Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 13.1. Corporations
Chapter 9. Virginia Stock Corporation Act

Article 4. Purposes and Powers.

§ 13.1-626. Purposes.

Every corporation incorporated under this Act has the purpose of engaging in any lawful business unless 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 § 13.1-620, or any other law of this Commonwealth.

1985, c. 522.

§ 13.1-627. 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 make and amend bylaws, not inconsistent with its articles of incorporation or with the laws of the Commonwealth;

4. 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;

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

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

7. To make contracts and guarantees, incur liabilities, borrow money, issue its notes, bonds, and other securities and 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;

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

9. To conduct its business, locate offices, and exercise the powers granted by this chapter in or outside of the Commonwealth;

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

11. To pay pensions and establish pension plans, pension trusts, profit sharing plans, share bonus plans, share option plans, share purchase 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;

12. To make donations for the public welfare or for religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes, except that corporations subject to regulation as to rates by the Commission shall not have power to make donations in excess of five percent of net income computed before federal and state taxes on income and without taking into account any deduction for gifts;

13. Except as otherwise provided in subsection B, to be a promoter, partner, member, associate, or manager of any partnership, joint venture, trust, or other entity;

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 insure for its benefit the life of any of its directors, officers or employees, to insure the life of any shareholder for the purpose of acquiring at his death shares owned by such shareholder and to continue such insurance after the relationship terminates;

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

18. 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 public service company, 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 public service companies, 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. The term "public service company" as used in this subsection shall not apply to railroads, which shall have the power given other corporations generally by this subsection. The foregoing limitation on public service companies shall not apply to partnership agreements, joint ventures, or other associations where the purposes of such partnerships, joint ventures, or other associations are activities that the public service company could lawfully engage in without participation in a partnership, joint venture, or association and will require an equity investment by the public service company and debt with recourse to the public service company of an amount not more than one percent of its net equity as measured at the end of the most recent fiscal year so long as all such partnerships, joint ventures, and associations collectively will require an equity investment by the public service company and debt with recourse to the public service company of less than five percent of the net equity of the public service company as measured at the end of the most recent fiscal year. Upon application by the public service company, the Commission may approve any partnership agreements, joint ventures, or other associations that exceed the equity investment criteria set forth above. The foregoing limitation on public service companies shall not apply to partnership agreements, joint ventures, or other associations between telephone companies and telephone companies, whether in corporate or other form, or between telephone companies and commonly owned affiliates of telephone companies for the purpose of providing domestic cellular radio telecommunication service.

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 and loan associations, 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 that 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 Stock Corporation Act (§ 13.1-601 et seq.) enacted by Chapter 428 of the 1956 Acts of General Assembly; 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)(A) or (B) 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, § 13.1-2.1; 1975, c. 500; 1977, c. 508; 1983, c. 534; 1984, c. 406; 1985, c. 522; 1993, cc. 61, 143, 419; 1994, c. 452; 1996, cc. 16, 257; 2005, c. 765; 2015, c. 611; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-628. 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; 2005, c. 765.

§ 13.1-629. Lack of power to act.

A. Except as provided in subsection B, the validity of 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 shareholder 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 director, officer, employee, or agent of the corporation; or

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

C. In a shareholder's proceeding under subdivision 1 of subsection B to enjoin an unauthorized corporate act, if equitable and if all affected persons are parties to the proceeding, 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, § 13.1-5; 1956, c. 428; 1985, c. 522; 2019, c. 734.