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Fundamental Shareholder Rights

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If you own shares in a company, especially if you are a minority shareholder, you have legal rights that must be protected, as a business lawyer Maryland trusts can attest. Disputes involving shareholders rights are extremely complex, but there are fundamental rights that are possessed by every shareholder. If you believe that your shareholder rights were violated, or you have any questions or concerns about shareholder disputes, please contact an experienced business lawyer in Maryland for immediate legal help.

At Brown Kiely LLP, we have been providing legal protections and advice for more many years. Our business attorneys have built a solid reputation for aggressively advocating for our clients and obtaining the best possible outcome based on the circumstances of the case.

The Four Categories of Shareholder Rights

Depending on the nature of the specific corporation-shareholder relationship, each shareholder may have many different individual legal rights, as a business lawyer in Maryland can explain. However, under state business laws, shareholder rights can generally be classified into one of the following categories:

Economic rights: The primary purpose of investing in a corporation, and becoming a shareholder in the first place, is for economic gain. The economic rights of shareholders are fundamental. Ultimately, shareholders have two ways to gain value from their investment: they may receive a distribution from the company or they may sell their shares in the future. Neither the right to receive dividends nor the right to transfer shares is unlimited, but they are critical and they must always be protected.

Control rights: While there is often a practical separation between the owners of a corporation (the shareholders) and the controlling parties (corporate officers and directors), shareholders still have important control rights. The board of directors will generally be responsible for the day-to-day management operations, but shareholders maintain some control over who is on the board of directors. In fact, voting rights are among the most important rights of shareholders.

Information rights: Shareholders also have some specific rights related to accessing information. Information rights will depend on the state law that governs the specific corporation. However, in most cases, a shareholder will to books and records, review corporate charters and bylaws, and receive disclosures related to actions taken by corporate directors.

Litigation rights: Finally, shareholders have the right to use the courts for protection. Litigation rights are critical because they ensure that shareholders can enforce all of their other rights. Ultimately, if you feel your shareholder rights have been violated, you need to speak to an experienced Maryland business lawyer as soon as possible. Every shareholder dispute is unique, and they all require a comprehensive review of the individual circumstances.

Contact a Business Attorney in Maryland for Assistance

At Brown Kiely LLP, our skilled business attorneys have extensive experience protecting the rights of shareholders. Our legal team is well-versed in Maryland’s corporate and business laws and will do all we can do get you the outcome you deserve. If you are involved in a shareholder dispute, or any other business issue, contact a business lawyer Maryland relies on from our firm to set up a free and confidential consultation.