Legal

Do you need an Agreement with your Shareholders?

Business partnerships can be a great endeavor, but when partnerships go bad, things become messy. In such situations, it may be best to part ways, and having a comprehensive Shareholders’ Agreement (SHA) could be your insurance cover. In this article, we will discuss why and how to implement an SHA.

 

 

Good Partnerships Gone Bad

Partnerships that fail can lead to loss of hard work and loss to your ventures. A comprehensive SHA can help protect your interests in such situations.

 

 

Do You Need a Shareholders’ Agreement?

An SHA is your best fallback option in case your business partnership goes south. Here’s what you need to know about it.

The equity battle between Arunabh Kumar and Prashant Raj is a reminder of the importance of having a clear and comprehensive SHA in the startup ecosystem. With a partnership, the chances of survival are higher than with sole proprietorships. However, it also has a high failure rate of over 50%. A crystal clear SHA is the main governing agreement  of your relationship with your co-founders, the investor and other shareholders, if any.

 

 

Shareholders’ Agreement Clauses

Clauses typically included in an SHA are:

  • Management of the Company,
  • Rights and obligations of the Shareholders,
  • Confidentiality and Non-compete clauses, and
  • Exit rights of shareholders.

 

 

Shareholders Agreement Format and Draft

An SHA format and draft may vary depending on the company structure and you may hire a legal professional to draft one for you.

 

 

Term Sheet for Shareholders Agreement

It is common to draft a Term Sheet before an SHA to set out the key terms before finalizing the SHA. A Term Sheet can provide an outline of what you want to achieve in an SHA.

 

 

Implementing an SHA

A well-documented SHA gives a clear view of how the company will function, ensures lesser hassle if there is a fallout, and most importantly, protects the business from going down.

 

 

FAQs about SHA

Q: What is a shareholders’ agreement?

A: A shareholders’ agreement is a legal document that outlines the rights and obligations of shareholders in a company. It provides guidance for shareholder decisions, outlines dispute resolution procedures, and defines shareholder responsibilities towards the company.

Q: How do you write a shareholders’ agreement?

A: To write a shareholders’ agreement, you should consult with a legal professional who can tailor the document to your specific needs and make sure it meets all legal requirements.

Q: Is a shareholders’ agreement legally binding?

A: Yes, a shareholder agreement is legally binding and can be enforced by law.

Q: Who needs a shareholders’ agreement?

A: Any company with multiple shareholders should have a shareholders agreement to clearly define each shareholder’s rights and responsibilities.

Q: Who signs the shareholders’ agreement?

A: All shareholders in a company should sign the shareholder agreement to show that they understand and agree to the terms outlined therein.

Q: Is a shareholders’ agreement mandatory in India?

A: A shareholders’ agreement is not mandatory in India. However, it is highly recommended for all companies with multiple shareholders to execute one.

Q: What is the benefit of a shareholders’ agreement?

A: The benefits of a shareholders’ agreement include clearly defining each shareholder’s role and responsibilities, protecting the company from disputes and disagreements, and outlining dispute resolution procedures.

Q: What is the scope of a shareholder agreement?

A: The scope of a shareholder agreement is to define the rights and responsibilities of shareholders, outline procedures for decision-making and dispute resolution, and protect the company from disagreements between shareholders.

Q: Can I write my own shareholders’ agreement?

A: While it is possible to write your own shareholders’ agreement, it is highly recommended to consult with a legal professional to ensure that all necessary clauses are included and that the document meets all legal requirements.

Q: What should be included in a shareholders’ agreement?

A: A shareholders’ agreement should include clauses on decision-making, share transfer restrictions, dispute resolution, management and operation of the company, and responsibilities and rights of shareholders.

Q: What happens if there is no shareholders’ agreement?

A: If there is no shareholders’ agreement, disputes between shareholders may lead to legal battles that could harm the company and its reputation. Having a shareholders’ agreement in place can help prevent such conflicts from arising and protect the company from financial loss.

 

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Disclaimer – The content of this document is for information purpose only and does not constitute advice or a legal opinion. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer to relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc. before acting on the basis of this write up. The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that the Treelife is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof.

Last Updated on: 8th December 2023, 02:56 pm


Disclaimer:

The content of this article is for information purpose only and does not constitute advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer to relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc. before acting on the basis of the above write up. The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that the Author / Treelife is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof.

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