Shareholders Agreement An Ounce Of Preparation Can Afford a Pound Of Protection.

Shareholder activism continues to grow in prevalence and significance in the Canada making it more pertinent than ever to adequately protect our client's business with a well-drafted and thorough shareholders agreement. The types of investors undertaking activism, the companies that they are targeting and the outcomes that they are seeking to achieve have distinctly evolved over recent years.

What is a Shareholders Agreement?

A shareholders agreement is a legal document typically drafted upon the formation of a new business, protecting the individual investments of the shareholders of a company and outlining how that company is to be managed. 

From dispute mechanisms to exit strategies through to wider matters of corporate governance, we advise on shareholders agreements depending on the specific obligations relevant to each individual situation. The best performing companies do not stand still and we appreciate that maximizing operations can require change. We advise on a range of strategic decisions including implementing capital reductions to increase shareholder value and intragroup reorganisation to structure a company more efficiently.

Do You Need a Shareholders Agreement?

While there is no legal requirement in Ontario or Canada for the shareholders of a company to enter into a shareholders agreement, it is generally a good idea to have a shareholders agreement wherever you have a company with more than one shareholder.

Shareholders agreements help ensure that the owners of the business are clear on issues of control, decision making, voting rights, exits and buyouts, and death or divorce. Having a shareholders’ agreement ensures that the owners of the business can focus their efforts on what’s most important, running a successful business, instead of spending their precious time and effort on resolving business disputes.

One of the benefits of negotiating a shareholders’ agreement is that in the process of doing so, the shareholders may gain a better understanding of the aims and direction of other shareholders and the business as a whole. This ensures that every shareholder is on the same page and that easily avoidable disputes can be handled in an efficient and timely manner.

Contact Us to Discuss Your Shareholders Agreement

A well-drafted shareholders agreement is customized to each individual business and its unique goals. Keen investment in the day-to-day helps us to develop extensive knowledge of our clients’ businesses, inside and out. 

Whatever their next steps, we are ready to take them together. Our ongoing corporate support to both directors and shareholders, and their group companies draws on expert advice from practice areas across the firm resulting in a consistent multi-disciplinary approach. 

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