Code Section Group

Corporations Code - CORP

TITLE 1. CORPORATIONS [100 - 14631]

  ( Title 1 enacted by Stats. 1947, Ch. 1038. )

DIVISION 1. GENERAL CORPORATION LAW [100 - 2319]

  ( Division 1 repealed and added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 682. )

CHAPTER 3. Directors and Management [300 - 318]
  ( Chapter 3 added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 682. )

300.
  

(a) Subject to the provisions of this division and any limitations in the articles relating to action required to be approved by the shareholders (Section 153) or by the outstanding shares (Section 152), or by a less than majority vote of a class or series of preferred shares (Section 402.5), the business and affairs of the corporation shall be managed and all corporate powers shall be exercised by or under the direction of the board. The board may delegate the management of the day-to-day operation of the business of the corporation to a management company or other person provided that the business and affairs of the corporation shall be managed and all corporate powers shall be exercised under the ultimate direction of the board.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) or any other provision of this division, but subject to subdivision (c), no shareholders’ agreement, which relates to any phase of the affairs of a close corporation, including but not limited to management of its business, division of its profits or distribution of its assets on liquidation, shall be invalid as between the parties thereto on the ground that it so relates to the conduct of the affairs of the corporation as to interfere with the discretion of the board or that it is an attempt to treat the corporation as if it were a partnership or to arrange their relationships in a manner that would be appropriate only between partners. A transferee of shares covered by such an agreement which is filed with the secretary of the corporation for inspection by any prospective purchaser of shares, who has actual knowledge thereof or notice thereof by a notation on the certificate pursuant to Section 418, is bound by its provisions and is a party thereto for the purposes of subdivision (d). Original issuance of shares by the corporation to a new shareholder who does not become a party to the agreement terminates the agreement, except that if the agreement so provides it shall continue to the extent it is enforceable apart from this subdivision. The agreement may not be modified, extended or revoked without the consent of such a transferee, subject to any provision of the agreement permitting modification, extension or revocation by less than unanimous agreement of the parties. A transferor of shares covered by such an agreement ceases to be a party thereto upon ceasing to be a shareholder of the corporation unless the transferor is a party thereto other than as a shareholder. An agreement made pursuant to this subdivision shall terminate when the corporation ceases to be a close corporation, except that if the agreement so provides it shall continue to the extent it is enforceable apart from this subdivision. This subdivision does not apply to an agreement authorized by subdivision (a) of Section 706.

(c) No agreement entered into pursuant to subdivision (b) may alter or waive any of the provisions of Sections 158, 417, 418, 500, 501, and 1111, subdivision (e) of Section 1201, Sections 2009, 2010, and 2011, or of Chapters 15 (commencing with Section 1500), 16 (commencing with Section 1600), 18 (commencing with Section 1800), and 22 (commencing with Section 2200). All other provisions of this division may be altered or waived as between the parties thereto in a shareholders’ agreement, except the required filing of any document with the Secretary of State.

(d) An agreement of the type referred to in subdivision (b) shall, to the extent and so long as the discretion or powers of the board in its management of corporate affairs is controlled by such agreement, impose upon each shareholder who is a party thereto liability for managerial acts performed or omitted by such person pursuant thereto that is otherwise imposed by this division upon directors, and the directors shall be relieved to that extent from such liability.

(e) The failure of a close corporation to observe corporate formalities relating to meetings of directors or shareholders in connection with the management of its affairs, pursuant to an agreement authorized by subdivision (b), shall not be considered a factor tending to establish that the shareholders have personal liability for corporate obligations.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 1223, Sec. 3.)

301.
  

(a)  Except as provided in Section 301.5, at each annual meeting of shareholders, directors shall be elected to hold office until the next annual meeting. However, to effectuate a voting shift (Section 194.7) the articles may provide that directors hold office for a shorter term. The articles may provide for the election of one or more directors by the holders of the shares of any class or series voting as a class or series.

(b) Each director, including a director elected to fill a vacancy, shall hold office until the expiration of the term for which elected and until a successor has been elected and qualified.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 876, Sec. 1.)

301.5.
  

(a) A listed corporation may, by amendment of its articles or bylaws, adopt provisions to divide the board of directors into two or three classes to serve for terms of two or three years respectively, or to eliminate cumulative voting, or both. After the issuance of shares, a corporation that is not a listed corporation may, by amendment of its articles or bylaws, adopt provisions to be effective when the corporation becomes a listed corporation to divide the board of directors into two or three classes to serve for terms of two or three years respectively, or to eliminate cumulative voting, or both. An article or bylaw amendment providing for division of the board of directors into classes, or any change in the number of classes, or the elimination of cumulative voting may only be adopted by the approval of the board and the outstanding shares (Section 152) voting as a single class, notwithstanding Section 903.

(b) If the board of directors is divided into two classes pursuant to subdivision (a), the authorized number of directors shall be no less than six and one-half of the directors or as close an approximation as possible shall be elected at each annual meeting of shareholders. If the board of directors is divided into three classes, the authorized number of directors shall be no less than nine and one-third of the directors or as close an approximation as possible shall be elected at each annual meeting of shareholders. Directors of a listed corporation may be elected by classes at a meeting of shareholders at which an amendment to the articles or bylaws described in subdivision (a) is approved, but the extended terms for directors are contingent on that approval, and in the case of an amendment to the articles, the filing of any necessary amendment to the articles pursuant to Section 905 or 910.

(c) If directors for more than one class are to be elected by the shareholders at any one meeting of shareholders and the election is by cumulative voting pursuant to Section 708, votes may be cumulated only for directors to be elected within each class.

(d) For purposes of this section, a “listed corporation” means a corporation with outstanding shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the NYSE Amex, the NASDAQ Global Market, or the NASDAQ Capital Market.

(e) Subject to subdivision (h), if a listed corporation having a board of directors divided into classes pursuant to subdivision (a) ceases to be a listed corporation for any reason, unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the corporation provide for the elimination of classes of directors at an earlier date or dates, the board of directors of the corporation shall cease to be divided into classes as to each class of directors on the date of the expiration of the term of the directors in that class and the term of each director serving at the time the corporation ceases to be a listed corporation (and the term of each director elected to fill a vacancy resulting from the death, resignation, or removal of any of those directors) shall continue until its expiration as if the corporation had not ceased to be a listed corporation.

(f) Subject to subdivision (h), if a listed corporation having a provision in its articles or bylaws eliminating cumulative voting pursuant to subdivision (a) or permitting noncumulative voting in the election of directors pursuant to that subdivision, or both, ceases to be a listed corporation for any reason, the shareholders shall be entitled to cumulate their votes pursuant to Section 708 at any election of directors occurring while the corporation is not a listed corporation notwithstanding that provision in its articles of incorporation or bylaws.

(g) Subject to subdivision (i), if a corporation that is not a listed corporation adopts amendments to its articles of incorporation or bylaws to divide its board of directors into classes or to eliminate cumulative voting, or both, pursuant to subdivision (a) and then becomes a listed corporation, unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws provide for those provisions to become effective at some other time and, in cases where classes of directors are provided for, identify the directors who, or the directorships that, are to be in each class or the method by which those directors or directorships are to be identified, the provisions shall become effective for the next election of directors after the corporation becomes a listed corporation at which all directors are to be elected.

(h) If a corporation ceases to be a listed corporation on or after the record date for a meeting of shareholders and prior to the conclusion of the meeting, including the conclusion of the meeting after an adjournment or postponement that does not require or result in the setting of a new record date, then, solely for purposes of subdivisions (e) and (f), the corporation shall not be deemed to have ceased to be a listed corporation until the conclusion of the meeting of shareholders.

(i) If a corporation becomes a listed corporation on or after the record date for a meeting of shareholders and prior to the conclusion of the meeting, including the conclusion of the meeting after an adjournment or postponement that does not require or result in the setting of a new record date, then, solely for purposes of subdivision (g), the corporation shall not be deemed to have become a listed corporation until the conclusion of the meeting of shareholders.

(j) If an article amendment referred to in subdivision (a) is adopted by a listed corporation, the certificate of amendment shall include a statement of the facts showing that the corporation is a listed corporation within the meaning of subdivision (d). If an article or bylaw amendment referred to in subdivision (a) is adopted by a corporation which is not a listed corporation, the provision, as adopted, shall include the following statement or the substantial equivalent: “This provision shall become effective only when the corporation becomes a listed corporation within the meaning of Section 301.5 of the Corporations Code.”

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 131, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2010.)

301.7.
  

(a) A listed corporation engaged in business limited to the operation and maintenance of a recreation venture having golf and tennis facilities and ancillary dining and beverage services may, by amendment of its articles or bylaws, adopt provisions allowing division of its board of directors into two classes, with one-half of the directors or as close an approximation as possible to be elected at each annual meeting of shareholders, provided that the corporation’s bylaws or articles limit each holder of the securities to no more than five shares and require some of those holders to occupy dwellings immediately contiguous to the real property of the corporation. An article or bylaw amendment providing for division of the board of directors into classes may only be adopted by the approval of the board and the outstanding shares (Section 152) voting as a single class, notwithstanding Section 903. Directors of a listed corporation that meet these conditions may be elected by classes at a meeting of shareholders at which an amendment to the articles or bylaws described in this paragraph is approved, but the extended terms for directors are contingent on that approval, and in the case of an amendment to the articles, the filing of any necessary amendment to the articles pursuant to Section 905 or 910.

(b) For purposes of this section, a “listed corporation” means a corporation described in subdivision (d) of Section 301.5.

(c) If an article amendment referred to in subdivision (a) is adopted by a listed corporation, the certificate of amendment shall include a statement of the facts showing that the corporation is a listed corporation within the meaning of subdivision (b).

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 131, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2010.)

301.9.
  

Notwithstanding Section 301, a mutual water company organized under this division may elect directors to serve staggered four-year terms if authorized in the corporation’s articles of incorporation or bylaws. Upon the initial election of directors to staggered terms, the elected directors shall determine by lot who among them shall serve initial two-year terms and who among them shall serve four-year terms. Prior to any election in which the terms of elected directors shall be determined by lot, the mutual water company shall notify its shareholders that the terms of the directors elected shall be determined among those directors by lot.

(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 89, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2012.)

302.
  

The board may declare vacant the office of a director who has been declared of unsound mind by an order of court or convicted of a felony.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 682.)

303.
  

(a) Any or all of the directors may be removed without cause if the removal is approved by the outstanding shares (Section 152), subject to the following:

(1)  Except for a corporation to which paragraph (3) is applicable, no director may be removed (unless the entire board is removed) when the votes cast against removal, or not consenting in writing to the removal, would be sufficient to elect the director if voted cumulatively at an election at which the same total number of votes were cast (or, if the action is taken by written consent, all shares entitled to vote were voted) and the entire number of directors authorized at the time of the director’s most recent election were then being elected.

(2) When by the provisions of the articles the holders of the shares of any class or series, voting as a class or series, are entitled to elect one or more directors, any director so elected may be removed only by the applicable vote of the holders of the shares of that class or series.

(3) A director of a corporation whose board of directors is classified pursuant to Section 301.5 may not be removed if the votes cast against removal of the director, or not consenting in writing to the removal, would be sufficient to elect the director if voted cumulatively (without regard to whether shares may otherwise be voted cumulatively) at an election at which the same total number of votes were cast (or, if the action is taken by written consent, all shares entitled to vote were voted) and either the number of directors elected at the most recent annual meeting of shareholders, or if greater, the number of directors for whom removal is being sought, were then being elected.

(b) Any reduction of the authorized number of directors or amendment reducing the number of classes of directors does not remove any director prior to the expiration of the director’s term of office.

(c) Except as provided in this section and Sections 302 and 304, a director may not be removed prior to the expiration of the director’s term of office.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 876, Sec. 3.)

304.
  

The superior court of the proper county may, at the suit of shareholders holding at least 10 percent of the number of outstanding shares of any class, remove from office any director in case of fraudulent or dishonest acts or gross abuse of authority or discretion with reference to the corporation and may bar from reelection any director so removed for a period prescribed by the court. The corporation shall be made a party to such action.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 682.)

305.
  

(a) Unless otherwise provided in the articles or bylaws and except for a vacancy created by the removal of a director, vacancies on the board may be filled by approval of the board (Section 151) or, if the number of directors then in office is less than a quorum, by (1) the unanimous written consent of the directors then in office, (2) the affirmative vote of a majority of the directors then in office at a meeting held pursuant to notice or waivers of notice complying with Section 307 or (3) a sole remaining director. Unless the articles or a bylaw adopted by the shareholders provide that the board may fill vacancies occurring in the board by reason of the removal of directors, such vacancies may be filled only by approval of the shareholders (Section 153).

(b) The shareholders may elect a director at any time to fill any vacancy not filled by the directors. Any such election by written consent other than to fill a vacancy created by removal, which requires the unanimous consent of all shares entitled to vote for the election of directors, requires the consent of a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote.

(c) If, after the filling of any vacancy by the directors, the directors then in office who have been elected by the shareholders shall constitute less than a majority of the directors then in office, then both of the following shall be applicable:

(1) Any holder or holders of an aggregate of 5 percent or more of the total number of shares at the time outstanding having the right to vote for those directors may call a special meeting of shareholders, or

(2) The superior court of the proper county shall, upon application of such shareholder or shareholders, summarily order a special meeting of shareholders, to be held to elect the entire board. The term of office of any director shall terminate upon that election of a successor.

The hearing on any application filed pursuant to this subdivision shall be held on not less than 10 business days notice to the corporation. If the corporation intends to oppose the application, it shall file with the court a notice of opposition not later than five business days prior to the date set for the hearing. The application and any notice of opposition shall be supported by appropriate affidavits and the court’s determination shall be made on the basis of the papers in the record; but, for good cause shown, the court may receive and consider at the hearing additional evidence, oral or documentary, and additional points and authorities. The hearing shall take precedence over all other matters not of a similar nature pending on the date set for the hearing.

(d) Any director may resign effective upon giving written notice to the chairperson of the board, the president, the secretary or the board of directors of the corporation, unless the notice specifies a later time for the effectiveness of such resignation. If the resignation is effective at a future time, a successor may be elected to take office when the resignation becomes effective.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 98, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2016.)

306.
  

If (a) a corporation has not issued shares and all the directors resign, die, or become incompetent, or (b) a corporation’s initial directors have not been named in the articles, and all the incorporators resign, die, or become incompetent prior to the election of the initial directors, the superior court of any county may appoint directors of the corporation upon application by any party in interest.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 485, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2001.)

307.
  

(a) Unless otherwise provided in the articles or, subject to paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 204, in the bylaws, all of the following apply:

(1) Meetings of the board may be called by the chairperson of the board or the president or any vice president or the secretary or any two directors.

(2) Regular meetings of the board may be held without notice if the time and place of the meetings are fixed by the bylaws or the board. Special meetings of the board shall be held upon four days’ notice by mail or 48 hours’ notice delivered personally or by telephone, including a voice messaging system or by electronic transmission by the corporation (Section 20). The articles or bylaws may not dispense with notice of a special meeting. A notice, or waiver of notice, need not specify the purpose of any regular or special meeting of the board.

(3) Notice of a meeting need not be given to a director who provides a waiver of notice or a consent to holding the meeting or an approval of the minutes thereof in writing, whether before or after the meeting, or who attends the meeting without protesting, prior thereto or at its commencement, the lack of notice to that director. These waivers, consents and approvals shall be filed with the corporate records or made a part of the minutes of the meeting.

(4) A majority of the directors present, whether or not a quorum is present, may adjourn any meeting to another time and place. If the meeting is adjourned for more than 24 hours, notice of an adjournment to another time or place shall be given prior to the time of the adjourned meeting to the directors who were not present at the time of the adjournment.

(5) Meetings of the board may be held at a place within or without the state that has been designated in the notice of the meeting or, if not stated in the notice or there is no notice, designated in the bylaws or by resolution of the board.

(6) Members of the board may participate in a meeting through use of conference telephone, electronic video screen communication, or electronic transmission by and to the corporation (Sections 20 and 21). Participation in a meeting through use of conference telephone or electronic video screen communication pursuant to this subdivision constitutes presence in person at that meeting as long as all members participating in the meeting are able to hear one another. Participation in a meeting through electronic transmission by and to the corporation (other than conference telephone and electronic video screen communication), pursuant to this subdivision constitutes presence in person at that meeting if both of the following apply:

(A) Each member participating in the meeting can communicate with all of the other members concurrently.

(B) Each member is provided the means of participating in all matters before the board, including, without limitation, the capacity to propose, or to interpose an objection to, a specific action to be taken by the corporation.

(7) A majority of the authorized number of directors constitutes a quorum of the board for the transaction of business. The articles or bylaws may not provide that a quorum shall be less than one-third the authorized number of directors or less than two, whichever is larger, unless the authorized number of directors is one, in which case one director constitutes a quorum.

(8) An act or decision done or made by a majority of the directors present at a meeting duly held at which a quorum is present is the act of the board, subject to the provisions of Section 310 and subdivision (e) of Section 317. The articles or bylaws may not provide that a lesser vote than a majority of the directors present at a meeting is the act of the board. A meeting at which a quorum is initially present may continue to transact business notwithstanding the withdrawal of directors, if any action taken is approved by at least a majority of the required quorum for that meeting.

(b) An action required or permitted to be taken by the board may be taken without a meeting, if all members of the board shall individually or collectively consent in writing to that action and if the number of members of the board serving at the time constitutes a quorum. The written consent or consents shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the board. For purposes of this subdivision only, “all members of the board” shall include an “interested director” as described in subdivision (a) of Section 310 or a “common director” as described in subdivision (b) of Section 310 who abstains in writing from providing consent, where the disclosures required by Section 310 have been made to the noninterested or noncommon directors, as applicable, prior to their execution of the written consent or consents, the specified disclosures are conspicuously included in the written consent or consents executed by the noninterested or noncommon directors, and the noninterested or noncommon directors, as applicable, approve the action by a vote that is sufficient without counting the votes of the interested or common directors. If written consent is provided by the directors in accordance with the immediately preceding sentence and the disclosures made regarding the action that is the subject of the consent do not comply with the requirements of Section 310, the action that is the subject of the consent shall be deemed approved, but in any suit brought to challenge the action, the party asserting the validity of the action shall have the burden of proof in establishing that the action was just and reasonable to the corporation at the time it was approved.

(c) This section applies also to committees of the board and incorporators and action by those committees and incorporators, mutatis mutandis.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 98, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2016.)

308.
  

(a) If a corporation has an even number of directors who are equally divided and cannot agree as to the management of its affairs, so that its business can no longer be conducted to advantage or so that there is danger that its property and business will be impaired or lost, the superior court of the proper county may, notwithstanding any provisions of the articles or bylaws and whether or not an action is pending for an involuntary winding up or dissolution of the corporation, appoint a provisional director pursuant to this section. Action for such appointment may be brought by any director or by the holders of not less than 331/3 percent of the voting power.

(b) If the shareholders of a corporation are deadlocked so that they cannot elect the directors to be elected at an annual meeting of shareholders, the superior court of the proper county may, notwithstanding any provisions of the articles or bylaws, upon petition of a shareholder or shareholders holding 50 percent of the voting power, appoint a provisional director or directors pursuant to this section or order such other equitable relief as the court deems appropriate.

(c) A provisional director shall be an impartial person, who is neither a shareholder nor a creditor of the corporation, nor related by consanguinity or affinity within the third degree according to the common law to any of the other directors of the corporation or to any judge of the court by which such provisional director is appointed. A provisional director shall have all the rights and powers of a director until the deadlock in the board or among shareholders is broken or until such provisional director is removed by order of the court or by approval of the outstanding shares (Section 152). Such person shall be entitled to such compensation as shall be fixed by the court unless otherwise agreed with the corporation.

(d) This section does not apply to corporations subject to the Public Utilities Act (Part 1 (commencing with Section 201) of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code).

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 154, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1996.)

309.
  

(a) A director shall perform the duties of a director, including duties as a member of any committee of the board upon which the director may serve, in good faith, in a manner such director believes to be in the best interests of the corporation and its shareholders and with such care, including reasonable inquiry, as an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances.

(b) In performing the duties of a director, a director shall be entitled to rely on information, opinions, reports or statements, including financial statements and other financial data, in each case prepared or presented by any of the following:

(1) One or more officers or employees of the corporation whom the director believes to be reliable and competent in the matters presented.

(2) Counsel, independent accountants or other persons as to matters which the director believes to be within such person’s professional or expert competence.

(3) A committee of the board upon which the director does not serve, as to matters within its designated authority, which committee the director believes to merit confidence,


so long as, in any such case, the director acts in good faith, after reasonable inquiry when the need therefor is indicated by the circumstances and without knowledge that would cause such reliance to be unwarranted.

(c) A person who performs the duties of a director in accordance with subdivisions (a) and (b) shall have no liability based upon any alleged failure to discharge the person’s obligations as a director. In addition, the liability of a director for monetary damages may be eliminated or limited in a corporation’s articles to the extent provided in paragraph (10) of subdivision (a) of Section 204.

(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1203, Sec. 2. Effective September 27, 1987.)

310.
  

(a) No contract or other transaction between a corporation and one or more of its directors, or between a corporation and any corporation, firm or association in which one or more of its directors has a material financial interest, is either void or voidable because such director or directors or such other corporation, firm or association are parties or because such director or directors are present at the meeting of the board or a committee thereof which authorizes, approves or ratifies the contract or transaction, if

(1) The material facts as to the transaction and as to such director’s interest are fully disclosed or known to the shareholders and such contract or transaction is approved by the shareholders (Section 153) in good faith, with the shares owned by the interested director or directors not being entitled to vote thereon, or

(2) The material facts as to the transaction and as to such director’s interest are fully disclosed or known to the board or committee, and the board or committee authorizes, approves or ratifies the contract or transaction in good faith by a vote sufficient without counting the vote of the interested director or directors and the contract or transaction is just and reasonable as to the corporation at the time it is authorized, approved or ratified, or

(3) As to contracts or transactions not approved as provided in paragraph (1) or (2) of this subdivision, the person asserting the validity of the contract or transaction sustains the burden of proving that the contract or transaction was just and reasonable as to the corporation at the time it was authorized, approved or ratified.

A mere common directorship does not constitute a material financial interest within the meaning of this subdivision. A director is not interested within the meaning of this subdivision in a resolution fixing the compensation of another director as a director, officer or employee of the corporation, notwithstanding the fact that the first director is also receiving compensation from the corporation.

(b) No contract or other transaction between a corporation and any corporation or association of which one or more of its directors are directors is either void or voidable because such director or directors are present at the meeting of the board or a committee thereof which authorizes, approves or ratifies the contract or transaction, if

(1) The material facts as to the transaction and as to such director’s other directorship are fully disclosed or known to the board or committee, and the board or committee authorizes, approves or ratifies the contract or transaction in good faith by a vote sufficient without counting the vote of the common director or directors or the contract or transaction is approved by the shareholders (Section 153) in good faith, or

(2) As to contracts or transactions not approved as provided in paragraph (1) of this subdivision, the contract or transaction is just and reasonable as to the corporation at the time it is authorized, approved or ratified.

This subdivision does not apply to contracts or transactions covered by subdivision (a).

(c) Interested or common directors may be counted in determining the presence of a quorum at a meeting of the board or a committee thereof which authorizes, approves or ratifies a contract or transaction.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 641.)

311.
  

The board may, by resolution adopted by a majority of the authorized number of directors, designate one or more committees, each consisting of two or more directors, to serve at the pleasure of the board. The board may designate one or more directors as alternate members of any committee, who may replace any absent member at any meeting of the committee. The appointment of members or alternate members of a committee requires the vote of a majority of the authorized number of directors. Any such committee, to the extent provided in the resolution of the board or in the bylaws, shall have all the authority of the board, except with respect to:

(a) The approval of any action for which this division also requires shareholders’ approval (Section 153) or approval of the outstanding shares (Section 152).

(b) The filling of vacancies on the board or in any committee.

(c) The fixing of compensation of the directors for serving on the board or on any committee.

(d) The amendment or repeal of bylaws or the adoption of new bylaws.

(e) The amendment or repeal of any resolution of the board which by its express terms is not so amendable or repealable.

(f) A distribution (Section 166), except at a rate, in a periodic amount or within a price range set forth in the articles or determined by the board.

(g) The appointment of other committees of the board or the members thereof.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 1223, Sec. 4.)

312.
  

(a) A corporation shall have (1) a chairperson of the board, who may be given the title of chair of the board, chairperson of the board, chairman of the board, or chairwoman of the board, or a president or both, (2) a secretary, (3) a chief financial officer, and (4) such other officers with such titles and duties as shall be stated in the bylaws or determined by the board and as may be necessary to enable it to sign instruments and share certificates. The president, or if there is no president the chairperson of the board, is the general manager and chief executive officer of the corporation, unless otherwise provided in the articles or bylaws. Any number of offices may be held by the same person unless the articles or bylaws provide otherwise.

(b) Except as otherwise provided by the articles or bylaws, officers shall be chosen by the board and serve at the pleasure of the board, subject to the rights, if any, of an officer under any contract of employment. Any officer may resign at any time upon written notice to the corporation without prejudice to the rights, if any, of the corporation under any contract to which the officer is a party.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 98, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2016.)

313.
  

Subject to the provisions of subdivision (a) of Section 208, any note, mortgage, evidence of indebtedness, contract, share certificate, initial transaction statement or written statement, conveyance, or other instrument in writing, and any assignment or endorsement thereof, executed or entered into between any corporation and any other person, when signed by the chairperson of the board, the president or any vice president and the secretary, any assistant secretary, the chief financial officer or any assistant treasurer of such corporation, is not invalidated as to the corporation by any lack of authority of the signing officers in the absence of actual knowledge on the part of the other person that the signing officers had no authority to execute the same.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 98, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2016.)

314.
  

The original or a copy in writing or in any other form capable of being converted into clearly legible tangible form of the bylaws or of the minutes of any incorporators’, shareholders’, directors’, committee or other meeting or of any resolution adopted by the board or a committee thereof, or shareholders, certified to be a true copy by a person purporting to be the secretary or an assistant secretary of the corporation, is prima facie evidence of the adoption of such bylaws or resolution or of the due holding of such meeting and of the matters stated therein.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 254, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 2005.)

315.
  

(a) A corporation shall not make any loan of money or property to, or guarantee the obligation of, any director or officer of the corporation or of its parent, unless the transaction, or an employee benefit plan authorizing the loans or guaranties after disclosure of the right under such a plan to include officers or directors, is approved by a majority of the shareholders entitled to act thereon.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if the corporation has outstanding shares held of record by 100 or more persons (determined as provided in Section 605) on the date of approval by the board, and has a bylaw approved by the outstanding shares (Section 152) authorizing the board alone to approve such a loan or guaranty to an officer, whether or not a director, or an employee benefit plan authorizing such a loan or guaranty to an officer, such a loan or guaranty or employee benefit plan may be approved by the board alone by a vote sufficient without counting the vote of any interested director or directors if the board determines that such a loan or guaranty or plan may reasonably be expected to benefit the corporation.

(c) A corporation shall not make any loan of money or property to, or guarantee the obligation of, any person upon the security of shares of the corporation or of its parent if the corporation’s recourse in the event of default is limited to the security for the loan or guaranty, unless the loan or guaranty is adequately secured without considering these shares, or the loan or guaranty is approved by a majority of the shareholders entitled to act thereon.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a corporation may advance money to a director or officer of the corporation or of its parent for any expenses reasonably anticipated to be incurred in the performance of the duties of the director or officer, provided that in the absence of the advance the director or officer would be entitled to be reimbursed for the expenses by the corporation, its parent, or any subsidiary.

(e) The provisions of subdivision (a) do not apply to the payment of premiums in whole or in part by a corporation on a life insurance policy on the life of a director or officer so long as repayment to the corporation of the amount paid by it is secured by the proceeds of the policy and its cash surrender value.

(f) This section does not apply to any of the following:

(1) Any transaction, plan, or agreement permitted under Section 408.

(2) Any depository institution, as defined in Section 202 of the Depository Institutions Management Interlocks Act (12 U.S.C. Sec. 3201).

(3) Any loan or guaranty made by a corporation that makes loans or guaranties in the ordinary course of its business if statutes or regulations pertaining to the corporation expressly regulate the making by the corporation of loans to its officers or directors or the undertaking of guaranties of the obligations of its officers or directors.

(g) For the purposes of subdivisions (a) and (c), “approval by a majority of the shareholders entitled to act” means either (1) written consent of a majority of the outstanding shares without counting as outstanding or as consenting any shares owned by any officer or director eligible to participate in the plan or transaction that is subject to this approval, (2) the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares present and voting at a duly held meeting at which a quorum is otherwise present, without counting for purposes of the vote as either present or voting any shares owned by any officer or director eligible to participate in the plan or transaction that is subject to the approval, or (3) the unanimous vote or written consent of the shareholders. In the case of a corporation which has more than one class or series of shares outstanding, the “shareholders entitled to act” within the meaning of this section includes only holders of those classes or series entitled under the articles to vote on all matters before the shareholders or to vote on the subject matter of this section, and includes a requirement for separate class or series voting, or for more or less than one vote per share, only to the extent required by the articles.

(Amended by Stats. 1984, Ch. 812, Sec. 1.)

316.
  

(a) Subject to the provisions of Section 309, directors of a corporation who approve any of the following corporate actions shall be jointly and severally liable to the corporation for the benefit of all of the creditors or shareholders entitled to institute an action under subdivision (c):

(1) The making of any distribution to its shareholders to the extent that it is contrary to the provisions of Sections 500 to 503, inclusive.

(2) The distribution of assets to shareholders after institution of dissolution proceedings of the corporation, without paying or adequately providing for all known liabilities of the corporation, excluding any claims not filed by creditors within the time limit set by the court in a notice given to creditors under Chapters 18 (commencing with Section 1800), 19 (commencing with Section 1900) and 20 (commencing with Section 2000).

(3) The making of any loan or guaranty contrary to Section 315.

(b) A director who is present at a meeting of the board, or any committee thereof, at which action specified in subdivision (a) is taken and who abstains from voting shall be considered to have approved the action.

(c) Suit may be brought in the name of the corporation to enforce the liability (1) under paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) against any or all directors liable by the persons entitled to sue under subdivision (b) of Section 506, (2) under paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (a) against any or all directors liable by any one or more creditors of the corporation whose debts or claims arose prior to the time of any of the corporate actions specified in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (a) and who have not consented to the corporate action, whether or not they have reduced their claims to judgment, or (3) under paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) against any or all directors liable by any one or more holders of shares outstanding at the time of any corporate action specified in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) who have not consented to the corporate action, without regard to the provisions of Section 800.

(d) The damages recoverable from a director under this section shall be the amount of the illegal distribution (or if the illegal distribution consists of property, the fair market value of that property at the time of the illegal distribution) plus interest thereon from the date of the distribution at the legal rate on judgments until paid, together with all reasonably incurred costs of appraisal or other valuation, if any, of that property or loss suffered by the corporation as a result of the illegal loan or guaranty, as the case may be, but not exceeding the liabilities of the corporation owed to nonconsenting creditors at the time of the violation and the injury suffered by nonconsenting shareholders, as the case may be.

(e) Any director sued under this section may implead all other directors liable and may compel contribution, either in that action or in an independent action against directors not joined in that action.

(f) Directors liable under this section shall also be entitled to be subrogated to the rights of the corporation:

(1) With respect to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), against shareholders who received the distribution.

(2) With respect to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), against shareholders who received the distribution of assets.

(3) With respect to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a), against the person who received the loan or guaranty. Any director sued under this section may file a cross-complaint against the person or persons who are liable to the director as a result of the subrogation provided for in this subdivision or may proceed against them in an independent action.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1064, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1995.)

317.
  

(a) For the purposes of this section, “agent” means any person who is or was a director, officer, employee or other agent of the corporation, or is or was serving at the request of the corporation as a director, officer, employee or agent of another foreign or domestic corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise, or was a director, officer, employee or agent of a foreign or domestic corporation which was a predecessor corporation of the corporation or of another enterprise at the request of the predecessor corporation; “proceeding” means any threatened, pending or completed action or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative; and “expenses” includes without limitation attorneys’ fees and any expenses of establishing a right to indemnification under subdivision (d) or paragraph (4) of subdivision (e).

(b) A corporation shall have power to indemnify any person who was or is a party or is threatened to be made a party to any proceeding (other than an action by or in the right of the corporation to procure a judgment in its favor) by reason of the fact that the person is or was an agent of the corporation, against expenses, judgments, fines, settlements, and other amounts actually and reasonably incurred in connection with the proceeding if that person acted in good faith and in a manner the person reasonably believed to be in the best interests of the corporation and, in the case of a criminal proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe the conduct of the person was unlawful. The termination of any proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction, or upon a plea of nolo contendere or its equivalent shall not, of itself, create a presumption that the person did not act in good faith and in a manner which the person reasonably believed to be in the best interests of the corporation or that the person had reasonable cause to believe that the person’s conduct was unlawful.

(c) A corporation shall have power to indemnify any person who was or is a party or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending, or completed action by or in the right of the corporation to procure a judgment in its favor by reason of the fact that the person is or was an agent of the corporation, against expenses actually and reasonably incurred by that person in connection with the defense or settlement of the action if the person acted in good faith, in a manner the person believed to be in the best interests of the corporation and its shareholders.

No indemnification shall be made under this subdivision for any of the following:

(1) In respect of any claim, issue or matter as to which the person shall have been adjudged to be liable to the corporation in the performance of that person’s duty to the corporation and its shareholders, unless and only to the extent that the court in which the proceeding is or was pending shall determine upon application that, in view of all the circumstances of the case, the person is fairly and reasonably entitled to indemnity for expenses and then only to the extent that the court shall determine.

(2) Of amounts paid in settling or otherwise disposing of a pending action without court approval.

(3) Of expenses incurred in defending a pending action which is settled or otherwise disposed of without court approval.

(d) To the extent that an agent of a corporation has been successful on the merits in defense of any proceeding referred to in subdivision (b) or (c) or in defense of any claim, issue, or matter therein, the agent shall be indemnified against expenses actually and reasonably incurred by the agent in connection therewith.

(e) Except as provided in subdivision (d), any indemnification under this section shall be made by the corporation only if authorized in the specific case, upon a determination that indemnification of the agent is proper in the circumstances because the agent has met the applicable standard of conduct set forth in subdivision (b) or (c), by any of the following:

(1) A majority vote of a quorum consisting of directors who are not parties to such proceeding.

(2) If such a quorum of directors is not obtainable, by independent legal counsel in a written opinion.

(3) Approval of the shareholders (Section 153), with the shares owned by the person to be indemnified not being entitled to vote thereon.

(4) The court in which the proceeding is or was pending upon application made by the corporation or the agent or the attorney or other person rendering services in connection with the defense, whether or not the application by the agent, attorney or other person is opposed by the corporation.

(f) Expenses incurred in defending any proceeding may be advanced by the corporation prior to the final disposition of the proceeding upon receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of the agent to repay that amount if it shall be determined ultimately that the agent is not entitled to be indemnified as authorized in this section. The provisions of subdivision (a) of Section 315 do not apply to advances made pursuant to this subdivision.

(g) The indemnification authorized by this section shall not be deemed exclusive of any additional rights to indemnification for breach of duty to the corporation and its shareholders while acting in the capacity of a director or officer of the corporation to the extent the additional rights to indemnification are authorized in an article provision adopted pursuant to paragraph (11) of subdivision (a) of Section 204. The indemnification provided by this section for acts, omissions, or transactions while acting in the capacity of, or while serving as, a director or officer of the corporation but not involving breach of duty to the corporation and its shareholders shall not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which those seeking indemnification may be entitled under any bylaw, agreement, vote of shareholders or disinterested directors, or otherwise, to the extent the additional rights to indemnification are authorized in the articles of the corporation. An article provision authorizing indemnification “in excess of that otherwise permitted by Section 317” or “to the fullest extent permissible under California law” or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be construed to be both a provision for additional indemnification for breach of duty to the corporation and its shareholders as referred to in, and with the limitations required by, paragraph (11) of subdivision (a) of Section 204 and a provision for additional indemnification as referred to in the second sentence of this subdivision. The rights to indemnity hereunder shall continue as to a person who has ceased to be a director, officer, employee, or agent and shall inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors, and administrators of the person. Nothing contained in this section shall affect any right to indemnification to which persons other than the directors and officers may be entitled by contract or otherwise.

(h) No indemnification or advance shall be made under this section, except as provided in subdivision (d) or paragraph (4) of subdivision (e), in any circumstance where it appears:

(1) That it would be inconsistent with a provision of the articles, bylaws, a resolution of the shareholders, or an agreement in effect at the time of the accrual of the alleged cause of action asserted in the proceeding in which the expenses were incurred or other amounts were paid, which prohibits or otherwise limits indemnification.

(2) That it would be inconsistent with any condition expressly imposed by a court in approving a settlement.

(i) A corporation shall have power to purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any agent of the corporation against any liability asserted against or incurred by the agent in that capacity or arising out of the agent’s status as such whether or not the corporation would have the power to indemnify the agent against that liability under this section. The fact that a corporation owns all or a portion of the shares of the company issuing a policy of insurance shall not render this subdivision inapplicable if either of the following conditions are satisfied: (1) if the articles authorize indemnification in excess of that authorized in this section and the insurance provided by this subdivision is limited as indemnification is required to be limited by paragraph (11) of subdivision (a) of Section 204; or (2) (A) the company issuing the insurance policy is organized, licensed, and operated in a manner that complies with the insurance laws and regulations applicable to its jurisdiction of organization, (B) the company issuing the policy provides procedures for processing claims that do not permit that company to be subject to the direct control of the corporation that purchased that policy, and (C) the policy issued provides for some manner of risk sharing between the issuer and purchaser of the policy, on one hand, and some unaffiliated person or persons, on the other, such as by providing for more than one unaffiliated owner of the company issuing the policy or by providing that a portion of the coverage furnished will be obtained from some unaffiliated insurer or reinsurer.

(j) This section does not apply to any proceeding against any trustee, investment manager, or other fiduciary of an employee benefit plan in that person’s capacity as such, even though the person may also be an agent as defined in subdivision (a) of the employer corporation. A corporation shall have power to indemnify such a trustee, investment manager, or other fiduciary to the extent permitted by subdivision (f) of Section 207.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 154, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1996.)

318.
  

(a) The Secretary of State shall develop and maintain a registry of distinguished women and minorities who are available to serve on corporate boards of directors. As used in this section, “minority” means an ethnic person of color including American Indians, Asians (including, but not limited to, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Pacific Islanders, Samoans, and Southeast Asians), Blacks, Filipinos, and Hispanics.

(b) For each woman or minority who participates in the registry, the Secretary of State shall maintain information on his or her educational, professional, community service, and corporate governance background. That information may include, but is not limited to:

(1) Paid or volunteer employment.

(2) Service in elected public office or on public boards or commissions.

(3) Directorships, officerships, and trusteeships of business and nonprofit entities, including committee experience.

(4) Professional, academic, or community awards or honors.

(5) Publications.

(6) Government relations experience.

(7) Experience with corporate constituents.

(8) Any other areas of special expertise.

(c) In addition to the information subdivision (b) requires, each woman or minority who participates in the registry may disclose any number of personal attributes that may contribute to board diversity. Those attributes may include, but are not limited to, gender, physical disability, race, or ethnic origin.

(d) In addition to the information subdivision (b) requires, each woman or minority who participates in the registry may indicate characteristics of corporations for which he or she would consider, or is especially interested in, serving as a director. These characteristics may include, but are not limited to, company size, industry, geographic location, board meeting frequency, director time commitments, director compensation, director insurance or indemnification, or social policy concerns.

(e) Any woman or minority may nominate himself or herself to the registry by filing with the Secretary of State the information required by subdivision (b) on a form the secretary prescribes. Any registrant may attach a copy of his or her resume and up to two letters of recommendation to his or her registration form. Each registrant’s registration form, together with any attached resume or letters of recommendation, shall constitute his or her registry transcript.

(f) The Secretary of State shall make appropriate rules requiring registrants to renew or update their filings with the registry, as necessary to ensure continued accuracy of registry information.

(g) The Secretary of State shall assign each registrant a file number, then enter the information described in subdivisions (b), (c), and (d) into a data base, using the registrant’s file number to identify him or her. The registry data base shall not disclose any registrant’s name or street address, but may list the city, county, or ZIP Code of his or her business or residence address. The secretary shall make data base information available to those persons described in subdivisions (i) and (j). The secretary may provide that access either by permitting direct data base searches or by performing data base searches on written request.

(h) The Secretary of State may also make information contained in the registry data base available to any person or entity qualified to transact business in California that regularly engages in the business of providing data base access or search services; provided, that data base access will not be construed to entitle the user to access to any registrant’s transcript.

(i) The Secretary of State shall make information contained in a reasonable number of registrants’ transcripts available to any corporation or its representative. A “representative,” for purposes of this subdivision, may be an attorney, an accountant, or a retained executive recruiter. A “retained executive recruiter,” for purposes of this subdivision, is an individual or business entity engaged in the executive search business that is regularly retained to locate qualified candidates for appointment or election as corporate directors or executive officers.

(j) The Secretary of State may also grant access to a reasonable number of registrants’ transcripts to any other person who demonstrates to the secretary’s satisfaction that the person does both of the following:

(1) Seeks access to the registry in connection with an actual search for a corporate director.

(2) Intends to use any information obtained from the registry only for the purpose of finding qualified candidates for an open position on a corporate board of directors.

(k) The Secretary of State may employ reasonable means to verify that any party seeking access to registry transcript information is one of those specified in subdivision (i) or (j). To that end, the secretary may require a representative to identify its principal, but may not disclose that principal’s identity to any other person.

(l) Upon written request specifying the registrant’s file number, the Secretary of State shall provide any party entitled to access to registry transcripts with a copy of any registrant’s transcript. The secretary may by rule or regulation specify other reasonable means by which persons entitled thereto may order copies of registrants’ transcripts.

(m) Notwithstanding any other law, a person shall not be entitled to access to information the registry contains, except as this section specifically provides.

(n) The Secretary of State shall charge fees for registering with the registry, obtaining access to the registry data base, and obtaining copies of registrants’ transcripts. The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Senate Commission on Corporate Governance, Shareholder Rights, and Securities Transactions, shall fix those fees by regulation. Fees shall be fixed so that the aggregate amount of all fees collected shall be sufficient to cover the total cost of administering the registry program. Registration fees shall be fixed so as to encourage qualified women and minorities to participate. Fees shall be deposited into the Secretary of State’s Business Fee Fund.

(o) The Secretary of State may make any rule, regulation, guideline, or agreement the secretary deems necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this section.

(p) The Secretary of State may cooperate with the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, the California Council to Promote Business Ownership by Women, the Senate Commission on Corporate Governance, Shareholder Rights, and Securities Transactions, women’s organizations, minority organizations, business and professional organizations, and any other individual or entity the secretary deems appropriate, for any of the following purposes:

(1) Promoting corporate use of the registry.

(2) Locating qualified women and minorities and encouraging them to participate in the registry.

(3) Educating interested parties on the purpose and most effective use of the registry.

The secretary may also prepare and distribute publications designed to promote informed use of the registry.

(q) The Secretary of State may seek registrants’ consent to be listed in a published directory of women and minorities eligible to serve as corporate directors, which will contain a summary of each listed registrant’s qualifications. The secretary may periodically publish, or cause to be published, such a directory. Only those registrants who so consent in writing may be included in the directory. The printed directory shall be provided to any person upon payment of a fee, which the Secretary of State will determine by regulation, in consultation with the Senate Commission on Corporate Governance, Shareholder Rights, and Securities Transactions.

(r) The Secretary of State shall implement this section no later than January 1, 1995.

(s) At least once in each three-year period during which the registry is available for corporate use, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Senate Commission on Corporate Governance, Shareholder Rights, and Securities Transactions, shall report to the Legislature on the extent to which the registry has helped women and minorities progress toward achieving parity in corporate board appointments or elections.

(t) The Secretary of State shall notify each University of California campus and each California State University campus of the opportunity to maintain the registry created pursuant to this section. If more than one campus of the university or state university expresses interest in maintaining the registry, the Secretary of State shall select a campus based on a competitive selection process. If a campus is selected, the Secretary of State shall transfer the information contained in the registry, free of cost, to that campus. Any University of California or California State University campus selected to maintain the registry shall do so in a manner consistent with this section. Funds deposited in the Secretary of State’s Business Fees Fund pursuant to this section shall be transferred to the university selected to maintain the registry, and shall be used to administer the registry program. The Secretary of State shall maintain the registry until a University of California or California State University campus agrees to do so.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 46, Sec. 2. Effective June 27, 2012.)

CORPCorporations Code - CORP