Part A. Short Title, Definitions, and Notice.
§ 29–301.01. Short title.
This chapter may be cited as the “Business Corporation Act of 2010”.
This section is referenced in § 44-603.
Cooperative associations, applicability of this chapter, see § 29-938.
Reciprocal insurance company conversions, applicability of this chapter, see § 31-754.
§ 29–301.02. Definitions.
For the purpose of this chapter, the term:
(1) “Authorized shares” means the shares of all classes a domestic or foreign corporation is authorized to issue.
(2) “Bylaws” means the code of rules, other than the articles of incorporation, adopted for the regulation and governance of the internal affairs of the corporation, regardless of the name or names used to refer to those rules.
(3) “Conspicuous” means so written, displayed, or presented that a reasonable person against whom it is to operate should have noticed it. Conspicuous terms shall include:
(A) A heading in capitals equal to or greater in size than the surrounding text, or in contrasting type, font, or color to the surrounding text of the same or lesser size; and
(B) Language in the body of a record or display in larger type than the surrounding text, or in contrasting type, font, or color to the surrounding text of the same size, or set off from surrounding text of the same size by symbols or other marks that call attention to the language.
(4) “Corporation”, “domestic corporation”, or “domestic business corporation” means a corporation for profit, which is not a foreign corporation, incorporated under or subject to this chapter.
(5) “Distribution” means a direct or indirect transfer of money or other property, except a corporation’s own shares, or incurrence of indebtedness by the corporation to or for the benefit of its shareholders in respect of any of its shares. A distribution may be in the form of:
(A) A declaration or payment of a dividend;
(B) A purchase, redemption, or other acquisition of shares;
(C) A distribution of indebtedness; or
(D) Another method.
(6) “Domestic unincorporated entity” means an unincorporated entity whose internal affairs are governed by the laws of the District.
(7) “Electronic” means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
(8) “Electronic transmission” or “electronically transmitted” means any process of communication not directly involving the physical transfer of paper that is suitable for the retention, retrieval, and reproduction of information by the recipient.
(9) “Eligible interests” means interests or shares.
(10) “Employee” shall include an officer but not a director. A director may accept duties that make the director also an employee.
(11) “Expenses” means reasonable expenses of any kind that are incurred in connection with a matter.
(12) “Foreign corporation” means a corporation incorporated under a law other than the law of the District which would be a business corporation if incorporated under the laws of the District.
(13) “Foreign nonprofit corporation” means a corporation incorporated under a law other than the law of the District, which would be a nonprofit corporation if incorporated under the laws of the District.
(14) “Foreign unincorporated entity” means an unincorporated entity whose internal affairs are governed by an organic law of a jurisdiction other than the District.
(15) “Owner liability” means personal liability for a debt, obligation, or liability of a domestic or foreign business or nonprofit corporation or unincorporated entity that is imposed on a person:
(A) Solely by reason of the person’s status as a shareholder, member, or interest holder; or
(B) By the articles of incorporation, bylaws, or an organic document under a provision of the organic law of an entity authorizing the articles of incorporation, bylaws, or an organic document to make one or more specified shareholders, members, or interest holders liable in their capacity as shareholders, members, or interest holders for all or specified debts, obligations, or liabilities of the entity.
(16) “Public corporation” means a corporation that has shares listed on a national securities exchange or regularly traded in a market maintained by one or more members of a national securities association.
(17) “Record date” means the date established under subchapter IV or V of this chapter on which a corporation determines the identity of its shareholders and their shareholdings for purposes of this chapter. The determinations shall be made as of the close of business on the record date unless another time for doing so is specified when the record date is fixed.
(18) “Secretary” means the corporate officer to whom the board of directors has delegated responsibility under § 29-306.40(c) for custody of the minutes of the meetings of the board of directors and of the shareholders and for authenticating records of the corporation.
(19) “Shareholder” means the person in whose name shares are registered in the records of a corporation or the beneficial owner of shares to the extent of the rights granted by a nominee certificate on file with the corporation.
(20) “Shares” means the units into which the proprietary interests in a corporation are divided.
(21) “Subscriber” means a person that subscribes for shares in a corporation, whether before or after incorporation.
(22) “Unincorporated entity” means an entity that either has a separate legal existence or has the power to acquire an estate in real property in its own name and that is not a domestic or foreign business or nonprofit corporation, an estate, a trust, a state, the United States, or a foreign government. The term “unincorporated entity” shall include a general partnership, limited liability company, limited partnership, limited cooperative association, business or statutory trust, joint stock association, and unincorporated nonprofit association.
(23) “Vote”, “voting”, or “casting a vote” includes the giving of consent without a meeting. The term “vote”, “voting”, “casting a vote” shall not include either recording the fact of abstention or failing to vote for a candidate or for approval or disapproval of a matter, whether or not the person entitled to vote characterizes the conduct as voting or casting a vote.
(24) “Voting group” means all shares of one or more classes or series that, under the articles of incorporation or this chapter, are entitled to vote and be counted together collectively on a matter at a meeting of shareholders. All shares entitled by the articles of incorporation or this chapter to vote generally on the matter are, for that purpose, a single voting group.
(25) “Voting power” means the current power to vote in the election of directors or to vote on approval of any type of fundamental transaction. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “fundamental transaction” means an amendment of the articles of incorporation or bylaws, merger, interest exchange, sale of all or substantially all of the assets, domestication, conversion, or dissolution of a corporation.
§ 29–301.03. Notice and other communications.
(a) Notice under this chapter must be in writing unless oral notice is reasonable under the circumstances. Unless otherwise agreed between the sender and the recipient, words in a notice or other communication under this chapter must be in English.
(b) A notice or other communication may be given or sent by any method of delivery, except that electronic transmissions must be sent in accordance with this section. If these methods of communication are impracticable, a notice or other communication may be communicated by a newspaper of general circulation in the area where published, or by radio, television, or other form of public broadcast communication.
(c) Notice or other communication to a domestic or a registered foreign corporation may be delivered to its registered agent at its registered office or to the secretary of the corporation at its principal office shown in its most recent annual report or, in the case of a foreign corporation that has not yet delivered an annual report, in its application for a certificate of registration.
(d) Notice or other communications may be delivered by electronic transmission if:
(1) The recipient consents or if authorized by subsection (k) of this section;
(2) The electronic transmission contains or is accompanied by information from which the recipient can determine the date of the transmission; and
(3) The transmission was authorized by the sender.
(e) Consent under subsection (d) of this section may be revoked by giving written or electronic notice to the original recipient of the consent. Any such consent is deemed revoked if:
(1) Two consecutive electronic transmissions are undeliverable; and
(2) The secretary, assistant secretary, transfer agent, or other person responsible for the provision of notice or other communications knows of the delivery failure. Any inadvertent failure to treat such inability as a revocation shall not invalidate any meeting or other action.
(f) Unless otherwise agreed between sender and recipient, an electronic transmission is considered received when:
(1) It enters an information processing system that the recipient has designated or uses for the purposes of receiving electronic transmissions or information of the type sent, and from which the recipient is able to retrieve the electronic transmission; and
(2) It is in a form capable of being processed by that system.
(g) Receipt of an electronic acknowledgment from an information processing system described in subsection (f )(1) of this section establishes that an electronic transmission was received but, by itself, does not establish that the content sent corresponds to the content received.
(h) An electronic transmission is considered received under this section even if no individual is aware of its receipt.
(i) Notice or other communication, if in a comprehensible form or manner, is effective at the earliest of the following:
(1) If in physical form, when it is left at:
(A) A shareholder’s address shown on the corporation’s record of shareholders maintained by the corporation under § 29-313.01(c);
(B) A director’s residence or usual place of business; or
(C) The corporation’s principal place of business;
(2) If mailed postage prepaid and correctly addressed to a shareholder upon deposit in the United States mail;
(3) If mailed by United States mail postage prepaid and correctly addressed to a recipient other than a shareholder, the earliest of the following:
(A) If sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, the date the return receipt is signed by or on behalf of the addressee; or
(B) 5 days after it is deposited in the United States mail;
(4) If an electronic transmission, when it is received as provided in subsection (f) of this section; and
(5) If oral, when communicated.
(j) A notice or other communication may be in the form of an electronic transmission that cannot be directly reproduced in paper form by the recipient through an automated process used in conventional commercial practice only if:
(1) The electronic transmission is otherwise retrievable in perceivable form; and
(2) The sender and the recipient have consented in writing to the use of such form of electronic transmission.
(k) If this title prescribes requirements for notices or other communications in particular circumstances, those requirements govern. If articles of incorporation or bylaws prescribe requirements for notices or other communications, not inconsistent with this section or other provisions of this title, those requirements govern. The articles of incorporation or bylaws may authorize or require delivery of notices of meetings of directors by electronic transmission.
This section is referenced in § 29-305.24.
Effect of Amendments
The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-210 rewrote the section.
Application of Law 19-210: Section 7 of D.C. Law 19-210 provided that the act shall apply as of January 1, 2012.
§ 29–301.04. Reference to extrinsic facts in plans or filed documents.
(a) For the purposes of this subsection, the term:
(1) “Filed document” means a document delivered to the Mayor for filing under any provision of this chapter except § 29-102.11.
(2) “Plan” means a plan of domestication, nonprofit conversion, entity conversion, merger, or share exchange.
(b) Whenever a provision of this chapter permits any of the terms of a plan or a filed document to be dependent on facts objectively ascertainable outside the plan or filed document, the following provisions apply:
(1) The manner in which the facts will operate upon the terms of the plan or filed document shall be set forth in the plan or filed document.
(2) The facts may include:
(A) Any of the following that is available in a nationally recognized news or information medium, either in print or electronically:
(i) Statistical or market indices;
(ii) Market prices of any security or group of securities;
(iii) Interest rates;
(iv) Currency exchange rates; or
(v) Similar economic or financial data;
(B) A determination or action by any person or body, including the corporation or any other party to a plan or filed document; or
(C) The terms of, or actions taken under, an agreement to which the corporation is a party, or any other agreement or document.
(3) The following provisions of a plan or filed document shall not be made dependent on facts outside the plan or filed document:
(A) The name and address of any person required in a filed document;
(B) The registered agent of any entity required in a filed document;
(C) The number of authorized shares and designation of each class or series of shares;
(D) The effective date of a filed document; or
(E) Any required statement in a filed document of the date on which the underlying transaction was approved or the manner in which that approval was given.
(4) If a provision of a filed document is made dependent on a fact ascertainable outside of the filed document, and that fact is not ascertainable by reference to a source described in paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection or a document that is a matter of public record, or the affected shareholders have not received notice of the fact from the corporation, the corporation shall file with the Mayor articles of amendment setting forth the fact promptly after the time when the fact referred to is first ascertainable or thereafter changes. Articles of amendment under this paragraph shall be deemed to be authorized by the authorization of the original filed document or plan to which they relate and may be filed by the corporation without further action by the board of directors or the shareholders.
Effect of Amendments
The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-210 substituted “delivered to the Mayor for filing” for “filed with the Mayor” in (a)(1).
Application of Law 19-210: Section 7 of D.C. Law 19-210 provided that the act shall apply as of January 1, 2012.
Part B. Number of Shareholders; Qualified Director; Householding.
§ 29–301.20. Number of shareholders.
(a) For the purposes of this chapter, the following identified as a shareholder in a corporation’s current record of shareholders constitutes one shareholder:
(1) Three or fewer co-owners;
(2) A corporation, partnership, trust, estate, or other entity;
(3) The trustees, guardians, custodians, or other fiduciaries of a single trust, estate, or account.
(b) For the purposes of this chapter, shareholdings registered in substantially similar names shall constitute one shareholder if it is reasonable to believe that the names represent the same person.
§ 29–301.21. Qualified director.
(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:
(1) “Material interest” means an actual or potential benefit or detriment, other than one which would devolve on the corporation or the shareholders generally, that would reasonably be expected to impair the objectivity of the director’s judgment when participating in the action to be taken.
(2) “Material relationship” means a familial, financial, professional, employment, or other relationship that would reasonably be expected to impair the objectivity of the director’s judgment when participating in the action to be taken.
(b) A qualified director is a director who:
(1) At the time action is to be taken under § 29-305.54, does not have:
(A) A material interest in the outcome of the proceeding; or
(B) A material relationship with a person that has such an interest;
(2) At the time action is to be taken under § 29-306.53 or 29-306.55:
(A) Is not a party to the proceeding;
(B) Is not a director as to whom a transaction is a director’s conflicting interest transaction or who sought a disclaimer of the corporation’s interest in a business opportunity under § 29-306.80, which transaction or disclaimer is challenged in the proceeding; and
(C) Does not have a material relationship with a director described in either subparagraph (A) or (B) of this paragraph;
(3) At the time action is to be taken under § 29-306.72, is not a director:
(A) As to whom the transaction is a director’s conflicting interest transaction; or
(B) Who has a material relationship with another director as to whom the transaction is a director’s conflicting interest transaction; or
(4) At the time action is to be taken under § 29-306.80, would be a qualified director under subsection (b)(3) of this section if the business opportunity were a director’s conflicting interest transaction.
(c) The presence of one or more of the following circumstances shall not by itself prevent a director from being a qualified director:
(1) Nomination or election of the director to the current board by any director who is not a qualified director with respect to the matter, or by any person that has a material relationship with that director, acting alone or participating with others;
(2) Service as a director of another corporation of which a director who is not a qualified director with respect to the matter, or any individual who has a material relationship with that director, is or was also a director; or
(3) With respect to action to be taken under § 29-305.54, status as a named defendant, as a director against whom action is demanded, or as a director who approved the conduct being challenged.
§ 29–301.22. Householding.
(a) A corporation shall have delivered written notice or any other report or statement under this chapter, the articles of incorporation, or the bylaws to all shareholders who share a common address if:
(1) The corporation delivers one copy of the notice, report, or statement to the common address;
(2) The corporation addresses the notice, report, or statement to those shareholders either as a group or to each of those shareholders individually or to the shareholders in a form to which each of those shareholders has consented; and
(3) Each of those shareholders consents to delivery of a single copy of the notice, report, or statement to the shareholders’ common address.
(b) Any consent under subsection (a)(3) of this section shall be revocable by any of such shareholders that delivers written notice of revocation to the corporation. If the written notice of revocation is delivered, the corporation shall begin providing individual notices, reports, or other statements to the revoking shareholder no later than 30 days after delivery of the written notice of revocation.
(c) Any shareholder that fails to object by written notice to the corporation, within 60 days of written notice by the corporation of its intention to send single copies of notices, reports, or statements to shareholders that share a common address as permitted by subsection (a) of this section, shall be deemed to have consented to receiving such single copy at the common address.