Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter IX. Mergers and Membership Exchanges.


§ 29–409.01. Preliminary provisions and restrictions.

(a) For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Exchanging entity” means the domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation or eligible entity in which all of one or more classes of memberships or classes or series of eligible interests are to be acquired in a membership exchange.

(2) “Membership exchange” means a transaction pursuant to § 29-409.03.

(3) “Merger” means a transaction pursuant to § 29-409.02.

(4) “Party to a merger” or “party to a membership exchange” means any domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation or eligible entity that:

(A) Will merge under a plan of merger;

(B) Will acquire memberships or eligible interests of another corporation or an eligible entity in a membership exchange; or

(C) Is an exchanging entity.

(5) “Survivor” in a merger means the corporation or eligible entity into which one or more other corporations or eligible entities are merged. A survivor of a merger may preexist the merger or be created by the merger.

(b) Property held in trust by an entity or otherwise dedicated to a charitable purpose shall not be diverted from its purpose by a transaction under this subchapter unless the entity obtains an appropriate order of the Superior Court to the extent required by and pursuant to the law of the District on cy pres or otherwise dealing with the nondiversion of charitable assets.

(c) Unless an entity that is a party to a transaction under this subchapter obtains an appropriate order of the Superior Court under the law of the District on cy pres or otherwise dealing with the nondiversion of charitable assets, the transaction shall not affect:

(1) Any restriction imposed upon the entity by its organic documents that may not be amended by its governors, members, or interest holders;

(2) Any restriction imposed upon property held by the entity by virtue of any trust under which it holds that property; or

(3) The existing rights of persons other than members, shareholders, or interest holders of the entity.

(d) A person that is a member, interest holder, or otherwise affiliated with a charitable corporation or an unincorporated entity with a charitable purpose shall not receive a direct or indirect financial benefit in connection with a transaction under this subchapter to which the charitable corporation or unincorporated entity is a party unless the person is itself a charitable corporation or unincorporated entity with a charitable purpose. This subsection shall not apply to the receipt of reasonable compensation for services rendered.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 29-409.07.


§ 29–409.02. Merger.

(a) One or more domestic nonprofit corporations may merge with one or more domestic or foreign nonprofit corporations pursuant to a plan of merger or 2 or more foreign nonprofit corporations or domestic nonprofit corporations may merge into a new domestic nonprofit corporation to be created in the merger in the manner provided in this subchapter.

(b) A foreign nonprofit corporation may be a party to a merger with a domestic nonprofit corporation, or may be created by the terms of the plan of merger, only if the merger is permitted by the organic law of the corporation.

(c) If the organic law of a domestic eligible entity shall not prohibit a merger with a nonprofit corporation but does not provide procedures for the approval of such a merger, a plan of merger may be adopted and approved, and the merger may be effectuated, in accordance with the procedures in this subchapter.

(d) The plan of merger shall be in the form of a record and include:

(1) The name of each domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation that will merge and the name of the domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation that will be the survivor of the merger;

(2) The terms and conditions of the merger;

(3) The manner and basis of converting the memberships of each merging domestic or foreign nonprofit membership corporation into memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; rights to acquire memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; cash; other property or other consideration; or any combination of the foregoing;

(4) The articles of incorporation and bylaws of any corporation to be created by the merger, or if a new corporation is not to be created by the merger, any amendments to the survivor’s articles or bylaws or organic records; and

(5) Any other provisions relating to the merger that the parties desire be included in the plan of merger.

(e) The plan of merger may also include a provision that the plan may be amended prior to filing articles of merger, but if the members of a domestic corporation that is a party to the merger are required or permitted to vote on the plan, the plan shall provide that subsequent to approval of the plan by such members the plan shall not be amended to change:

(1) The amount or kind of memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; rights to acquire memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; cash; or other property or other consideration to be received by the members of or owners of eligible interests in any party to the merger;

(2) The articles of incorporation or bylaws of any corporation, or the organic records of any unincorporated entity, that will survive or be created as a result of the merger, except for changes permitted by § 29-408.05 or by comparable provisions of the organic law of any such foreign nonprofit or business corporation or domestic or foreign unincorporated entity; or

(3) Any of the other terms or conditions of the plan, if the change would adversely affect such members in any material respect.

(f) Terms of a plan of merger may be made dependent on facts objectively ascertainable outside the plan in accordance with § 29-401.04.

(g) A merger in which a nonprofit corporation and another form of entity are parties is governed by Chapter 2 of this title.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 29-409.01.


§ 29–409.03. Membership exchange.

(a) Through a membership exchange:

(1) A domestic nonprofit corporation may acquire, pursuant to a plan of membership exchange, all of the memberships of one or more classes of another domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation, or all of the eligible interests of one or more classes or series of eligible interests of a domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation, in exchange for memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; rights to acquire memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; cash; other property or other consideration; or any combination of the foregoing; and

(2) All of the memberships of one or more classes of a domestic nonprofit corporation may be acquired by another domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation or eligible entity, in exchange for memberships, eligible interests, securities, obligations; rights to acquire memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; cash; other property or other consideration; or any combination of the foregoing, pursuant to a plan of membership exchange.

(b) A foreign nonprofit corporation or eligible entity may be a party to a membership exchange only if the membership exchange is permitted by the organic law of the corporation or eligible entity.

(c) If the organic law of a domestic eligible entity does not prohibit a membership exchange with a nonprofit corporation but does not provide procedures for the approval of an exchange of interests similar to a membership exchange, a plan of membership exchange may be adopted and approved, and the membership exchange effectuated, in accordance with the procedures, if any, for a merger. If the organic law of a domestic eligible entity does not provide procedures for either an interest exchange or a merger, a plan of membership exchange may be adopted and approved, and the membership exchange effectuated, in accordance with the procedures in this subchapter. For the purposes of applying this subchapter:

(1) The eligible entity, its interest holders, eligible interests, and organic documents shall be deemed to be a domestic nonprofit corporation, members, memberships, and articles of incorporation and bylaws, respectively, as the context may require; and

(2) If the activities and affairs of the eligible entity are managed by a group of persons that is not identical to the interest holders, that group shall be deemed to be the board of directors.

(d) The plan of membership exchange shall be in the form of a record and include:

(1) The name of each domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation or eligible entity whose memberships or eligible interests will be acquired and the name of the corporation or eligible entity that will acquire those memberships or eligible interests;

(2) The terms and conditions of the membership exchange;

(3) The manner and basis of exchanging the memberships of a corporation or the eligible interests in an eligible entity whose memberships or eligible interests will be acquired under the membership exchange into memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; rights to acquire memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; cash; other property or other consideration; or any combination of the foregoing;

(4) Any changes desired to be made in the organic records of the exchanging entity; and

(5) Any other provisions relating to the membership exchange that the parties desire be included in the plan of exchange.

(e) The plan of membership exchange may also include a provision that the plan may be amended prior to filing articles of membership exchange, but if the members of a domestic nonprofit corporation that is a party to the membership exchange are required or permitted to vote on the plan, the plan shall provide that subsequent to approval of the plan by such members the plan shall not be amended to change:

(1) The amount or kind of memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; rights to acquire memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; cash; or other property or other consideration to be issued by the domestic nonprofit corporation or to be received by its members, as the case may be; or

(2) Any of the other terms or conditions of the plan if the change would adversely affect such members in any material respect.

(f) Terms of a plan of membership exchange may be made dependent on facts objectively ascertainable outside the plan in accordance with § 29-401.04.

(g) This section shall not limit the power of a domestic nonprofit corporation to acquire memberships in another corporation or eligible interests in an eligible entity in a transaction other than a membership exchange.

(h) If any debt security, note, or similar evidence of indebtedness for money borrowed, whether secured or unsecured, or a contract of any kind, issued, incurred, or signed by a domestic exchanging entity before the effective date of this chapter contains a provision applying to a merger or change in control of the exchanging entity that does not refer to a membership exchange, the provision shall be deemed to apply to a membership exchange of the exchanging entity until such time as the provision is amended subsequent to that date.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720; Mar. 5, 2013, D.C. Law 19-210, § 2(d)(17), 59 DCR 13171.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 29-409.01.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-210 substituted “activities” for “business” in (c)(2).

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 19-210: Section 7 of D.C. Law 19-210 provided that the act shall apply as of January 1, 2012.


§ 29–409.04. Action on a plan of merger or membership exchange.

In the case of a nonprofit corporation that is a party to a merger or membership exchange:

(1) The plan of merger or membership exchange shall be adopted by the board of directors.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (8) of this section, § 29-409.05, or the articles of incorporation or bylaws, after adopting the plan of merger or membership exchange, the board of directors shall submit the plan to the members entitled to vote on the plan for their approval. The board of directors shall also transmit to the members a recommendation that the members approve the plan, unless the board of directors makes a determination that because of conflicts of interest or other special circumstances, it should not make such a recommendation, in which case the board of directors must transmit to the members the basis for that determination.

(3) The board of directors may condition its submission of the plan of merger or membership exchange to the members on any basis.

(4) If the plan of merger or membership exchange is required to be approved by the members, and if the approval is to be given at a meeting, the nonprofit corporation shall give notice to each member entitled to vote on the merger or membership exchange of the meeting of members at which the plan is to be submitted for approval. The notice shall state that the purpose, or one of the purposes, of the meeting is to consider the plan and shall contain or be accompanied by a copy or summary of the plan. If the corporation is to be merged into an existing corporation or eligible entity, the notice shall also include or be accompanied by a copy or summary of the articles of incorporation and bylaws or organic records of that corporation or eligible entity. If the corporation is to be merged into a corporation or eligible entity that is to be created pursuant to the merger, the notice shall include or be accompanied by a copy or a summary of the articles of incorporation and bylaws or organic records of the new corporation or eligible entity.

(5) Unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws, or the board of directors acting pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection, requires a greater vote or a greater number of votes to be present, the approval of the plan of merger or membership exchange by the members shall require the approval of the members at a meeting at which a quorum exists, and, if any class of memberships is entitled to vote as a separate group on the plan of merger or membership exchange, the approval of each such separate voting group at a meeting at which a quorum of the voting group exists.

(6) Separate voting by voting groups shall be required:

(A) On a plan of merger, by each class of memberships that:

(i) Are to be converted into memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; rights to acquire memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; cash; other property or other consideration; or any combination of the foregoing; or

(ii) Would be entitled to vote as a separate group on a provision in the plan that, if contained in a proposed amendment to articles of incorporation, would require action by separate voting groups under § 29-408.04;

(B) On a plan of membership exchange, by each class of memberships included in the exchange, with each class constituting a separate voting group; and

(C) On a plan of merger or membership exchange, if the voting group is entitled under the articles of incorporation to vote as a voting group to approve a plan of merger or membership exchange.

(7) If as a result of a merger or membership exchange one or more members of a domestic nonprofit corporation would become subject to owner liability for the debts, obligations, or liabilities of any other person or entity, approval of the plan of merger or membership exchange shall require the signature, by each such member, of a separate record consenting to become subject to such owner liability.

(8) If a domestic nonprofit corporation that is a party to a merger does not have any members entitled to vote thereon, a plan of merger shall be deemed adopted by the corporation when it has been adopted by the board of directors pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(9) In addition to the adoption and approval of the plan of merger by the board of directors and members as required by this section, the plan of merger shall also be approved in the form of a record by any person or group of persons whose approval is required under § 29-408.40 to amend the articles of incorporation or bylaws.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720.)


§ 29–409.05. Merger with controlled corporation or between controlled corporations.

(a) A domestic or foreign entity that holds a membership in a domestic nonprofit corporation that carries at least 80% of the voting power of each class of membership of the controlled corporation that has voting power may merge the controlled corporation into itself or into another such controlled corporation, or merge itself into the controlled corporation, without the approval of the board of directors, designated body or members of the controlled corporation, unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws of any of the corporations or the organic records of a controlling unincorporated entity otherwise provide.

(b) If, under subsection (a) of this section, approval of a merger by the members of a controlled corporation is not required, the controlling entity shall, within 10 days after the effective date of the merger, notify each of the members of the controlled corporation that the merger has become effective.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this subsection, a merger between a controlling entity and a controlled corporation shall be governed by the provisions of this subchapter applicable to mergers generally.

(d) A merger pursuant to this section shall also be approved in a record by a designated body whose approval is required to amend the articles of incorporation of the controlled corporation.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 29-409.04.


§ 29–409.06. Articles of merger or membership exchange.

(a) After a plan of merger or membership exchange has been adopted and approved as required by this chapter, articles of merger or membership exchange shall be signed on behalf of each party to the merger or membership exchange by any officer or other duly authorized representative. The articles shall set forth:

(1) The names of the parties to the merger or membership exchange;

(2) If the articles of incorporation of the survivor of a merger or an exchanging nonprofit corporation are amended, or if a new corporation is created as a result of a merger, the amendments to the articles of incorporation of the survivor or exchanging corporation or the articles of incorporation of the new corporation;

(3) If the plan of merger or membership exchange required approval by the members of a domestic nonprofit corporation that was a party to the merger or membership exchange, a statement that the plan was duly approved by the members and, if voting by any separate voting group was required, by each such separate voting group, in the manner required by this chapter and the articles of incorporation or bylaws;

(4) If the plan of merger or membership exchange did not require approval by the members of a domestic nonprofit corporation that was a party to the merger or membership exchange, a statement to that effect; and

(5) As to each foreign nonprofit corporation or eligible entity that was a party to the merger or membership exchange, a statement that the participation of the foreign corporation or eligible entity was duly authorized as required by the organic law of the corporation or eligible entity.

(b) Terms of articles of merger or membership exchange may be made dependent on facts objectively ascertainable outside the articles in accordance with § 29-401.04.

(c) Articles of merger or membership exchange shall be delivered to the Mayor for filing by the survivor of the merger or the acquiring corporation or eligible entity in a membership exchange and take effect at the effective time provided in § 29-102.03. Articles of merger or membership exchange filed under this section may be combined with any filing required under the organic law of any domestic eligible entity involved in the transaction if the combined filing satisfies the requirements of both this section and the other organic law.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720.)


§ 29–409.07. Effect of merger or membership exchange.

(a) Subject to § 29-409.01(b), (c), and (d), when a merger becomes effective:

(1) The domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation or eligible entity that is designated in the plan of merger as the survivor shall continue or come into existence, as the case may be;

(2) The separate existence of every domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation or eligible entity that is merged into the survivor shall cease;

(3) All property owned by, and every contract and other right possessed by, each domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation or eligible entity that merges into the survivor shall be vested in the survivor without reversion or impairment;

(4) All liabilities of each domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation or eligible entity that is merged into the survivor shall be vested in the survivor;

(5) The name of the survivor may, but need not be, substituted in any pending proceeding for the name of any party to the merger whose separate existence ceased in the merger;

(6) The articles of incorporation and bylaws or organic records of the survivor shall be amended to the extent provided in the plan of merger;

(7) The articles of incorporation and bylaws or organic records of a survivor that is created by the merger shall become effective; and

(8) The memberships of each corporation that is a party to the merger, and the eligible interests in an eligible entity that is a party to a merger, that are to be converted under the plan of merger into memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; rights to acquire memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; cash; other property or other consideration; or any combination of the foregoing are converted.

(b) Subject to § 29-409.01(b), (c), and (d), when a membership exchange becomes effective:

(1) The memberships or eligible interests in the exchanging entity that are to be exchanged under the plan of membership exchange into memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; rights to acquire memberships, eligible interests, securities, or obligations; cash; other property or other consideration; or any combination of the foregoing are exchanged; and

(2) The articles of incorporation and bylaws or organic records of the exchanging entity shall be amended to the extent provided in the plan of membership exchange.

(c) A person that becomes subject to owner liability for some or all of the debts, obligations, or liabilities of any entity as a result of a merger or membership exchange has owner liability only to the extent provided in the organic law of the entity and only for those debts, obligations, and liabilities that arise after the effective time of the articles of merger or membership exchange.

(d) The effect of a merger or membership exchange on the owner liability of a person that had owner liability for some or all of the debts, obligations, or liabilities of a party to the merger or membership exchange shall be as follows:

(1) The merger or membership exchange shall not discharge any owner liability under the organic law of the entity in which the person was a member, shareholder, or interest holder to the extent any such owner liability arose before the effective time of the articles of merger or membership exchange.

(2) The person shall not have owner liability under the organic law of the entity in which the person was a member, shareholder, or interest holder prior to the merger or membership exchange for any debt, obligation, or liability that arises after the effective time of the articles of merger or membership exchange.

(3) The organic law of any entity for which the person had owner liability before the merger or membership exchange shall continue to apply to the collection or discharge of any owner liability preserved by paragraph (1) of this subsection, as if the merger or membership exchange had not occurred.

(4) The person has whatever rights of contribution from other persons are provided by the organic law of the entity for which the person had owner liability with respect to any owner liability preserved by paragraph (1) of this subsection, as if the merger or membership exchange had not occurred.

(e) A devise, bequest, gift, grant, or promise contained in a will or other instrument, in trust or otherwise, made before or after a merger, to or for any of the parties to the merger, shall inure to the survivor, subject to the express terms of the will or other instrument.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 29-406.58.


§ 29–409.08. Abandonment of a merger or membership exchange.

(a) Unless otherwise provided in a plan of merger or membership exchange or in the organic law of a foreign nonprofit corporation that is a party to a merger or a membership exchange, after the plan has been adopted and approved as required by this subchapter, and at any time before the merger or membership exchange has become effective, it may be abandoned by a domestic nonprofit corporation that is a party thereto without action by its members, in accordance with any procedures set forth in the plan of merger or membership exchange or, if no such procedures are set forth in the plan, in the manner determined by the board of directors, subject to any contractual rights of other parties to the merger or membership exchange.

(b) If a merger or membership exchange is abandoned under subsection (a) of this section after articles of merger or membership exchange have been delivered to the Mayor for filing but before the merger or membership exchange has become effective, a statement that the merger or membership exchange has been abandoned in accordance with this section, executed on behalf of a party to the merger or membership exchange by an officer or other duly authorized representative, shall be delivered to the Mayor for filing prior to the effective date of the merger or membership exchange. Upon filing, the statement shall be effective and the merger or membership exchange shall be deemed abandoned and shall not become effective.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720; Mar. 5, 2013, D.C. Law 19-210, § 2(d)(18), 59 DCR 13171.)

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 (b).

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 19-210: Section 7 of D.C. Law 19-210 provided that the act shall apply as of January 1, 2012.