Corporate Annual Meetings of Shareholders in the COVID-19 World

8 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2020 Last revised: 8 May 2020

See all articles by Herrick K. Lidstone

Herrick K. Lidstone

Burns, Figa & Will, P.C.; University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Date Written: April 13, 2020

Abstract

A number of states are reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic by adopting emergency legislation or executive orders to authorize shareholder meetings that are not held “at a place” but only by telecommunication – referred to as “virtual-only” meetings. As corporate practitioners know, Colorado corporations are required to hold annual meetings of shareholders (C.R.S. § 7 107-101(1)), and those meetings involve certain formalities (which can be made more restrictive in the articles of incorporation or bylaws) such as:

1. Preparation of a shareholders’ list as of the record date that is available for review by shareholders;

2. Sending notice of the meeting place, date, and time to shareholders; and

3. Counting of votes from properly registered and voting shareholders entitled to vote.

These requirements apply to Colorado corporations that are public companies subject to the rules of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as well as to private companies with one to one hundred or more shareholders. Of course, Colorado corporations which are subject to the 1934 Act’s proxy and reporting rules have a number of requirements to meet in addition to the requirements of Colorado law.

Subject to contrary provisions in the articles of incorporation or bylaws of a Colorado corporation, the Colorado Business Corporation Act contemplates that Colorado corporations may hold hybrid shareholders' meetings, but do not yet provide for virtual only shareholders' meetings. In Colorado, as in other states, other statutes for corporate-like entities (such as nonprofit corporation statutes, statutes for cooperative organizations, and statutes for homeowners associations, should also be reviewed together with the governing documents for those organizations.

Suggested Citation

Lidstone, Herrick K., Corporate Annual Meetings of Shareholders in the COVID-19 World (April 13, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3570989 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3570989

Herrick K. Lidstone (Contact Author)

Burns, Figa & Will, P.C. ( email )

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University of Denver Sturm College of Law ( email )

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