liability company to another business form, any transfer to or domestication in any other jurisdiction by the limited liability company, or the sale of all or substantially all of the limited liability company's assets.

1991, c. 168; 1992, c. 574; 1995, c. 168; 1998, c. 432; 2002, c. 288; 2004, c. 601; 2005, c. 255.

§ 13.1-1023. Operating agreement.

A. Authority.

1. The members of a limited liability company may enter into any operating agreement to regulate or establish the affairs of the limited liability company, the conduct of its business and the relations of its members. A limited liability company is bound by its operating agreement whether or not the limited liability company executes the operating agreement. An operating agreement may contain any provisions regarding the affairs of a limited liability company and the conduct of its business to the extent that such provisions are not inconsistent with the laws of the Commonwealth or the articles of organization. An operating agreement may provide rights to any person, including a person who is not a party to the operating agreement, to the extent set forth in the operating agreement.

2. If a limited liability company has only one member, an operating agreement shall be deemed to include:

a. Any writing signed by the member, without regard to whether the writing constitutes an agreement, that relates to the affairs of the limited liability company and the conduct of its business.

b. Any agreement, regardless of whether the agreement is in writing, between the member and the limited liability company, that relates to the affairs of the limited liability company and the conduct of its business, provided that the limited liability company has a manager that is a person other than the member.

B. Adoption and amendment.

1. An operating agreement must initially be agreed to by all of the members. Unless the articles of organization or a written operating agreement specifically requires otherwise, an operating agreement need not be in writing.

2. If the articles of organization or an operating agreement does not provide for the manner by which an operating agreement may be amended, then all of the members must agree to any amendment of an operating agreement.

3. If the articles of organization or the operating agreement provide for the manner by which an operating agreement may be amended, including by requiring the approval of a person who is not a party to the operating agreement or requiring the satisfaction of conditions, an operating agreement may be amended only in that manner or as otherwise permitted by law; provided that (i) the approval of any person may be waived by that person and (ii) any conditions may be waived by all persons for whose benefit the conditions were intended.

C. Enforcement of operating agreement.

1. A court of equity may enforce an operating agreement by injunction or by such other relief that the court in its discretion determines to be fair and appropriate in the circumstances.

2. As an alternative to injunctive or other equitable relief, when the provisions of § 13.1-1047 are applicable, the court may order dissolution of the limited liability company.

1991, c. 168; 1993, c. 113; 1997, c. 190; 2005, c. 255; 2009, c. 763; 2012, c. 706.

§ 13.1-1023.1. Remedies for breach of operating agreement by member or manager.

A. An operating agreement may provide that:

1. A member or manager who fails to perform in accordance with, or to comply with terms and conditions of, the operating agreement shall be subject to specified penalties or specified consequences; and

2. At the time or upon the happening of events specified in the operating agreement, a member or manager shall be subject to specified penalties or specified consequences.

The specified penalties or specified consequences may include and take the form of any penalty or consequence set forth in subsection D of § 13.1-1027.

B. In the articles of organization, in writing in an operating agreement or in another writing, a member or manager may consent to or be subject to the nonexclusive jurisdiction of the courts of, or arbitration in, a specified jurisdiction, or the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the Commonwealth, or the exclusivity of arbitration in a specified jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, and to be served with legal process in a manner prescribed in the articles of organization, an operating agreement, or other writing.

2003, c. 340; 2004, c. 601.

§ 13.1-1024. Management of a limited liability company by a manager or managers.

A. The articles of organization or an operating agreement of a limited liability company may delegate full or partial responsibility for managing a limited liability company to or among one or more managers.

B. Managers need not be residents of this Commonwealth or members of the limited liability company unless the articles of organization or an operating agreement so require. The articles of organization or an operating agreement may prescribe other qualifications for managers.

C. The number of managers shall be fixed by or in the manner provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement. The number of managers may be increased or decreased by amendment to, or in the manner provided in, the articles of organization or an operating agreement.

D. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, managers shall be elected by the members.

E. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, any vacancy occurring in the office of manager shall be filled by a majority vote of the members.

F. All managers or any lesser number may be removed in the manner provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement. If the articles of organization or an operating agreement does not provide for the removal of managers, then all managers or any lesser number may be removed with or without cause by a majority vote of the members.

G. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, any action required or permitted to be taken by the managers of a limited liability company may be taken upon a majority vote of the managers.

H. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, a manager of a limited liability company has the power and authority to delegate to one or more other persons the manager's rights and powers to manage and control the business and affairs of the limited liability company, including to delegate to agents, officers and employees of a member or manager of the limited liability company, and to delegate by a management agreement or another agreement with, or otherwise to, other persons. Such persons may be denominated as officers of the limited liability company without being deemed to have the status of a manager, unless designated as a manager in the articles of organization or an operating agreement. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, such delegation by a manager of a limited liability company shall not cause the manager to cease to be a manager of the limited liability company.

I. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, the managers of a limited liability company may take any action permitted or required to be taken by the managers without a meeting, without prior notice and without a vote if a consent or consents in writing, setting forth the action so taken, shall be signed by managers having not less than the minimum number of votes that would be necessary to authorize or take such action at a meeting. A consent transmitted by a manager by electronic transmission shall be deemed to be signed for the purposes of this section. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, on any matter that is to be voted on by managers, the managers may vote in person or by proxy, and any such proxy may be granted in writing, by means of electronic transmission or as otherwise permitted by applicable law.

J. The articles of organization or an operating agreement may provide for classes or groups of managers having such relative rights, powers, and duties as the articles of organization or an operating agreement may provide, and may make provision for the future creation in the manner provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement of additional classes or groups of managers having such relative rights, powers, and duties as may from time to time be established, including rights, powers, and duties senior to existing classes and groups of managers.

1991, c. 168; 1992, c. 574; 1996, c. 265; 1998, c. 432; 2002, c. 288; 2004, c. 601.

§ 13.1-1024.1. General standards of conduct for a manager.

A. A manager shall discharge his or its duties as a manager in accordance with the manager's good faith business judgment of the best interests of the limited liability company.

B. Unless a manager has knowledge or information concerning the matter in question that makes reliance unwarranted, a manager is entitled to rely on information, opinions, reports or statements, including financial statements and other financial data, if prepared or presented by:

1. One or more managers or employees of the limited liability company whom the manager believes, in good faith, to be reliable and competent in the matters presented;

2. Legal counsel, public accountants, or other persons as to matters the manager believes, in good faith, are within the person's professional or expert competence; or

3. A committee of the managers of which the manager is not a member if the manager believes, in good faith, that the committee merits confidence.

C. A person alleging a violation of this section has the burden of proving the violation.

D. For the purposes of this section only, the term "manager" shall be deemed to include any member that is participating in the management of the limited liability company.

1992, c. 574.

§ 13.1-1025. Limitation of liability of members and managers; exception.

A. In any proceeding brought by or in the right of a limited liability company or brought by or on behalf of members of the limited liability company, the damages assessed against a manager or member arising out of a single transaction, occurrence or course of conduct shall not exceed the lesser of:

1. The monetary amount, including the elimination of liability, specified in writing in the articles of organization or an operating agreement as a limitation on or elimination of the liability of the manager or member; or

2. The greater of (i) $100,000 or (ii) the amount of cash compensation received by the manager or member from the limited liability company during the twelve months immediately preceding the act or omission for which liability was imposed; however, the cash compensation of a manager or member shall not be deemed to include amounts constituting distributions for the purposes of § 13.1-1035.

B. The liability of a manager or member shall not be limited as provided in this section to the extent otherwise provided in writing in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, or if the manager or member engaged in willful misconduct or a knowing violation of the criminal law.

C. No limitation on or elimination of liability adopted pursuant to this section may be affected by any amendment of the articles of organization or operating agreement with respect to any act or omission occurring before such amendment.

1991, c. 168; 1992, c. 574; 2002, c. 288.

§ 13.1-1026. Business transactions of members or managers with the limited liability company.

Except as provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, a member or manager may lend money to and transact other business with the limited liability company and, subject to other applicable law, has the same rights and obligations with respect thereto as a person who is not a member or manager.

1991, c. 168.

§ 13.1-1027. Contributions.

A. The contributions of a member to a limited liability company may be in cash, property, or services rendered or a promissory note or other binding obligation to contribute cash or property or to perform services.

B. Except as provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, a member is obligated to the limited liability company to perform any enforceable promise to contribute cash or property or to perform services, even if he is unable to perform because of death, disability or any other reason. If a member does not make the required contribution of property or services, he is obligated at the option of the limited liability company to contribute cash equal to that portion of the value, as stated in the limited liability company records required to be kept by § 13.1-1028, of such contribution that has not been made.

C. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, the obligation of a member to make a contribution or return money or other property paid or distributed in violation of this chapter may be compromised only by consent of all the members. Notwithstanding the compromise, a creditor of a limited liability company who extends credit or otherwise acts in reliance on the original obligation may enforce the original obligation to the extent that, in extending credit, the creditor reasonably relied on the obligation of a member to make a contribution or return. A conditional obligation of a member to make a contribution or return money or other property to a limited liability company may not be enforced unless the conditions of the obligation have been satisfied or waived as to or by such member. Conditional obligations include contributions payable upon a discretionary call of a limited liability company prior to the time the call occurs.

D. The articles of organization or an operating agreement may provide in writing that the interest of any member who fails to make any contribution that he is obligated to make shall be subject to specified penalties for, or specified consequences of, such failure. Such penalty or consequence may take the form of reducing or eliminating the defaulting member's proportionate interest in a limited liability company, subordinating his interest in the limited liability company to that of nondefaulting members, a forced sale of his interest in the limited liability company, forfeiture of his interest in the limited liability company, the lending by other members of the amount necessary to meet his commitment, a fixing of the value of his interest in the limited liability company by appraisal or by formula and redemption or sale of his interest in the limited liability company at such value, or other penalty or consequence.

E. No promise by a member to contribute to a limited liability company is enforceable unless set out in a writing signed by the member.

F. The contributions of a corporation to a limited liability company of which such corporation is a member may be in the form of an asset for which an application for a project requiring a certificate has been approved by the Commissioner pursuant to the provisions of Title 32.1. No further approval by such Commissioner shall be required as a condition to the validity of the member's contribution of such an asset to the limited liability company if (i) both the member and the limited liability company have their principal offices within the same city or county of the Commonwealth, (ii) such contributing member owns at least one-third of the membership interests of the limited liability company, and (iii) the assets contributed by such member to the limited liability company comprise not more than ten percent of such assets of the member.

1991, c. 168; 1995, c. 168; 1999, c. 966.

§ 13.1-1028. Information and records.

A. Each limited liability company shall, at its discretion, either (i) keep at its principal office or (ii) provide each member access as an electronic record, as defined in § 13.1-603, on a network or system to the following:

1. A current list of the full name and last known business address of each member, in alphabetical order;

2. A copy of the articles of organization and the certificate of organization, and all articles of amendment and certificates of amendment thereto;

3. Copies of the limited liability company's federal, state and local income tax returns and reports, if any, for the three most recent years;

4. Copies of any then-effective written operating agreement and of any financial statements of the limited liability company for the three most recent years; and

5. Unless contained in a written operating agreement, a writing setting out:

a. The amount of cash and a description and statement of the agreed value of the other property or services contributed by each member and which each member has agreed to contribute;

b. The times at which or events on the happening of which any additional contributions agreed to be made by each member are to be made;

c. Any right of a member to receive, or of the limited liability company to make, distributions to a member which include a return of all or any part of the member's contribution; and

d. Any events upon the happening of which the limited liability company is to be dissolved and its affairs wound up.

B. Each member has the right, upon reasonable request, to:

1. Inspect and copy any of the limited liability company records required to be maintained by this section; and

2. Obtain from the manager or managers, or if the limited liability company has no manager or managers, from any member or other person with access to such information, from time to time upon reasonable demand (i) true and full information regarding the state of the business and financial condition of the limited liability company, (ii) promptly after becoming available, a copy of the limited liability company's federal, state and local income tax returns for each year, and (iii) other information regarding the affairs of the limited liability company, except to the extent the information demanded is unreasonable or otherwise improper under the circumstances.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections A and B, the rights of a member to obtain information as provided in such subsections may be restricted in writing in an original operating agreement or any subsequent written amendment to an operating agreement approved or adopted by all of the members and in compliance with any applicable requirements of the operating agreement.

1991, c. 168; 1992, c. 574; 2001, c. 548; 2002, c. 288; 2016, c. 287.