美国公司设立发起人Incorporator相关规定

美国各州公司(为避免歧义,此处指Corporation)的设立一般从发起人向州政府递交注册大纲“Articles of Incorporation”开始(每个州之间叫法会稍有差异,例如特拉华州称注册证书“Certificate of Incorporation”)。注册大纲或注册证书包含公司设立的基本信息,例如特拉华州公司法(Delaware General Corporation Law, “DGCL”)规定,公司注册证书上应至少包含以下信息:1. 公司名称; 2. 注册代理人地址与名称; 3. 公司的经营性质与目的(DGCL规定公司可以开展任何合法的经营活动,大部分州公司法都有类似规定,包括马萨诸塞州与加州);4. 授权发行的股票数量与面值(Par Value);以及 5. 公司发起人(Incorporator)的名称与通信地址。

下文讨论公司设立中发起人(Incorporator)的作用以及哪些人可以担任公司的发起人。

何为公司发起人?

公司发起人一般负责公司的发起与设立,签署公司成立大纲(证书)并向州政府递交,并可以选任公司第一次董事会成员以及通过公司章程(By-laws)。通常,一旦公司设立成功(州政府批准成立大纲/证书),发起人无需再参与公司其他任何角色,除非该发起人将继续担任公司的高管或董事会成员。

谁可以担任公司发起人?

先看特拉华州公司法DGCL Section 101(a) 的规定:“Any person, partnership, association or corporation, singly or jointly with others, and without regard to such person’s or entity’s residence, domicile or state of incorporation, may incorporate or organize a corporation[…]”. 可见特拉华州允许任何个人(通常是公司办公室助理、律师、将担任高管的人员等),不管他们居住地在哪里,都可以担任公司的发起人。另外,一些法律实体,如其他公司也可以担任发起人。

加州公司法California Corporation Code Section 200(a)也有类似规定:“One or more natural persons, partnerships, associations or corporations, domestic or foreign, may form a corporation under this division by executing and filing articles of incorporation.”也是允许任何个人或其他法律实体担任发起人的。

再看美国《商业公司法范本》(Model Business Corporation Act, “MBCA”, 由美国律师协会American Bar Association, “ABA”起草准备,2016年最新修订,供各个州制定或修订其公司法借鉴与参照,并不具有法律约束力)Section 2.01对发起人定义为“One or more persons may act as the incorporator or incorporators of a corporation by delivering articles of incorporation to the secretary of state for filing.” 并在Section1.40中对“Person”的定义包括个人与法律实体。

关于非营利性公司发起人

特拉华州没有单独的非营利性公司法,DGCL中除特别指明或排除的条款同样对非营利性公司适用。关于非营利性公司的发起人DGCL没有作出特别规定,所以参照上文中的条款同样可以由个人或其他法律实体担任;加州非营利性公司法California Corporation Code Section 5065 对可以发起公司的人作出的定义也同样包括个人与公司等其他法律实体。

请注意该文仅对相关概念作介绍性的阐述与信息性介绍,不代表相关律师的法律意见,作者也不保证该文相关信息的准确性与时效性,并不对您依据该文作出的决定或行动承担任何责任。如您有相关问题请咨询聘请专业律师。


© 2018 MT Law LLC. All Rights Reserved. Do not post without permission from the author.

Article drafted by Vincent Cheng, contact information: hmcheng@mtlawllc.com.

Disclaimer

This article is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute advertising, legal advice or solicitation. It is not promised or guaranteed to be correct or complete and may or may not reflect the most current legal developments. MT Law LLC and the authors expressly disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this article. Readers with legal questions should consult an attorney. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon informational articles.

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