August, 2009 browsing by month


What are Bylaws and a Shareholders’ Agreement for a Maryland corporation?

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Need an Attorney to help your Maryland or DC business? Contact Raymond McKenzie at 301-330-6790 or



A Maryland corporation need only file Articles of Incorporation with the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation in order be lawfully incorporated. Once formed, though, it is advisable that every Maryland corporation consult with a Maryland business attorney to discuss the drafting of a set of Bylaws, as well as a shareholders’ agreement.

Maryland law mandates that each Maryland corporation must have a set of Bylaws that lay out the procedures concerning the governance of the corporation. A Maryland corporation’s Bylaws may contain any provision not inconsistent with law or the charter of the corporation for the regulation and management of the affairs of the corporation.

A Maryland corporation’s Bylaws usually set out the powers, duties, rights and obligations of its directors and officers, including how many directors the corporation may have, the procedure for calling shareholder and Board of Director meetings, how and where corporate records are to be maintained, stockholder reports, voting and proxy procedures, how stock may be transferred, how directors are elected and removed, how officers are appointed and removed, as well as numerous other matters related to the corporation as a whole.

A Maryland corporation may, but is not required to, have a shareholders’ agreement. A shareholders’ agreement is an agreement between the stockholders of a corporation that governs the rights and obligations of the shareholders. First and foremost, a shareholders’ agreement will state the individual equity in the corporation as held by the shareholders. A shareholders’ agreement typically states how new shares of stock are issued, and addresses issues surrounding restrictions on stock repurchase and transfer, including how stockholders of a company may sell their shares, what happens to the shares upon the death or disability of a shareholder, whether other shareholders have the right to purchase another shareholder’s stock upon death or disability, what procedures are used in order to assign value to stock shares, and what happens to stock upon the breach of a shareholder agreement by a stockholder.

A shareholders’ agreement will also govern how the day-to-day operations of the company are managed, how a Board of Directors will be elected and terminated, what decisions require majority, super-majority or unanimous consent of the shareholders, how the Board will appoint Officers of the corporation.

The resolution of shareholder disputes through mediation, arbitration or litigation, or a combination thereof, may also be included in a shareholders agreement, as well as what law governs any dispute.

When you are in the start up and formation stages of your new business, consult with your business attorney regarding the drafting of Bylaws and a shareholders’ agreement.

Need an Attorney to help your Maryland or DC business? Contact Raymond McKenzie at 301-330-6790 or

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