A corporation is created by filing articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State and payment of a filing fee. In addition, bylaws must be adopted, setting forth the corporate housekeeping rules of the corporation. The shareholders may negotiate and enter into an optional, separate shareholder "buy-sell" agreement including restrictions on the sale or transfer of shares, a formula for valuation of the shares on a transfer, supermajority voting provisions, and other clauses.
A corporation is a limited liability entity in which the owners, called shareholders, are generally not liable for the corporation's debts and obligations solely by reason of the owners' status as shareholders. As stated, shareholders are not personally liable for corporate debts and obligations unless the shareholders give Personal guarantees, engage in tortious conduct, receive improper distributions, are subject to "alter ego" claims for commingling personal and corporate matters, or breach duties to other shareholders or the corporation. Shareholders' names are also not public record, but officers and directors are public record.
Shareholders annually elect a board of directors who set policy for the corporation. And those directors then elect officers to manage the day-to-day affairs of the corporation. Officers must include a president, a corporate secretary, and a treasurer/chief financial officer.
There are also professional corporations, which are formed as for-profit corporations and include additional restrictive language in their articles of incorporation, limiting ownership to certain licensed professionals. And lastly, nonprofit corporations, which are governed by Corp C §§5000-10841.
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