白家柱律师事务所

Tony Pak (commercial lawyer)

股东协议常见问题系列问答之八

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很久没有更新我们的博客了。 这是我们关于股东协议的常见问题系列的最后一期。希望这个系列对所有的商业企业有帮助。 请注意这里只是为了起到普及法律常识的目的读者不要以此做为法律意见。

The following is for educational purposes only.  Do not treat it as or rely on it as legal advice or a legal opinion. If you want to share this post, please make sure you share everything including this disclaimer.

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问题#18:谁可以帮我写股东协议?

(Who can prepare a Shareholder Agreement?)

从理论上讲,任何人都可以写股东协议。 但以下原因可以说明为什么你要选择一个主要业务是公司和商业法的律师来帮助你准备股东协议。

律师会知道选择哪些合适的条款来避免问题和满足各股东的基本需求。更重要的是,律师会知道哪种类型的条款会如何影响业务,以及选择适合的条款来满足你的要求。律师也会知道你的需求或你的愿望是否会引起未来的问题并对此提出合理的解决方案。律师更会知道每个条款对公司的运作可能的影响。

选择错误的条款可能会在未来造成很多问题。 那么在这种情况下,如果没有股东协议可能会更好。

In theory, anybody can prepare a shareholder agreement, but here’s why you want to choose the right lawyer who practises primarily in corporate and commercial law to prepare it.

A lawyer would know what clauses to select to avoid problems and to address your stated basic needs.  More importantly, a lawyer would know how each type of clause will affect the business and which clause to select to accomplish your goals.  A lawyer would also know whether or not your stated needs or your wishes might lead to future problems and to suggest a solution.  The lawyer would know how each clause will affect the operations of the corporation.

Selecting the wrong clause may cause a lot of problems in the future and in such case, you may be better off without a shareholder agreement.

问题#19:其他非法律专业人士是否也可以准备一份股东协议?

Can other non-legal professionals prepare a Shareholder Agreement?

会计师和其他专业人士可以通过提供有价值的税务建议来帮助股东之间达成协议。然而,股东协议是一种根据合同法和公司法准备的法律合同。要记住的是,股东协议不仅仅是为了解决公司的财务问题,还在于预测未来可能发生的纠纷,并在这种情况下准备好解决方案。起草和解决争端更是一项法律服务。

我们经常听到的一个观点是,其他一些专业人士有股东协议的所有模板条款,因此没有必要聘请律师。这是不正确的。就像所有的合同一样,起草一份股东协议的难度并不是寻找一个模板,而是在于知道如何选择哪些有帮助的条款和删除那些不利的条款,同时确保各选择的条款之间不会冲突, 使这个合同合法有效。训练有素的商业律师能够起草合适的股东协议来帮助解决你的难题。

An accountant and other professionals can help with a Shareholder Agreement by providing valuable tax advice or insurance advice.  However, a Shareholder Agreement is a legal contract and its preparation is an exercise in contract and corporate law.  Remember a Shareholder Agreement is intended not just to set out how the corporation will be financed but to also anticipate potential future disputes and to have a solution ready in such cases.  Drafting to anticipate and resolve disputes is very much a legal service.

One perspective that we hear often is that some other professional already has all the template clauses for a shareholder agreement and therefore a lawyer is not necessary.  This is incorrect.  The difficulty in drafting a shareholder agreement, like all contracts, is not in finding a template but selecting which clauses actually help, deleting the ones that are harmful, ensuring selections do not conflict, and generally, ensuring the contract accomplishes your goals legally and properly.  A corporate lawyer is specifically trained to deal with the most difficult parts of drafting a shareholder agreement.

问题#20:商业律师将如何使我的股东协议更有价值?

(How can a business lawyer add value to my shareholder agreement?)

回答:刚刚起步的企业的股东协议与成熟企业的股东协议是不同。这两类公司处于不同的阶段,目标也是不同的。

律师所起的作用不仅仅在于起草协议,还在于考虑你目前的需求和你未来的规划。一位有经验的商业律师能知道公司在成长阶段将面临的挑战,提出改进你的股东协议的建议。律师必须能够同时考虑到你的费用和确定哪些条款最适合你。

通过和客户的讨论,律师使股东协议更有价值。 简单地说,在讨论中确定你的需求以及如何最好地解决它们,这是你能从律师那里得到的最有价值的部分。一旦这部分完成,起草股东协议就会变得容易多了。

A shareholder agreement for a business that’s just starting should be different from a shareholder agreement for a well-established business.  The two businesses are at different stages and the goals of each business would be different.

The role of the lawyer is not just to draft the agreement but to look at your immediate needs and your future plans.  An experienced business lawyer is knowledgeable about the challenges a corporation may face at each stage of growth and can offer suggestions to improve your shareholder agreement.  The lawyer should then be able to determine which clauses are the most suitable for your situation while taking into account what you can afford at the time of the agreement.

This can only be done by way of a discussion with a client who has already determined what their basic needs will be.  Simply put, the value you get from a lawyer is in this discussion to determine your needs and how best to address them.  Once that has been completed, drafting becomes much easier.

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