初创公司股东如何控制公司股权?
  • 发表时间:2019-01-17
  • 作者:公司法律师许光
  • 来源:南京公司律师
  Nanjing Corporate Lawyer has provided legal consulting service for enormous companies,especially the start-ups.Many start-ups might concern the issues with respect to the share proportion distribution.Whether the founder of a start-up should control the majority equity of this company?Should the founder allow the investors to hold a majority proportion of shares?Let’s take a look at a practical case and then make analysis.
 
  南京公司律师许光律师(电话微信同号17712855901)团队曾经为很多公司提供咨询服务,特别是那些初创公司。很多初创公司都很关注股权分配的问题。是否初创公司的创始人应当占据公司的优势股权?是否创始人应当允许投资者对公司控股?我们看一下以下的实际案例再做分析。
 
  There used to be a online retailing start-up which aimed at creating market demands via selling the best quality products to the clients.The retail start-up developed rather well and very quickly became the target of the venture capital funds.A VC fund chose this start-up and decided to invest,but required the start-up to transfer over 80%of shares.The start-up agreed.Several years later,the start-up moved toward a direction opposite to the founders,and finally disappeared in the market.The tragedy came about because that the founders did not know how to protect their own discourse of power inside the company.
 
  曾经有一家从事线上零售的初创公司,致力于为消费者提供最优质的产品。这家公司运行得非常良好,并很快成为风投公司得目标。一家风投基金选择了这家公司并且决定投资,但提出条件要求收购超过80%得股权。这家初创企业接受了这个条件,几年以后,企业的发展路径完全与当初创始人所设想的相反,从而是市场上铩羽而归。这一悲剧的发生是因为创始人不知道如何保护他们在企业中的话语权。
 
  A client ever asked me:whether he should accept 2 million yuan’s investment provided by a VC fund while the VC fund required to hold an equity of 70%.He was really in emergent need of money but even if he did not get the investment immediately,his company could keep running for at least for one year.Nanjing Corporate Lawyer told him that you should very cautiously consider that.When you accept this offer,you must lose the control over your company,and you cannot determine the future prospects of your company.According to my experiences,in the very early stage of investments or financing process,it’s highly undesirable for the founders to accept to so easily lose control over the company.Otherwise,the investors will determine the directions of the company,which may probably contradict with your original designs.He finally rejected the investment,and several months later,some other investors came with more favorable conditions,allowing him to maintain majority proportion of shares.
 
  一位客户问我:他是否应当接受风投公司所提供的200万元投资,而让投资人占股70%。他确实急需用钱,不过即使没有投资,他的公司也能够持续运行至少一年以上。南京公司律师告诉他,你需要非常审慎地考虑这件事情。根据我们过去的经验,在吸收投资或者融资的早期,创始人是不能轻易接受失去对于公司的控制权的。否则,投资人将会主导公司未来的发展方向,而这很有可能与创始人当初设计的恰好相反。听了南京公司律师的建议之后,他最终拒绝了这笔投资,而在六个月之后,其他投资人带着更好的条件与他签约了,他也最终保住了对公司的控股权。
 
  We can design some frameworks in which we can attract the investors to make investments into our start-ups while we can still keep the controlling power over the company.Here are several main forms of framework we will provide for our clients when it comes to maintaining the shareholding proportion or the voting rights:
 
  我们可以通过设立一种框架结构,以保证在吸引投资者进行投资的同时,创始人也能够确保对于公司的控制权。在这里我们整理了几种我们向当事人提供的保持控股权或者表决权的模式。
 
  1.Class A/Class B shares
 
  Most companies set the shares as the shares of the same rights to dividends,voting rights and other relevant benefits.In practice,we always suggest that company could choose to set Class A and Class B shares.This model divides total shares into different classifications and define different classes in terms of different rights as refers to voting rights,priority in obtaining dividends,etc.
 
  1、A/B股
 
  大部分公司会将股份设定为同股同权,具有相同的分红权和表决权以及其他权利。而在实践中,我们经常建议公司可以选择设立A/B股。这种模式将股权划分为不同的种类,赋予不同的投票权以及分红的优先顺序。
 
  For example,if you are going to introduce some investors,we allow the investors to hold Class B shares,which are allowed to gain the dividends prior to common shares,but Class A shares to be held by the founders of the start-up will have as many as 10 times voting rights as Class B shares.This arrangement ensures the investors of their preferential investment benefits as well as satisfying the founders’desire to maintain control over the corporate affairs.
 
  比如,如果公司将要引入投资人,可以让投资人持B类股份,这些股权可以在分配股利的时候优先分配,而公司创始人所持有的A类股权具有相当于B类股权10倍的表决权。这种安排在给予投资者优先获利之外,也确保创始人能够继续对公司行使控制。
 
  2.Entrusted Voting Rights or Persons Acting in Concerts
 
  Founders and investors may sign an agreement in which the investors agree to entrust their voting rights to the founders and founders then act as the representative of the investors to determine most important issues of the company.Meanwhile,there is also an arrangement that the founders and investors are tied together in a closer way:they can sign an agreement to act as“persons acting in concert”.That means in every shareholders’meeting,they shall cast the votes in same position,otherwise the party who breaches the agreement will have its voting as invalid and such voting shall be deemed as consistent with the complying party.
 
  2、委托投票和一致行动人
 
  创始人和投资人可以签订协议,投资人委托创始人行使投票权,由此创始人可以通过集中行使投票权决定公司的重大事项。另外,投资人和创始人之间也可以签订更为紧密联系的“一致行动协议”,双方互相作为一致行动人,在股东会中以相同的立场进行投票。如果一方背离该协议而投出相反立场的票,则该违约方的投票无效,将被视为其投票和守约方一致。
 
  3.virtual stock
 
  The founders can issue certain number of virtual stocks to provide incentives for important employees in the company,such as technological directors,marketing directors,financial directors or other important officers.Virtual stocks are not to be registered with the industrial and commercial authorities,and then should only be deemed as having similar nature with remunerations or bonuses.The employees are allowed to buy the virtual stocks at a favorable price,or be granted such stocks for free,and they have to allow the company to redeem such stocks when the period for holding such stocks expires or they are going to leave the company.They can only gain the benefits calculated based upon total number of virtual stocks and distributable profits,rather than having any voting rights or relevant benefits or powers granted to actual shareholders only.
 
  3、虚拟股权
 
  公司创始人可以发行一定比例的虚拟股权,以配发给公司的重要员工,比如技术负责人、营销负责人、财务负责人或者其他重要员工。虚拟股权并不需要在工商部门登记,也只是被视为和员工报酬或者奖金具有相似的性质。员工可以用优惠价格购买虚拟股权,或者免费配发虚拟股权,所以当持有虚拟股权的期间届满以及当员工将要离开公司的时候,公司可行使赎回虚拟股权的权利。持有虚拟股权的员工只根据虚拟股份总数和可分配利润获取红利,而不行使任何投票权,也不享受其他只有真正股东才能享受的权利或者利益。
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