Code of Virginia

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

Article 8. Shareholders.

§ 13.1-654. Annual meeting.

A. Unless directors are elected by written consent in lieu of an annual meeting as permitted by § 13.1-657, a corporation shall hold a meeting of shareholders annually at a time stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws, except that a corporation registered under the federal Investment Company Act of 1940 is not required to hold an annual meeting in any year in which the election of directors is not required to be held under the federal Investment Company Act of 1940 unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the corporation require an annual meeting to be held.

B. Except as otherwise determined by the board of directors acting pursuant to subsection C of § 13.1-660.2, annual meetings may be held, in or outside of the Commonwealth at the place stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws or, if not inconsistent with the bylaws, in the notice of the meeting.

C. The failure to hold an annual meeting at the time stated in or fixed in accordance with the corporation's bylaws does not affect the validity of any corporate action.

Code 1950, § 13.1-25; 1956, c. 428; 1975, c. 500; 1985, c. 522; 1990, c. 228; 2003, c. 728; 2005, c. 765; 2007, c. 165; 2012, c. 706; 2017, c. 646; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-655. Special meeting.

A. A corporation shall hold a special meeting of shareholders:

1. On call of the chairman of the board of directors, the president, the board of directors, or the person or persons authorized to do so by the articles of incorporation or bylaws; or

2. In the case of a corporation that is not a public corporation and that has 35 or fewer shareholders of record, if the holders of at least 20 percent of all the votes entitled to be cast on an issue proposed to be considered at the special meeting sign, date, and deliver to the corporation's secretary one or more written demands for the meeting describing the purpose or purposes for which it is to be held. For such a corporation, the articles of incorporation may provide for an increase or decrease in the percentage stated in this subdivision or may prohibit shareholders from calling a special meeting.

B. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation, a written demand for a special meeting may be revoked by a writing, including an electronic transmission, to that effect received by the corporation's secretary before the start of the special meeting.

C. If not otherwise fixed under § 13.1-656 or 13.1-660, the record date for determining shareholders entitled to demand a special meeting shall be the first date on which a signed shareholder demand is delivered to the corporation's secretary. No written demand for a special meeting shall be effective unless, within 60 days of the earliest date on which such a demand delivered to the corporation's secretary as required by this section was signed, written demands signed by shareholders that satisfy the requirements of subsection A have been delivered to the corporation's secretary.

D. Except as otherwise determined by the board of directors acting pursuant to subsection C of § 13.1-660.2, special meetings of shareholders may be held in or outside of the Commonwealth at the place stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws. If no place is so stated or fixed, special meetings shall be held at the corporation's principal office.

E. Only business within the purpose or purposes described in the meeting notice required by subsection C of § 13.1-658 may be conducted at a special meeting of shareholders.

Code 1950, § 13.1-25; 1956, c. 428; 1975, c. 500; 1985, c. 522; 2003, c. 728; 2005, c. 765; 2012, c. 706; 2017, c. 646; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-656. Court-ordered meeting.

A. The circuit court of the city or county where a corporation's principal office is located or, if none in the Commonwealth, where its registered office is located, may, after notice to the corporation, order a meeting of shareholders to be held:

1. On petition of any shareholder of the corporation if an annual meeting was not held or action by written consent in lieu of an annual meeting did not become effective within 15 months after its last annual meeting or, if there has been no annual meeting, the date of its incorporation; or

2. On petition of one or more shareholders who signed a demand for a special meeting valid under subsection A of § 13.1-655 if:

a. Notice of the special meeting was not given within 30 days after the first day on which the requisite number of such demands have been delivered to the corporation's secretary; or

b. The special meeting was not held in accordance with the notice.

B. The court may fix the date, time, and place of the meeting, determine the shares entitled to participate in the meeting, specify a record date or dates for determining shareholders entitled to notice of and to vote at the meeting, prescribe the form and content of the meeting notice, fix the quorum required for specific matters to be considered at the meeting, or direct that the shares 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.

1985, c. 522; 2005, c. 765; 2007, c. 165; 2010, c. 782; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-657. Action without meeting.

A. Action required or permitted by this chapter to be taken at a shareholders' meeting may be taken without a meeting if the action is taken by all the shareholders entitled to vote on the action, in which case no action by the board of directors shall be required. The action shall be evidenced by one or more written consents bearing the date of signature and describing the action taken, signed by all the shareholders entitled to vote on the action and delivered to the corporation's secretary for filing by the corporation with the minutes of the meeting or corporate records.

B. The articles of incorporation may authorize action by shareholders by less than unanimous written consent, provided that the taking of such action is consistent with any requirements that may be set forth in the articles of incorporation, the bylaws, or this section; however, unless the articles of incorporation of a public corporation authorized action by shareholders by less than unanimous written consent as of April 1, 2018, the shareholders of the public corporation shall not be entitled to act by less than unanimous written consent even if so authorized by the articles of incorporation if the articles of incorporation or bylaws of such public corporation allow the holders of 30 percent or fewer of all votes entitled to be cast to demand the calling of a special meeting of shareholders. For action by shareholders by less than unanimous written consent to be valid:

1. It shall be an action that this chapter requires or permits to be taken at a shareholders' meeting;

2. The articles of incorporation shall authorize action by shareholders by less than unanimous written consent and, if a public corporation at the time of such authorization in addition to the other limitations in this subsection B, the inclusion of the authorization in the articles of incorporation was approved by each voting group entitled to vote by the greater of:

a. The vote of that voting group required by the articles of incorporation to amend the articles of incorporation; and

b. More than two-thirds of all votes that the voting group is entitled to cast on the amendment;

3. At least 10 days before the holders of more than 10 percent of the outstanding shares of any voting group entitled to vote on the action to be taken have signed the written consent, the corporation's secretary shall have received a copy of the form of written consent setting forth the action to be taken;

4. If required by this chapter, the articles of incorporation, or the bylaws, the board of directors shall have approved this action; and

5. The holders of not less than the minimum number of outstanding shares of each voting group entitled to vote on the action that would be required to take the action at a shareholders' meeting at which all shares of each voting group entitled to vote on the action were present and voted shall have signed written consents setting forth the action to be taken.

C. A written consent shall bear the date on which each shareholder signed the consent and be delivered to the corporation's secretary for inclusion in the minutes or filing with the corporate records.

D. If not otherwise fixed under § 13.1-656 or 13.1-660 and if prior action by the board of directors is not required respecting the action to be taken without a meeting, the record date for determining the shareholders entitled to take action without a meeting shall be the first date on which a signed written consent is delivered to the corporation's secretary. If not otherwise fixed under § 13.1-656 or 13.1-660 and if prior action by the board of directors is required respecting the action to be taken without a meeting, the record date shall be the close of business on the day the action of the board is taken. No written consent shall be effective to take the action referred to in such consent unless, within 60 days of the earliest date on which a consent delivered to the corporation's secretary as required by this section was signed, written consents signed by the holders of shares having sufficient votes to take the corporate action have been delivered to the corporation's secretary. A written consent may be revoked by a writing to that effect delivered to the corporation's secretary before unrevoked written consents sufficient in number to take the corporate action are delivered to the corporation.

E. A consent signed pursuant to the provisions of this section has the effect of a vote taken at a meeting and may be described as such in any document. Unless the articles of incorporation, bylaws, or a resolution of the board of directors provides for a reasonable delay to permit tabulation of written consents, the action taken by written consent shall be effective when (i) written consents signed by the holders of shares having sufficient votes to adopt or take the action are delivered to the corporation's secretary or (ii) if an effective date is specified therein, as of such date provided such consent states the date of execution by the consenting shareholder.

F. For purposes of this section, a written consent and the signing thereof may be accomplished by one or more electronic transmissions.

G. Any person, whether or not then a shareholder, may provide that a consent in writing as a shareholder shall be effective at a future time, including the time when an event occurs, but such future time shall not be more than 60 days after such provision is made. Any such consent shall be deemed to have been made for purposes of this section at the future time so specified for the consent to be effective, provided that (i) the person is a shareholder at such future time and (ii) the person did not revoke the consent prior to such future time. Any such consent may be revoked, in the manner provided in subsection D, prior to its becoming effective.

H. If this chapter requires that notice of a proposed action be given to nonvoting shareholders and the action is to be taken by written consent of the voting shareholders, the corporation shall give its nonvoting shareholders written notice of the action not more than 10 days after (i) written consents sufficient to take the action have been delivered to the corporation's secretary, or (ii) such later date that tabulation of consents is completed pursuant to an authorization under subsection E. The notice shall reasonably describe the action taken and contain or be accompanied by the same material that, under any provision of this chapter, would have been required to be sent to nonvoting shareholders in a notice of a meeting at which the proposed action would have been submitted to the shareholders for action.

I. If action is taken by less than unanimous written consent of the voting shareholders, the corporation shall give its nonconsenting voting shareholders written notice of the action not more than 10 days after (i) written consents sufficient to take the action have been delivered to the corporation's secretary or (ii) such later date that tabulation of consents is completed pursuant to an authorization under subsection E. The notice shall reasonably describe the action taken and contain or be accompanied by the same material, that under any provision of this chapter, would have been required to be sent to voting shareholders in a notice of a meeting at which the action would have been submitted to the shareholders for action.

J. The notice requirements in subsections H and I shall not delay the effectiveness of actions taken by written consent, and a failure to comply with such notice requirements shall not invalidate actions taken by written consent, provided that this subsection shall not be deemed to limit judicial power to fashion any appropriate remedy in favor of a shareholder adversely affected by a failure to give such notice within the required time period.

Code 1950, § 13.1-28; 1956, c. 428; 1985, c. 522; 1999, c. 416; 2003, c. 728; 2005, c. 765; 2007, c. 165; 2008, c. 91; 2010, c. 782; 2012, c. 706; 2015, c. 611; 2018, cc. 267, 308; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-658. Notice of meeting.

A. Except as otherwise provided in subsection F, a corporation shall notify shareholders of the date, time, and place, if any, of each annual and special shareholders' meeting no fewer than 10 nor more than 60 days before the meeting date except that notice of a shareholders' meeting to act on an amendment of the articles of incorporation, a plan of merger, share exchange, domestication, or conversion, a proposed sale of assets pursuant to § 13.1-724, or the dissolution of the corporation shall be given not fewer than 25 nor more than 60 days before the meeting date. If the board of directors has authorized participation by means of remote communication pursuant to § 13.1-660.2 for holders of any class or series of shares, the notice to the holders of such class or series of shares shall describe the means of remote communication to be used. The notice shall include the record date for determining the shareholders entitled to vote at the meeting, if such date is different from the record date for determining shareholders entitled to notice of the meeting. Unless this chapter or the articles of incorporation require otherwise, the corporation is required to give notice only to shareholders entitled to vote at the meeting as of the record date for determining the shareholders entitled to notice of the meeting.

B. Unless the articles of incorporation or this chapter requires otherwise, notice of an annual meeting of shareholders need not state the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called.

C. Notice of a special meeting of shareholders shall state the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called.

D. If not otherwise fixed under § 13.1-656 or 13.1-660, 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.

E. 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, if any, is announced at the meeting before adjournment. If a new record date for the adjourned meeting is or shall be fixed under § 13.1-660, however, notice of the adjourned meeting shall be given not fewer than 10 days before the meeting date to shareholders entitled to vote at such adjourned meeting as of the record date fixed for notice of such adjourned meeting.

F. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no notice of a shareholders' meeting need be given to a shareholder if (i) an annual report and proxy statements for two consecutive annual meetings of shareholders or (ii) all, and at least two, checks in payment of dividends or interest on securities during a 12-month period, have been sent by first-class United States mail, addressed to the shareholder at the shareholder's address as it appears on the share transfer books of the corporation, and returned undeliverable. The obligation of the corporation to give notice of shareholders' meetings to any such shareholder shall be reinstated once the corporation has received a new address for such shareholder for entry on its share transfer books.

Code 1950, § 13.1-26; 1956, c. 428; 1958, c. 564; 1975, c. 500; 1984, c. 301; 1985, c. 522; 1999, c. 102; 2001, c. 545; 2002, cc. 1, 285; 2005, c. 765; 2010, c. 782; 2015, c. 611; 2017, c. 646; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-659. Waiver of notice.

A. A shareholder may waive any notice required by this chapter, the articles of incorporation, or bylaws before or after the date and time stated in the notice. The waiver shall be in writing, be signed by the shareholder entitled to the notice, and be delivered to the corporation's secretary for filing by the corporation with the minutes or corporate records.

B. A shareholder's attendance at a meeting:

1. 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; and

2. Waives objection to consideration of a particular matter at the 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.

Code 1950, § 13.1-27; 1956, c. 428; 1985, c. 522; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-660. Record date for meeting.

A. The bylaws may fix or provide the manner of fixing in advance the record date or dates for one or more voting groups to determine the shareholders entitled to notice of a shareholders' meeting, to demand a special meeting, to vote or take action by written consent, or to take any other action. If the bylaws do not fix or provide the manner of fixing a record date, the board of directors may fix in advance the record date or dates.

B. A record date fixed under this section may not be more than 70 days before the meeting or action requiring a determination of shareholders.

C. 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 or dates, which it shall do if the meeting is adjourned to a date more than 120 days after the date fixed for the original meeting.

D. If a court orders a meeting adjourned to a date more than 120 days after the date fixed for the original meeting, it may provide that the original record date or dates continue in effect or it may fix a new record date or dates.

E. The record dates for a shareholders' meeting fixed by or in the manner provided in the bylaws or by the board of directors shall be the record date for determining shareholders entitled both to notice of and to vote at the shareholders' meeting, unless in the case of a record date fixed by the board of directors and to the extent not prohibited by the bylaws, the board of directors, at the time it fixes the record date for shareholders entitled to notice of the meeting, fixes a later record date on or before the date of the meeting to determine the shareholders entitled to vote at the meeting.

Code 1950, §§ 13-192, 13.1-29; 1952, c. 88; 1956, c. 428; 1985, c. 522; 2005, c. 765; 2010, c. 782; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-660.1. Conduct of the meeting.

A. At each meeting of shareholders, a chairman shall preside. The chairman shall be appointed as provided in the articles of incorporation, bylaws, or, in the absence of such provision, by the board of directors.

B. Unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws provide otherwise, the chairman shall determine the order of business and shall have the authority to establish rules for the conduct of the meeting.

C. The chairman of the meeting shall announce at the meeting when the polls open and close for each matter voted upon. If no announcement is made, the polls shall be deemed to have opened at the beginning of the meeting and closed upon the final adjournment of the meeting.

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

§ 13.1-660.2. Remote participation in shareholders' meetings.

A. Shareholders of any class or series of shares may participate in any meeting of shareholders by means of remote communication to the extent the board of directors authorizes such participation for such class or series. Participation as a shareholder by means of remote communication shall be subject to such guidelines and procedures as the board of directors adopts.

B. Shareholders participating in a shareholders' meeting by means of remote communication shall be deemed present and may vote at such a meeting if the corporation has implemented reasonable measures to:

1. Verify that each person participating remotely as a shareholder is a shareholder or a shareholder's proxy; and

2. Provide such shareholders a reasonable opportunity to participate in the meeting and to vote on matters submitted to the shareholders, including an opportunity to read or hear the proceedings of the meeting, substantially concurrently with such proceedings.

C. Unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws require the meeting of shareholders to be held at a place, the board of directors may determine that any meeting of shareholders shall not be held at any place and shall instead be held solely by means of remote communication in conformity with subsection B.

2010, c. 782; 2017, c. 646; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-661. Shareholders' list for meeting.

A. After fixing a record date for a meeting, a corporation shall prepare an alphabetical list of the names of all its shareholders who are entitled to notice of a shareholders' meeting. If the board of directors fixes a different record date under subsection E of § 13.1-660 to determine the shareholders entitled to vote at the meeting, a corporation also shall prepare an alphabetical list of the names of all its shareholders who are entitled to vote at the meeting. A list shall 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. Nothing contained in this subsection shall require the corporation to include on such list the electronic mail address or other electronic contact information of a shareholder.

B. The shareholders' list for notice shall be available for inspection by any shareholder, beginning two business days after notice of the meeting is given for which the list was prepared and continuing through the meeting, at the corporation's principal office or at a place identified in the meeting notice in the county or city where the meeting will be held. A shareholders' list for voting shall be similarly available for inspection promptly after the record date for voting. The original share transfer books shall be prima facie evidence as to who are the shareholders entitled to examine such list or to vote at any meeting of shareholders. A shareholder, or the shareholder's agent or attorney, is entitled on written demand to inspect and, subject to the requirements of subsection D of § 13.1-771, to copy a list, during regular business hours and at the shareholder's expense, during the period it is available for inspection.

C. The corporation shall make the list of shareholders entitled to vote available at the meeting, and any shareholder, or the shareholder's agent or attorney, is entitled to inspect the list at any time during the meeting or any adjournment.

D. If the corporation refuses to allow a shareholder or the shareholder's agent or attorney to inspect a shareholders' list before or at the meeting, or to copy a list as permitted by subsection B, the circuit court of the county or city where the corporation's principal office, or if none in the Commonwealth its registered office, is located, on application of the shareholder, may summarily order the inspection or copying at the corporation's expense and may postpone the meeting for which the list was prepared until the inspection or copying is complete.

E. Refusal or failure to prepare or make available the shareholders' list does not affect the validity of action taken at the meeting.

Code 1950, § 13.1-30; 1956, c. 428; 1964, c. 418; 1975, c. 500; 1985, c. 522; 2010, c. 782; 2012, c. 706; 2017, c. 646; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-662. Voting entitlement of shares.

A. Except as provided in subsections B, C, D, and E or unless the articles of incorporation provide otherwise, each outstanding share, regardless of class or series, is entitled to one vote on each matter voted on at a shareholders' meeting. Only shares are entitled to vote.

B. Unless the articles of incorporation provide otherwise, in the election of directors each outstanding share, regardless of class or series, is entitled to one vote for as many persons as there are directors to be elected at that time and for whose election the shareholder has a right to vote.

C. Redeemable shares are not entitled to vote after delivery of written notice of redemption is effective and a sum sufficient to redeem the shares has been deposited with a bank, trust company, or other financial institution under an irrevocable obligation to pay the holders the redemption price on surrender of the shares.

D. Shares of a corporation are not entitled to vote if they are owned directly or indirectly through an entity of which a majority of the voting power is held directly or indirectly by the corporation or that is otherwise controlled by the corporation.

E. If a corporation holds in a fiduciary capacity its own shares directly, or indirectly through an entity of which a majority of the voting power is held directly or indirectly by the corporation or that is otherwise controlled by the corporation, such shares shall not be deemed to be outstanding and entitled to vote unless:

1. The corporation has authority to vote the shares only in accordance with directions of the principal or beneficiary; or

2. A co-fiduciary exists, pursuant to § 6.2-1011 or otherwise, in which event the co-fiduciary may vote the shares.

F. Shares standing in the name of another corporation, domestic or foreign, may be voted by such officers, agent, or proxy as the bylaws of such corporation may prescribe, or, in the absence of such provision, as the board of directors of such corporation may determine.

G. Shares standing in the name of a partnership may be voted by any partner. Shares standing in the name of a limited liability company may be voted as the articles of organization or an operating agreement may prescribe, or in the absence of any such provision as the managers, or if there are no managers, the members of the limited liability company may determine.

H. Shares held by three or fewer persons as joint tenants or tenants in common or tenants by the entirety may be voted by any of such persons. If more than one of such tenants votes such shares, the vote shall be divided among them in proportion to the number of such tenants voting.

I. Shares held by an administrator, executor, guardian, conservator, committee, or curator representing the shareholder may be voted by such person without a transfer of such shares into such person's name. Shares standing in the name of a trustee may be voted by the trustee, but no trustee is entitled to vote shares held by the trustee without a transfer of such shares into the trustee's name.

J. Shares standing in the name of a receiver or a trustee in proceedings under the federal Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 may be voted by such person. Shares held by or under the control of a receiver or a trustee in proceedings under the federal Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 may be voted by such person without the transfer thereof into such person's name if authority to do so is contained in an order of the court by which such person was appointed.

K. Nothing herein contained shall prevent trustees or other fiduciaries holding shares registered in the name of a nominee pursuant to § 6.2-1010 from causing such shares to be voted by such nominee as the trustee or other fiduciary may direct. Such nominee may vote shares as directed by a trustee or other fiduciary without the necessity of transferring the shares to the name of the trustee or other fiduciary.

L. A shareholder whose shares are pledged is entitled to vote such shares until the shares have been transferred into the name of the pledgee, and thereafter the pledgee is entitled to vote the shares so transferred.

M. The articles of incorporation may provide that the holders of bonds or debentures shall be entitled to vote on specified matters and such right shall not be terminated except upon consent of the holders of two-thirds in aggregate principal amount.

N. Subject to the provisions of § 13.1-665, when shares are held by more than one of the fiduciaries referred to in this section, the shares shall be voted as determined by a majority of such fiduciaries, except that (i) if they are equally divided as to a vote, the vote of the shares is divided equally and (ii) if only one of such fiduciaries is present in person or by proxy at a meeting, the fiduciary shall be entitled to vote all the shares. A proxy apparently executed by one of several of such fiduciaries shall be presumed to be valid until challenged and the burden of proving invalidity shall rest on the challenger.

Code 1950, §§ 13-192 to 13-198, 13-203, 13.1-32; 1956, c. 428; 1958, c. 564; 1975, c. 500; 1984, c. 366; 1985, c. 522; 1990, c. 267; 1997, c. 801; 2005, c. 765; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-663. Proxies.

A. A shareholder may vote the shareholder's shares in person or by proxy.

B. A shareholder, or the shareholder's agent or attorney-in-fact, may appoint a proxy to vote or otherwise act for the shareholder by signing an appointment form or by an electronic transmission. An electronic transmission shall contain or be accompanied by information from which the recipient can determine the date of the transmission and that the transmission was authorized by the sender or the sender's agent or attorney-in-fact.

C. An appointment of a proxy is effective when a signed appointment form or an electronic transmission of the appointment is received by the inspectors of election or the officer or agent of the corporation authorized to count votes. An appointment is valid for the term provided in the appointment form and, if no term is provided, is valid for 11 months unless the appointment is irrevocable under subsection D.

D. An appointment of a proxy is revocable unless the appointment form or electronic transmission states that it is irrevocable and the appointment is coupled with an interest. Appointments coupled with an interest include the appointment of:

1. A pledgee;

2. A person who purchased or agreed to purchase the shares;

3. A creditor of the corporation who extended it credit under terms requiring the appointment;

4. An employee of the corporation whose employment contract requires the appointment; or

5. A party to a voting agreement created under § 13.1-671.

E. 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 corporation's secretary or other officer or agent authorized to count votes before the proxy exercises authority under the appointment.

F. An appointment made irrevocable under subsection D is revoked when the interest with which it is coupled is extinguished.

G. Unless it otherwise provides, an appointment made irrevocable under subsection D continues in effect after a transfer of the shares and a transferee takes subject to the appointment, except that 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 acquiring 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.

H. Subject to § 13.1-665 and to any express limitation on the proxy's authority stated in the appointment form or electronic transmission, a corporation is entitled to accept the proxy's vote or other action as that of the shareholder making the appointment.

Code 1950, §§ 13-193 to 13-198, 13-203, 13.1-32; 1956, c. 428; 1958, c. 564; 1975, c. 500; 1984, c. 366; 1985, c. 522; 1991, c. 405; 2005, c. 765; 2010, c. 782; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-664. Shares held by intermediaries and nominees.

A. A corporation's board of directors may establish a procedure under which a person on whose behalf shares are registered in the name of an intermediary or nominee may elect to be treated by the corporation as the record shareholder by filing with the corporation's secretary a beneficial ownership certificate. The terms, conditions, and limitations of this treatment shall be specified in the procedure. To the extent such person is treated under such procedure as having rights or privileges that the record shareholder otherwise would have, the record shareholder shall not have those rights or privileges.

B. The procedure shall specify:

1. The types of intermediaries or nominees to which it applies;

2. The rights or privileges that the corporation recognizes in a person with respect to whom a beneficial ownership certificate is filed;

3. The manner in which the procedure is selected, which shall include that the beneficial ownership certificate be signed or assented to by or on behalf of the record shareholder and the person on whose behalf the shares are held;

4. The information that must be provided when the procedure is selected;

5. The period for which selection of the procedure is effective;

6. Requirements for notice to the corporation with respect to the arrangement; and

7. The form and contents of the beneficial ownership certificate.

C. The procedure may specify any other aspects of the rights and duties that may be included in a beneficial ownership certificate.

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

§ 13.1-664.1. Inspectors of election.

A. A public corporation shall, and any other corporation may, appoint one or more inspectors to act at a shareholders' meeting in connection with determining voting results. Each inspector shall verify in writing that the inspector will faithfully execute the duties of inspector with strict impartiality and according to the best of the inspector's ability. An inspector may be an officer or employee of the corporation. An inspector may appoint or retain other persons to assist the inspector in the performance of the inspector's duties under subsection B, and may rely on information provided by such persons and other persons, including those appointed to count votes, unless the inspectors believe reliance is unwarranted.

B. The inspectors shall:

1. Ascertain the number of shares outstanding and the voting power of each;

2. Determine the shares represented at a meeting;

3. Determine the validity of proxy appointments and ballots;

4. Count all votes; and

5. Make a written report of the results.

C. No ballots, proxies, or votes, nor any revocations thereof or changes thereto, may be accepted after the closing of the polls unless the circuit court of the city or county where the corporation's principal office is located or, if none in the Commonwealth, where its registered office is located, upon application by a shareholder, shall determine otherwise.

D. In performing their duties, the inspectors may examine (i) the proxy appointment forms or electronic transmissions and any other information provided in accordance with subsection B of § 13.1-663, (ii) any envelope or related writing submitted with those appointment forms, (iii) any ballots, (iv) any evidence or other information specified in § 13.1-665, and (v) the relevant books and records of the corporation relating to its shareholders and their entitlement to vote, including any securities position list provided by a depository clearing agency.

E. The inspectors also may consider other information that they believe is relevant and reliable for the purpose of performing any of the duties assigned to them pursuant to subsection B, including for the purpose of evaluating inconsistent, incomplete, or erroneous information and reconciling information submitted by or on behalf of banks, brokers, their nominees, or similar persons that indicates more votes being cast than a proxy authorized by the record shareholder is entitled to cast. If the inspectors consider other information allowed by this subsection, they shall in their report under subsection B specify the information considered by them, including the purpose or purposes for which the information was considered, the person or persons from whom they obtained the information, when the information was obtained, the means by which the information was obtained, and the basis for the inspectors' belief that such information is relevant and reliable.

F. Determinations of law by the inspectors are subject to de novo review by a court in a proceeding under § 13.1-669.1 or other judicial proceeding.

1991, c. 405; 2002, c. 285; 2005, c. 765; 2010, c. 782; 2015, c. 611; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-665. Corporation's acceptance of votes.

A. If the name signed on a vote, ballot, 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, ballot, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment and give it effect as the act of the shareholder.

B. If the name signed on a vote, ballot, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment does not correspond to the name of the shareholder, the corporation, if acting in good faith, is nevertheless entitled to accept the vote, ballot, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment and give it effect as the act of the shareholder if:

1. The shareholder is an entity and the name signed purports to be that of an officer or agent of the entity;

2. The name signed purports to be that of an administrator, executor, guardian, conservator, committee, or curator representing the shareholder and, if the corporation requests, evidence of fiduciary status acceptable to the corporation has been presented with respect to the vote, ballot, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment;

3. The name signed 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, ballot, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment;

4. The name signed 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, ballot, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment; or

5. Three or fewer persons are the shareholder as co-tenants or fiduciaries and the name signed purports to be the name of at least one of the co-owners and the person signing appears to be acting on behalf of all the co-owners.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions B 2 and B 5, in any case in which the will, trust agreement, or other instrument under which a fiduciary purports to act contains directions for the voting of shares in any corporation, or for the execution and delivery of proxies for the voting thereof, such directions shall be binding upon the fiduciary and upon the corporation if a copy thereof has been furnished to the corporation.

D. The corporation is entitled to reject a vote, ballot, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment if the person authorized to accept or reject such instrument or count votes, acting in good faith, has reasonable basis for doubt about the validity of the signature on it or about the signatory's authority to sign for the shareholder.

E. Neither the corporation nor the person authorized to count votes, including an inspector of election under § 13.1-664.1, that accepts or rejects a vote, ballot, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment in good faith and in accordance with the standards of this section or subsection B of § 13.1-663 is liable in damages to the shareholder for the consequences of the acceptance or rejection.

F. Corporate action based on the acceptance or rejection of a vote, ballot, consent, waiver, or proxy appointment under this section is valid unless a court of competent jurisdiction determines otherwise.

G. If an inspector of election has been appointed under § 13.1-664.1, the inspector of election also has the authority to request information and make determinations under subsections A, B, C, and D.

H. If authorized by the board of directors, any shareholder vote to be taken at a shareholders' meeting may be voted upon by a ballot submitted by electronic transmission by the shareholder or the shareholder's proxy, provided that any such electronic transmission shall either set forth or be submitted with information from which it can be determined that the electronic transmission was authorized by the shareholder or the shareholder's proxy. A share that is voted by a ballot submitted by electronic transmission as permitted by this subsection is deemed present at the shareholders' meeting.

Code 1950, §§ 13-193 to 13-198, 13-203, 13.1-32; 1956, c. 428; 1958, c. 564; 1975, c. 500; 1984, c. 366; 1985, c. 522; 2005, c. 765; 2015, c. 611; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-666. Quorum and voting requirements for voting groups.

A. Shares entitled to vote as a separate voting group may take action at a meeting only if a quorum of those shares exists for the meeting. Unless the articles of incorporation or this chapter provides otherwise, shares representing a majority of the votes entitled to be cast at the meeting by the voting group constitutes a quorum of that voting group for the meeting. Whenever this chapter requires a particular quorum for a specified action, the articles of incorporation may not provide for a lower quorum. Less than a quorum may adjourn a meeting.

B. Once a share is represented for any purpose at a 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 shall be set for that adjourned meeting.

C. If a quorum exists, action on a matter, other than the election of directors, by a voting group is approved if the votes cast within the voting group favoring the action exceed the votes cast opposing the action, unless the articles of incorporation or this chapter requires a greater number of affirmative votes. An abstention or an election by a shareholder not to vote on the action because of the failure to receive voting instructions from the beneficial owner of the shares shall not be considered a vote cast.

D. An amendment of the articles of incorporation adding, changing, or deleting a quorum or voting requirement for a voting group greater than specified in subsection A or C is governed by section § 13.1-668.

E. The election of directors is governed by § 13.1-669.

F. Whenever a provision of this chapter provides for voting of classes or series of shares as separate voting groups, the rules provided in subsection C of § 13.1-708 for amendments of the articles of incorporation apply to that provision.

Code 1950, § 13.1-31; 1956, c. 428; 1985, c. 522; 2007, c. 165; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-667. Action by single and multiple voting groups.

A. If the articles of incorporation or this chapter provides for voting by a single voting group on a matter, action on that matter is taken when voted upon by that voting group as provided in § 13.1-666.

B. If the articles of incorporation or this chapter provides for voting by two or more voting groups on a matter, action on that matter is taken only when voted upon by each of those voting groups counted separately as provided in § 13.1-666. Action may be taken by different voting groups on a matter at different times.

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

§ 13.1-668. Modifying quorum or voting requirements.

A. The articles of incorporation may provide for (i) a lesser or greater quorum requirement for shareholders or voting groups of shareholders, but in each case not less than one third of the shares eligible to vote or (ii) a greater voting requirement for shareholders, or voting groups of shareholders, than is provided by this chapter.

B. An amendment of the articles of incorporation that adds, changes, or deletes a quorum or voting requirement shall 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.

Code 1950, § 13.1-33; 1956, c. 428; 1985, c. 522; 1986, c. 321; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-669. Voting for directors; cumulative voting.

A. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation or the bylaws, directors are elected by a plurality of the votes cast by the shares entitled to vote in the election at a meeting at which a quorum is present.

B. Shareholders do not have a right to cumulate their votes for directors unless the articles of incorporation so provide.

C. A statement included in the articles of incorporation that "[all] or [a designated voting group of] shareholders are entitled to cumulate their votes for directors," or words of similar import, means that the shareholders designated are entitled to multiply the number of votes they are entitled to cast by the number of directors for whom they are entitled to vote and cast the product for a single candidate or distribute the product among two or more candidates.

D. Shares otherwise entitled to vote cumulatively may not be voted cumulatively at a particular meeting unless the meeting notice or proxy statement accompanying the notice states conspicuously that cumulative voting is authorized.

E. If a corporation's articles of incorporation authorize shareholders to cumulate their votes when electing directors, directors may not be elected by written consent pursuant to § 13.1-657 unless it is unanimous.

Code 1950, §§ 13-193 to 13-198, 13-203, 13.1-32; 1956, c. 428; 1958, c. 564; 1975, c. 500; 1984, c. 366; 1985, c. 522; 2005, c. 765; 2007, c. 165; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-669.1. Judicial determination of corporate offices and review of elections and shareholder votes.

A. Upon application of, or in a proceeding commenced by, a person specified in subsection B, the circuit court in the county or city in which the principal office of the corporation is located, or, if none in the Commonwealth, in the county or city in which its registered office is located may determine:

1. The result or validity of the election, appointment, removal, or resignation of a director or officer of the corporation;

2. The right of an individual to hold the office of director or officer of the corporation;

3. The result or validity of any vote by the shareholders of the corporation;

4. The right of a director to membership on a committee of the board of directors; and

5. The right of a person to nominate, or an individual to be nominated as, a candidate for election or appointment as a director of the corporation, and any right under a bylaw adopted pursuant to subsection C of § 13.1-624 or any comparable right under any provision of the articles of incorporation, a contract, or applicable law.

B. Any application or proceeding pursuant to subsection A may be filed or commenced by any of the following persons:

1. The corporation;

2. A record shareholder, beneficial shareholder or unrestricted voting trust beneficial owner of the corporation;

3. A director of the corporation, an individual claiming the office of director, or a director whose membership on a committee of the board of directors is contested, who, in each case, is seeking a determination of the individual's right to such office or membership;

4. An officer of the corporation or an individual claiming to be an officer of the corporation, in each case who is seeking a determination of the individual's right to such office; or

5. A person claiming a right covered by subdivision A 5 and who is seeking a determination of such right.

C. In connection with any application or proceeding under subsection A, the following shall be named as defendants, unless such person made the application or commenced the proceeding:

1. The corporation;

2. An individual whose right to office or membership on a committee of the board of directors is contested;

3. Any individual claiming the office or membership at issue; and

4. Any person claiming a right covered by subdivision A 5 that is at issue.

D. In connection with any application or proceeding under subsection A, service of process may be made upon each of the persons specified in subsection C either by:

1. Serving on the corporation process addressed to such person in any manner provided by statute of the Commonwealth or by rule of the applicable court for service of process on the corporation; or

2. Serving on such person process in any manner provided by statute of the Commonwealth or by rule of the applicable court.

E. When service of process is made upon a person other than the corporation by service upon the corporation pursuant to subdivision D 1, the plaintiff and the corporation promptly shall provide written notice of such service, together with copies of all process and the application or complaint, to such person at the person's last known residence or business address, or as permitted by statute of the Commonwealth, or by rule of the applicable court.

F. In connection with any application or proceeding under subsection A, the court shall dispose of the application or proceeding on an expedited basis and also may:

1. Order such additional or further notice as the court deems proper under the circumstances;

2. Order that additional persons be joined as parties to the proceeding if the court determines that such joinder is necessary for a just adjudication of matters before the court;

3. Order an election or meeting be held in accordance with the provisions of § 13.1-656 or otherwise;

4. Appoint a master to conduct an election or meeting;

5. Enter temporary, preliminary, or permanent injunctive relief;

6. Resolve solely for the purpose of the proceeding any legal or factual issues necessary for the resolution of any of the matters specified in subsection A, including the right and power of persons claiming to own shares to vote at any meeting of the shareholders; and

7. Order such relief as the court determines is equitable, just, and proper.

G. It shall not be necessary to make shareholders parties to a proceeding or application pursuant to this section unless the shareholder is a required defendant under subdivision C 4, relief is sought against the shareholder individually, or the court orders joinder pursuant to subdivision F 2.

H. Nothing in this section limits, restricts, or abolishes the subject matter jurisdiction or powers of the court. An application or proceeding pursuant to this section is not the exclusive remedy or proceeding available with respect to the matters specified in subsection A.

2010, c. 782; 2015, c. 611; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-670. Voting trusts.

A. One or more shareholders may create a voting trust, conferring on a trustee the right to vote or otherwise act for them, by signing an agreement setting out the provisions of the trust, which may include anything consistent with its purpose, and transferring their shares to the trustee. When a voting trust agreement is signed, the trustee shall prepare a list of the names and addresses of all voting trust beneficial owners, together with the number and class or series of shares each transferred to the trust, and deliver copies of the list and agreement to the corporation at its principal office.

B. A voting trust becomes effective on the date the first shares subject to the trust are registered in the trustee's name.

C. Limits, if any, on the duration of a voting trust shall be as set forth in the voting trust, except that a voting trust that became effective prior to July 1, 2015, is valid for not more than 10 years after its effective date unless some or all of the parties to the voting trust extend it by signing a written consent to the extension.

D. Any consent to an extension signed by less than all of the parties to the voting trust binds only the parties signing it.

The voting trustee shall deliver copies of any consent to extension and the list of beneficial owners to the corporation's secretary at the corporation's principal office.

Code 1950, § 13.1-34; 1956, c. 428; 1975, c. 500; 1985, c. 522; 2005, c. 765; 2015, c. 611; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-671. Voting agreements.

A. 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 § 13.1-670.

B. A voting agreement created under this section is specifically enforceable.

Code 1950, § 13.1-34; 1956, c. 428; 1975, c. 500; 1985, c. 522.

§ 13.1-671.1. Shareholder agreements.

A. An agreement among the shareholders of a corporation that complies with this section is effective among the shareholders and the corporation, even though it is inconsistent with one or more other provisions of this chapter in that it:

1. Eliminates the board of directors or, subject to the requirements of subsection D of § 13.1-647 and subsection A of § 13.1-693, one or more officers or restricts the discretion or powers of the board of directors;

2. Governs the authorization or making of distributions, regardless of whether they are in proportion to ownership of shares, subject to the limitations in § 13.1-653;

3. Establishes who shall be directors or officers of the corporation, or their terms of office or manner of selection or removal;

4. Governs, in general or in regard to specific matters, the exercise or division of voting power by or between the shareholders and directors or by or among any of them, including use of weighted voting rights or director proxies;

5. Establishes the terms and conditions of any agreement for the transfer or use of property or the provision of services between the corporation and any shareholder, director, officer or employee of the corporation or among any of them;

6. Transfers to one or more shareholders or other persons all or part of the authority to exercise the corporate powers or to manage the business and affairs of the corporation, including the resolution of any issue about which there exists a deadlock among directors or shareholders;

7. Requires dissolution of the corporation at the request of one or more of the shareholders or upon the occurrence of a specified event or contingency; or

8. Otherwise governs the exercise of the corporate powers or the management of the business and affairs of the corporation or the relationship among the shareholders, the directors and the corporation, or among any of them, and is not contrary to public policy.

B. An agreement authorized by this section shall be:

1. As set forth (i) in the articles of incorporation or bylaws and approved by all persons who are shareholders at the time of the agreement or (ii) in a written agreement that is signed by all persons who are shareholders at the time of the agreement and is made known to the corporation; and

2. Subject to amendment only by all persons who are shareholders at the time of the amendment, unless the agreement provides otherwise.

C. The existence of an agreement authorized by this section shall be noted conspicuously on the front or back of each certificate for outstanding shares or on the information statement required by subsection B of § 13.1-648. If at the time of the agreement the corporation has shares outstanding represented by certificates, the corporation shall recall the outstanding certificates and issue substitute certificates that comply with this subsection. The failure to note the existence of the agreement on the certificate or information statement shall not affect the validity of the agreement or any action taken pursuant to it. Any purchaser of shares who, at the time of purchase, did not have knowledge of the existence of the agreement shall be entitled to rescission of the purchase. A purchaser shall be deemed to have knowledge of the existence of the agreement if its existence is noted on the certificate or information statement for the shares in compliance with this subsection and, if the shares are not represented by a certificate, the information statement is delivered to the purchaser at or before the time of purchase of the shares. An action to enforce the right of rescission authorized by this subsection must be commenced within the earlier of 90 days after discovery of the existence of the agreement or two years after the time of purchase of the shares.

D. An agreement authorized by this section shall cease to be effective when the corporation becomes a public corporation. If the agreement ceases to be effective for any reason, the board of directors may, if the agreement is contained or referred to in the corporation's articles of incorporation or bylaws, adopt an amendment of the articles of incorporation or bylaws, without shareholder action, to delete the agreement and any references to it.

E. An agreement authorized by this section that limits the discretion or powers of the board of directors shall relieve the directors of, and impose upon the person or persons in whom such discretion or powers are vested, liability for acts or omissions imposed by law on directors to the extent that the discretion or powers of the directors are limited by the agreement.

F. The existence or performance of an agreement authorized by this section shall not be a ground for imposing personal liability on any shareholder for the acts or debts of the corporation even if the agreement or its performance treats the corporation as if it were a partnership or results in failure to observe the corporate formalities otherwise applicable to the matters governed by the agreement.

G. Incorporators or subscribers for shares may act as shareholders with respect to an agreement authorized by this section if no shares have been issued when the agreement is made.

H. No action taken pursuant to this section shall change any requirement to file articles or other documents with the Commission or affect the rights of any creditors or other third parties.

I. Limits, if any, on the duration of an agreement authorized by this section shall be as set forth in the agreement, except that the duration of an agreement that became effective prior to July 1, 2015, remains 10 years unless the agreement provided otherwise or is subsequently amended to provide otherwise.

J. An agreement among shareholders of a corporation that is consistent with the other provisions of this chapter that does not comply with the provisions of this section shall nonetheless be effective among the shareholders and the corporation.

1990, c. 337; 1997, c. 226; 2005, c. 765; 2015, c. 611; 2019, c. 734.

§ 13.1-672. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1992, c. 802.

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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