Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 13.1. Corporations
5/31/2020

Article 11. Amendment of Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.

§ 13.1-705. Authority to amend articles of incorporation.

A. A corporation may amend its articles of incorporation at any time to add or change a provision that is required or permitted in the articles as of the effective date of the amendment or to delete a provision that is not required to be contained in the articles of incorporation.

B. A shareholder of the corporation does not have a vested property right resulting from any provision in the articles of incorporation, including provisions relating to management, control, capital structure, dividend entitlement, purpose, or duration of the corporation.

Code 1950, § 13.1-55; 1956, c. 428; 1958, c. 564; 1985, c. 522; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-706. Amendment of articles of incorporation by the board of directors.

A. Where no shares of the corporation are issued and outstanding, a corporation's board of directors may adopt an amendment of the corporation's articles of incorporation without shareholder approval.

B. Unless the articles of incorporation provide otherwise, a corporation's board of directors may adopt amendments of the corporation's articles of incorporation without shareholder approval:

1. To delete the names and addresses of the initial directors;

2. To delete the name of the initial registered agent or the address of the initial registered office, if a statement of change described in § 13.1-635 is on file with the Commission;

3. If the corporation has only one class of shares outstanding:

a. To change each issued and unissued authorized share of the class into a greater number of whole shares of that class; or

b. To increase the number of authorized shares of the class to the extent necessary to permit the issuance of shares as a share dividend;

4. To eliminate or change the par value of the shares of any class or series;

5. To change the corporate name;

6. If the corporation has or will become a holding company under § 13.1-719.1, to change the corporate name to the former name of the constituent corporation;

7. If the corporation is registered as an open-end management investment company under the federal Investment Company Act of 1940, to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares or the number of shares of any class or series within any class that the corporation is authorized to issue;

8. To delete a class or series of shares from the articles of incorporation when there are no shares of the class or series, including any rights to any such shares, outstanding; or

9. To make any other change expressly permitted by this chapter to be made without shareholder approval.

1985, c. 522; 1989, c. 483; 1990, c. 292; 2005, c. 765; 2006, c. 330; 2015, c. 623; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-707. Amendment of articles of incorporation by the board of directors and shareholders.

A. Except where shareholder approval of an amendment of the articles of incorporation is not required by this chapter, an amendment of the articles of incorporation shall be adopted in the following manner:

1. The proposed amendment shall first be adopted by the board of directors.

2. After adopting the proposed amendment the board of directors shall submit the amendment to the shareholders for their approval. The board of directors shall also recommend that the shareholders approve the amendment, unless the board of directors makes a determination that because of conflicts of interest or other special circumstances it should not make such a recommendation, in which case the board of directors shall inform the shareholders of the basis for that determination; and

3. The shareholders entitled to vote on the amendment shall approve the amendment as provided in subsection D.

B. The board of directors may set conditions for the approval of the amendment by the shareholders or the effectiveness of the amendment.

C. If shareholder approval is to be sought at a shareholders' meeting, the corporation shall notify each shareholder, whether or not entitled to vote, of the proposed shareholders' meeting in accordance with § 13.1-658. The notice shall state that the purpose, or one of the purposes, of the meeting is to consider the amendment and shall contain or be accompanied by a copy of the amendment.

D. Unless this chapter, the articles of incorporation, or the board of directors, acting pursuant to subsection B, requires a greater vote, approval of the amendment requires the approval of each voting group entitled to vote on the amendment by more than two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast by that voting group. The articles of incorporation may provide for a greater or lesser vote than that provided for in this subsection or a vote by separate voting groups so long as the vote provided for is not less than a majority of all the votes cast on the amendment by each voting group entitled to vote on the amendment at a meeting at which a quorum of the voting group exists.

E. If as a result of an amendment of the articles of incorporation one or more shareholders of a domestic corporation would become subject to new interest holder liability, approval of the amendment requires the signing in connection with the amendment, by each such shareholder, of a separate written consent to become subject to such new interest holder liability, unless in the case of a shareholder that already has interest holder liability the terms and conditions of the new interest holder liability (i) are substantially identical to those of the existing interest holder liability or (ii) are substantially identical to those of the existing interest holder liability other than changes that eliminate or reduce such interest holder liability.

F. For purposes of subsection E, "new interest holder liability" means interest holder liability of a person resulting from an amendment of the articles of incorporation if (i) the person did not have interest holder liability before the amendment becomes effective or (ii) the person had interest holder liability before the amendment becomes effective, the terms and conditions of which are changed when the amendment becomes effective.

G. When an exchange, reclassification, or change of shares is effected by amendment of the articles of incorporation, and a material difference in right results, or the corporate name is changed, the action of the board of directors or shareholders authorizing the amendment may prescribe a time after which the holders of the old shares shall no longer be entitled to receive distributions or to vote or to exercise any other rights as shareholders until certificates, if any, representing the old shares are surrendered in exchange for certificates representing the new shares. But upon such surrender all distributions not paid because of this provision shall be paid without interest.

H. An amendment of the articles of incorporation may be further amended prior to the effective date of the certificate of amendment of the articles of incorporation; however, if the shareholders of the corporation are required by any provision of this chapter or the articles of incorporation to vote on the amendment of the articles of incorporation, the amendment of the articles of incorporation may not be further amended subsequent to approval of the amendment by such shareholders without the approval of the shareholders.

Code 1950, §§ 13-37, 13.1-19, 13.1-56; 1956, c. 428; 1972, c. 580; 1975, c. 500; 1985, c. 522; 2005, c. 765; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-708. Voting on amendments by voting groups.

A. Except as otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation, if a corporation has more than one class of shares outstanding, the holders of the outstanding shares of a class are entitled to vote as a separate voting group on a proposed amendment of the articles of incorporation if shareholder voting is otherwise required by this chapter and if the amendment would:

1. Effect an exchange or reclassification of all or part of the shares of the class into shares of another class;

2. Effect an exchange or reclassification, or create the right of exchange, of all or part of the shares of another class into shares of the class;

3. Change the rights, preferences, or limitations of all or part of the shares of the class, but such class shall not be entitled to vote as a separate voting group on an amendment increasing the number of authorized shares of a subordinate class solely because both such classes vote on some or all matters as a single voting group;

4. Change the shares of all or part of the class into a different number of shares of the same class;

5. Create a new class of shares or change a class of shares with subordinate and inferior rights into a class of shares, having rights or preferences with respect to distributions that are prior or superior to the shares of the class;

6. Increase the rights, preferences, or number of authorized shares of any class that after giving effect to the amendment, have rights or preferences with respect to distributions that are prior or superior to the shares of the class;

7. Limit or deny an existing preemptive right of all or part of the shares of the class; or

8. Cancel or otherwise affect rights to distributions that have accumulated but not yet been authorized on all or part of the shares of the class.

B. If a proposed amendment would affect a series of a class of shares in one or more of the ways described in subsection A, the holders of shares of that series are entitled to vote as a separate voting group on the proposed amendment.

C. If a proposed amendment that entitles the holders of two or more classes or series of shares to vote as separate voting groups under this section would affect those two or more classes or series in the same or a substantially similar way, the holders of shares of all the classes or series so affected shall vote together as a single voting group on the proposed amendment, unless otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation or added as a condition by the board of directors pursuant to subsection B of § 13.1-707.

D. Except as otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation, shares that are convertible into shares of another class or series shall not have any right, prior to conversion, to vote on any matter because it affects the class or series into which such shares are convertible.

Code 1950, § 13.1-57; 1956, c. 428; 1975, c. 500; 1985, c. 522; 1996, c. 238; 1997, c. 400; 2005, c. 765; 2008, c. 91; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-709. Amendment of articles of incorporation by incorporators.

If a corporation has not yet issued shares and it has no board of directors, its incorporators may adopt one or more amendments of the corporation's articles of incorporation.

1985, c. 522; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-710. Articles of amendment.

A. After an amendment of the articles of incorporation has been adopted and approved as required by this chapter, the corporation shall deliver to the Commission for filing articles of amendment that shall set forth:

1. The name of the corporation;

2. The text of each amendment adopted or the information required by subdivision L 5 of § 13.1-604;

3. If an amendment provides for an exchange, reclassification, or cancellation of issued shares, provisions for implementing the amendment if not contained in the amendment itself, which may be made dependent upon facts objectively ascertainable outside the articles of amendment in accordance with subsection L of § 13.1-604;

4. The date of each amendment's adoption or approval;

5. If an amendment (i) was adopted by the board of directors or the incorporators without shareholder approval, a statement that the amendment was duly adopted by the board of directors or by a majority of the incorporators, as the case may be, including the reason that shareholder and, if applicable, board of directors' approval was not required; (ii) was approved by the shareholders, either a statement that the amendment was adopted by unanimous consent of the shareholders, or a statement that the amendment was adopted by the board of directors, was submitted to the shareholders in accordance with this article, and was duly approved by the shareholders in the manner required by this chapter and by the articles of incorporation; or (iii) is being filed pursuant to subdivision L 5 of § 13.1-604, a statement to that effect.

B. If the Commission finds that the articles of amendment comply with the requirements of law and that all required fees have been paid, it shall issue a certificate of amendment.

Code 1950, §§ 13.1-58, 13.1-59; 1956, c. 428; 1958, c. 564; 1975, c. 500; 1985, c. 522; 2002, c. 497; 2005, c. 765; 2015, c. 623; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-711. Restated articles of incorporation.

A. A corporation's board of directors may restate its articles of incorporation at any time with or without shareholder approval.

B. The restatement may include one or more new amendments to the articles of incorporation. If the restatement includes one or more new amendments requiring shareholder approval, the new amendment or amendments shall be adopted and approved as provided in § 13.1-707.

C. A corporation restating its articles of incorporation shall file with the Commission articles of restatement setting forth:

1. The name of the corporation immediately prior to restatement;

2. Whether the restatement contains a new amendment of the articles of incorporation;

3. The text of the restated articles of incorporation;

4. If the restatement includes a new amendment that provides for an exchange, reclassification, or cancellation of issued shares, provisions for implementing the amendment, which may be made dependent upon facts objectively ascertainable outside the articles of restatement in accordance with subsection L of § 13.1-604;

5. The date of the restatement's adoption;

6. If the restatement does not contain a new amendment of the articles, a statement that the restatement was adopted by the board of directors or approved by the shareholders;

7. If the restatement contains a new amendment of the articles not requiring shareholder approval, a statement that the restatement was adopted by the board of directors without shareholder approval pursuant to § 13.1-706 or subdivision L 5 of § 13.1-604, as the case may be; and

8. If the restatement contains a new amendment of the articles requiring shareholder approval, a statement that the restatement (i) was adopted by the unanimous consent of the shareholders or (ii) was adopted by the board of directors, was submitted to the shareholders in accordance with this article, and was duly approved by the shareholders in the manner required by this chapter and by the articles of incorporation.

D. If the Commission finds that the articles of restatement comply with the requirements of law and that all required fees have been paid, it shall issue a certificate of restatement. When the certificate of restatement is effective the restated articles of incorporation supersede the original or previously restated articles of incorporation and all amendments of them.

E. The Commission may certify restated articles of incorporation or amended and restated articles of incorporation as the articles of incorporation currently in effect.

1985, c. 522; 2002, c. 497; 2005, c. 765; 2007, c. 165; 2012, c. 706; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-712. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1988, c. 194.

§ 13.1-712.1. (Effective July 1, 2020) Abandonment of amendment or restatement of articles of incorporation.

A. After an amendment or restatement of the articles of incorporation has been adopted and approved as required by this article, and at any time before the certificate of amendment or restatement has become effective, the amendment or restatement of the articles of incorporation may be abandoned by the corporation without action by its shareholders in the manner determined by the board of directors.

B. If articles of amendment or restatement of the articles of incorporation are abandoned after they have been filed with the Commission but before the certificate of amendment or restatement of the articles of incorporation has become effective, a statement of abandonment shall be signed by the corporation and delivered to the Commission for filing prior to the effective time and date of the certificate of amendment or restatement of the articles of incorporation. If the Commission finds that the statement of abandonment complies with the requirements of law, it shall issue a certificate of abandonment, effective as of the date and time the statement of abandonment was received by the Commission, and the amendment or restatement of the articles of incorporation shall be deemed abandoned and shall not become effective.

C. The statement of abandonment shall contain:

1. The name of the corporation;

2. The date on which the articles of amendment or restatement of the articles of incorporation were filed with the Commission;

3. The date and time on which the Commission's certificate of abandonment or restatement becomes effective; and

4. A statement that the amendment or restatement of the articles of incorporation is being abandoned in accordance with this section.

2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-713. Effect of amendment of articles of incorporation.

A. An amendment of the articles of incorporation does not affect a cause of action existing against or in favor of the corporation, a proceeding to which the corporation is a party, or the existing rights of persons other than the shareholders of the corporation. An amendment changing a corporation's name does not affect a proceeding brought by or against the corporation in its former name.

B. A shareholder who becomes subject to new interest holder liability in respect of the corporation as a result of an amendment of the articles of incorporation shall have that new interest holder liability only in respect of interest holder liabilities that arise after the amendment becomes effective.

C. Except as otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation, the interest holder liability of a shareholder who had interest holder liability in respect of the corporation before the amendment becomes effective and has new interest holder liability after the amendment becomes effective shall be as follows:

1. The amendment does not discharge that prior interest holder liability with respect to any interest holder liabilities that arose before the amendment becomes effective.

2. The provisions of the articles of incorporation relating to interest holder liability as in effect immediately prior to the amendment shall continue to apply to the collection or discharge of any interest holder liabilities preserved by subdivision 1, as if the amendment had not occurred.

3. The shareholder shall have such rights of contribution from other persons as are provided by the articles of incorporation relating to interest holder liability as in effect immediately prior to the amendment with respect to any interest holder liabilities preserved by subdivision 1, as if the amendment had not occurred.

4. The shareholder shall not, by reason of such prior interest holder liability, have interest holder liability with respect to any interest holder liabilities that arise after the amendment becomes effective.

D. As used in this section, "new interest holder liability" has the same meaning as provided in § 13.1-707.

Code 1950, § 13.1-60; 1956, c. 428; 1985, c. 522; 2005, c. 765; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-714. Amendment of bylaws by board of directors or shareholders.

A. A corporation's shareholders may amend or repeal the corporation's bylaws.

B. A corporation's board of directors may amend or repeal the corporation's bylaws except to the extent that:

1. The articles of incorporation or § 13.1-715 reserves that power exclusively to the shareholders; or

2. Except as provided in subsection E of § 13.1-624, the shareholders in amending, repealing, or adopting a bylaw expressly provide that the board of directors may not amend, repeal, or reinstate that bylaw.

C. A shareholder of the corporation does not have a vested property right resulting from any provision in the bylaws.

Code 1950, §§ 13-10, 13.1-24; 1956, c. 428; 1985, c. 522; 2005, c. 765; 2010, c. 782; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-715. Bylaw provisions increasing quorum or voting requirements for the board of directors.

A. A bylaw that increases a quorum or voting requirement for the board of directors may be amended or repealed:

1. If originally adopted by the shareholders, only by the shareholders, unless the bylaw otherwise provides; or

2. If adopted by the board of directors, either by the shareholders or by the board of directors.

B. A bylaw adopted or amended by the shareholders that increases a quorum or voting requirement for the board of directors may provide that it may be amended or repealed only by a specified vote of either the shareholders or the board of directors.

C. Action by the board of directors under subsection A to amend or repeal a bylaw that changes the quorum or voting requirement for the board of directors must meet the same quorum requirement and be adopted by the same vote required to take action under the quorum and voting requirement then in effect.

1985, c. 522; 2005, c. 765; 2019, c. 734.

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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