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起草有限責任公司之經營合同

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有限責任公司(LLP)和公司(Corporation)的經營合同其章程是相似的。這兩種文件,皆係爲您公司的業務的營運,進行規範。經營合同闡明有限責任公司的內部條款,包括各方的權益,義務與職責。在成立公司時,經營合同應該放眼各種重要面向,包含公司經營的目標,商業計劃,公司和員工的文化。以下是您公司起草經營合同時,您需要考慮的四個重要問題。 

  1. 爲什麽我會需要經營合同呢?

    經營合同能清楚地限定公司應當怎樣運行。擁有一份經營合同不僅能夠確保您只有有限的責任,以保護您的個人財產,經營合同更能夠避免公司所有人之間的誤會與矛盾。如果您的公司沒有經營合同,公司的內部指導法規便自動遵守每個州自己的有限責任公司法案。這些州立法案的統一指導法規不一定適合您的公司,所以一份量身打造的經營合同才能更好地保護您的利益。

  2. 日常的商業決策是由誰來做主呢?

    很多州的法定條文和普遍公司的經營合同都係依據公司成員的股份來計算成員有多少決定權。雖然這個框架好像很公平,惟每個公司的需求是不一樣的。比如説,有的成員可能投資比較多,但投資比較少的成員比較懂得經營公司。如此,還是讓比較專業的成員來做主商業決策和做其他的日常決定較妥適,所以此際就需要透過經營合同規範,使具有專業但投資比較少的成員擁有經營決策權。

    另外,如果公司成員有不同意見,或無法達不到協議,公司應該透過什麽程序來做最終決定,此一規範也是相當重要的。一般來説,如果兩個人合資做生意並成立的有限責任公司,兩個人的決定權是一樣大的。如果兩個人的意見不和,一個”扯平條款”能夠幫忙解決不分勝負的問題。打比方說,一個兩人公司如果沒有達到一致同意,公司開銷就不被批准。如果兩個投資人在一個開銷上達不成協議,公司業務就被影響了。準備一條 “扯平條款”能確保在需要的情況下,合夥人的生意關係和氣,也能避免耗費訴訟費用。

  3. 如果一名成員想要賣掉他/她的股份怎麽辦?
    • 每名成員擁有股份的百分比(%)
    • 每名成員的權利與責任
    • 詳細計劃闡明收益與損失將如果分配
    • 公司的管理計劃
    • 會議和投票的規矩
    • 併買或買賣約定以控管成員股份的買賣或於成員死亡、殘疾時之股份處理
  4. 如果您的生意興隆,成員可能會想要賣掉屬於他們的一部分,或全部的股份謀利。若沒有額外的協議,一般的經營合同通常都會允許成員自由轉讓其等在有限責任公司的股份。雖然這對想要買股份的成員來説是好消息,對留下來的成員來説,就代表他們可能要接受一個完全不認識,甚至不喜歡的新合作夥伴。事先擬好完整的經營合同可以解決這個問題。在經營合同裡,可以闡明所有的股份轉讓須經其他現有成員批准,透過此方式限制成員買賣股份的自由。

    4. 如果一名成員想要退出怎麽辦?

    處理成員退股的問題端視每個公司自己的情況而定。其中一個方式是在經營合同裡闡明成員退股須經其他成員一致批准。若想要否認此條款,唯一的辦法是讓法院解散公司。這個極端的後果通常大家都不樂見。所以這個條款能夠鼓勵成員私下交涉和談判,以解決爭議。惟此途徑之缺點在於,想退出的成員有可能透過訴訟的手段進行施壓,讓其他成員批准他/她的退出。

    另外一種方式為,在您的經營合同裡,加上”選擇權”。選擇權可以讓一名成員從公司退出,並要求公司以當時的市場價值收購他/她的股份。這個方法好像最公平,可是如果公司是經營方向為服務性質的產業,也許就不那麼合適。當人力減少時,有限責任公司的現金流動也有可能減少,讓收購變得困難。

    相比以上的選擇,經營合同也可以採取”尋找賣家”的方式。此方式是約定,成員同意鬆綁經營合同裡轉讓的限制,包括優先權。如果一名成員想要退股,此成員需要自己找第三人來買下他/她的股份。如果那名成員找不到買家,公司(或其他成員)可以選擇收購想要退股成員的股份。此方式允許現有的成員來決定同不同意其他第三人,來購買公司之股份,而成為公司成員的一份子,同時也給予想要退股的成員取回他/她投資的股份價值的機會。

    有限責任公司經營合同應有的條款:

    有限責任公司經營合同隨公司而變,可有幾條重要的條款是大多經營合同都有的。這些條款包括:

    以上條款係在起草有限責任公司經營合同時需要考慮的重要因素。經營合同的基本目的是要反應公司成員經營生意的方針。所以公司合夥人要謹慎考慮公司管理的風險和糾紛解決機制,未雨綢繆,於爭議尚未發生前,做好萬全的事先準備,而一份好的經營合同,就是您最需要的文件。

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