股东之间那些事儿——管好公司的营业执照和公章
As Between Shareholders -Managing the business license and official seal of a joint venture company
2017/2/17 11:20:16 点击率[144] 评论[0]
【法宝引证码】
    【学科类别】公司法
    【出处】邓永泉律师的博客
    【写作时间】2012年
    【中文关键字】股东;公司;营业执照;公章
    【全文】

      营业执照和公章对于公司和股东来讲至关重要,在股东纠纷中往往成为斗争的焦点。遗憾的是,在风险控制中,它们又常常被忽略,可能股东认为是法律问题应该由律师负责,而律师又认为是商业问题应由股东自己操心。最近,我又遇到了这种事,因此,觉得很有必要提醒未来股东们的注意。
     
      Business license and official seal are critical to a company and its shareholders, and are oftentimes at the center of contention in shareholder disputes. Regrettably, they are often neglected in risk control, possibly because shareholders believe it is a legal issue and should be the responsibility of lawyers, and the lawyers on the other hand believe it is a commercial issue and should be taken care of by the shareholders themselves. I recently came across such an incident, and felt it necessary to bring this to the attention of future shareholders.
     
      我最近又遇到的这件事
     
      A recent incident
     
      一个美国公司与一个中国公司在北京设立了一家中外合资企业(“合资企业”),经营文化创意产业。双方的实际控制人有多年的交情,彼此貌似非常信任。在合资企业中,美方股权比例为51%,中方股权比例为49%。董事会是合资企业的权力机关,有四名董事,双方各委派两名。美方实际控制人为董事之一,担任董事长,是公司的法定代表人。中方实际控制人也是董事之一,担任总经理。根据合资企业的公司章程规定,合资企业的重大事项由所有董事一致同意,其他事项由三分之二董事同意。合资企业创立之初,美方实际控制人忙于自己在美国的事务,无法来中国对履行法定代表人职责,因此,合资企业的营业执照和公章、财务章都掌握在中方实际控制人(总经理)的手中,美方实际控制人(法定代表人)还刻了一个人名章,一并交给中方实际控制人(总经理),以方便其工作。
     
      A U.S. based company and a Chinese company set up a Sino-foreign joint venture company (“JV Co.”) in Beijing to engage in culture and creative business. The de-facto controlling persons on both sides are old business friends dating back many years, and appear to have deep mutual trust. The U.S. company has a 51% and the Chinese company 49% equity interest in the JV Co The Board of Directors, which is the governing body of the JV Co., is comprised of four directors, giving the parties equal representation. The de-facto American controlling person is one of the directors, and also serves as chairman of the board, and legal representative of the JV Co The de-facto Chinese controlling person is also a director, and he serves as the general manager of the JV Co As provided in the Articles of Association of the JV Co., major matters of the JV Co. are subject to unanimous approval of the full board, and other matters are subject to approval by a two third majority. In the initial stage following establishment of the JV Co., the de-facto American controlling person was busy with his own business in the U.S., and could not come to China to perform the duties demanded of a legal representative. As a result, the business license, the official seal and the financial seal of the JV Co. fell into the hands of the de-facto Chinese controlling person (i.e. the general manager)。  The de-facto American controlling person (i.e. the legal representative) had made a personal chop and handed it over to the de-facto Chinese controlling person (i.e. the general manager) to facilitate his performance of the job.
     
      时隔不久,问题就来了。
     
      Problems surfaced shortly after.
     
      合资企业建了一片文化创意产业园,拟将其中的住宅部分出售给入园的企业或艺术家。中方实际控制人(总经理)手里拿着合资企业的营业执照和公章、财务章、法定代表人人名章,不经美方实际控制人(法定代表人)同意,直接就与艺术家们签订了买卖合同。合资企业的会计是中方实际控制人(总经理)的女儿,所以,这些销售款也都完全由中方实际控制人(总经理)控制了。当美方实际控制人(法定代表人)来到合资企业履行指责,要求中方实际控制人(总经理)将营业执照和公章、财务章、法定代表人人名章交还给他的时候,中方实际控制人(总经理)却置之不理,美方实际控制人(法定代表人)什么都管不了,合资企业完全失控。
     
      The JV Co. developed a culture and creative industry park, and intended to sell the residential units to companies or artists who move their business operations into the park.  The de-facto Chinese controlling person (i.e. the general manager) had in his control the business license, the official seal and the financial seal of the JV Co., as well as the personal seal of the legal representative, and without consent of the de-facto American controlling person (i.e. the legal representative), he directly signed sales and purchase contracts with the artists. As the accountant of the JV Co. is the daughter of the de-facto Chinese controlling person (i.e. the general manager), and all the sales proceeds are therefore entirely controlled by the de-facto Chinese controlling person (i.e. the general manager)。 When the de-facto American controlling person (i.e. the legal representative) came to perform duties as the legal representative of the JV Co., and asked for the return of the business license, the official seal and the financial seal of the JV Co., and his own personal chop, his request was met with deaf ears, and he was left powerless, and the JV Co. run out of control completely.
     
      这种事情太多了!那么,可以解决吗?有的可以,有的很难!
     
      Such incidents are so commonplace! Could it be redressed? Some could, but some may prove very difficult.
     
      挂失
     
      Report it Missing
     
      如果只是营业执照或公章其一在中方实际控制人(总经理)手里,美方实际控制人(法定代表人)还可以向主管工商局申请挂失营业执照或公章,补办新的营业执照或补刻公章,然后再由美方实际控制人(法定代表人)掌握新的营业执照和公章。然而,营业执照和公章都在中方实际控制人(总经理)手里,这就很难通过挂失来解决了。一般来讲[1],挂失补刻公章需要公司法定代表人签字并提供营业执照;挂失补办营业执照则需要加盖公司公章[2],并由公司章程规定的公司权力机关出具决议。如上所述,合资企业的董事会是双方各自委派两名董事,根据合资企业公司章程规定,合资企业的重大事项由所有董事一致同意,其他事项由三分之二董事同意,而中方委派的两名董事是不会同意公司挂失并补办营业执照的,因此,公司也就无法先后挂失、补刻公章和补办营业执照的。
     
      If either the business license or the official seal (not both) is in the hands of the de-facto Chinese controlling person (i.e. the general manager), the de-facto American controlling person (i.e. the legal representative) may apply to the competent administration for industry and commerce to report the missing of the corporate business license or official seal, and apply for a new business license or a new official seal, and the de-facto American controlling person (i.e. the legal representative) will then control the new business license and official seal. However, in our case, both the business license and the official seal are in the hands of the de-facto Chinese controlling person (i.e. the general manager), and it is difficult to regain both by reporting them missing. Generally speaking, to report a missing official seal and apply for a new official seal, it requires the signature of the legal representative and presentation of the business license, and to report a missing business license and apply for a new license, it requires affixation of the official seal, and presentation of a resolution issued by the governing body designated in the Articles of Association of the company. As stated above, the parties have equal representation on the board of the JV Co., and under the Articles of Association of the JV Co., major matters are subject to unanimous approval of the full board, and other matters are subject to approval by a two third majority. In our case, the two directors representing the Chinese shareholder would not have agreed to the JV Co. reporting loss of the business license and apply for a new business license, and thus the JV Co. could not report the loss nor apply for a new official seal and a new business license.
     
      合资企业起诉中方实际控制人(总经理)
     
      The JV Co. sues the de-facto Chinese controlling person (i.e. the general manager)
     
      美方实际控制人(法定代表人)可以尝试由合资企业起诉[3]中方实际控制人(总经理),要求其向公司返还营业执照和公章等,然后再由美方实际控制人(法定代表人)掌握新的营业执照和公章,但是能否获得支持,甚至能否立案都取决于法官的自由裁量权,因为法律法规没有对营业执照和公章应该由谁来持有做出规定。有的法官认为“法定代表人是公司的代表,营业执照和公章应由法定代表人代表公司持有”,但这种观点不是多数意见。更多的观点认为,公司法并未明确规定营业执照和公章应该由谁来代表公司持有,因此这属于公司内部管理问题,应按照公司章程或其他公司内部规定来确定由谁代表公司持有。如果没有规定,则需要公司权力机关出具决议决定该事项。
     
      The de-facto American controlling person (i.e. the legal representative) may attempt to have the JV Co. sue the de-facto Chinese controlling person (i.e. the general manager), demanding him to return the business license and official seal etc. to the JV Co., and the de-facto American controlling person (i.e. the legal representative) will then regain control of the business license and official seal. However, whether this request would be granted, or even whether admitted into docket by the court, is at the discretion of the judges, as there is no clear rules in the laws and regulations regarding who should hold the business license and the official seal. Some judges, minority in number, hold that “as the legal representative represents the company, the business license and official seal of the company should be held by the legal representative for and on behalf of the company”, while the majority view this as an internal management matter to be determined in accordance with the articles of association or other internal corporate regulations, or in the absence of such internal regulations, determined by a resolution of the governing body of the company, as there is no clear language in the PRC Company Law regarding who should hold the business license and official seal for the company.
     
      刑事手段
     
      Criminal Sanctions
     
      这是一种极端的手段。如果美方实际控制人(法定代表人)有证据证明中方实际控制人(总经理)凭借其对合资企业的实际控制权,将合资企业的财产挪为己用,那么美方实际控制人(法定代表人)就可以考虑向公安机关报案,追究其刑事责任。如果成功,美方实际控制人(法定代表人)就可以彻底排除中方实际控制人(总经理)对合资企业的控制了,营业执照和公章等也就全都拿回来了。
     
      It is an extreme measure. If the de-facto American controlling person (i.e. the legal representative) has evidence proving that the de-facto Chinese controlling person (i.e. the general manager) embezzled the properties of the JV Co. by virtue of his actual control over the JV Co., he may consider report the case to public security bureau and hold the de-facto Chinese controlling person criminally liable. If the de-facto American controlling person succeeds, he could completely eliminate the de-facto Chinese controlling person's (i.e. the general manager's) control over the JV Co., and recover the business license and the official seal etc
     
      别人的教训,自己的经验
     
      Lessons learned
     
      看来,股东们应该未雨绸缪,从一开始就要根据自己的实际情况好好筹划一下营业执照和公章的事。
     
      It seems that shareholders should prepare for the rainy days, and make plans regarding the business license and official seal from the outset on a case by case basis.
     
      首先,公司营业执照和公章由自己人持有的股东(“持有股东”)一定不要让其他股东染指公司营业执照和公章,特别是在公司章程或公司内部规定没有明确规定公司营业执照和公章由自己人来持有的情况下。谨慎起见,持有股东最好还是在公司章程或公司内部规定中明确规定公司营业执照和公章由自己人来持有,因为在实际使用过程中,其他股东(“非持有股东”)的人有接触营业执照或公章的机会,很有可能借机夺走。如果公司章程或公司内部规定再没有相应规定,那么持有股东就可能讨不回来了。
     
      First of all, the shareholder which currently holds the corporate business license and official seal of a joint venture company (the “Holding Shareholder”) must not let the other shareholders have their hands on the joint venture's business license and official seal, in particular if there is no express provision in the joint venture's articles of association or internal regulations designating the Holding Shareholder to hold the joint venture's business license and official seal. To be on the safe side, the Holding Shareholder had better introduce a clear provision in the joint venture's articles of association or internal regulations that designate the Holding Shareholder to hold the joint venture's business license and official seal, as in the ordinary course, other shareholders (the “Non-Holding Shareholders”) also have access to the business license or the official seal, and may likely use such access to take them away. In the absence of clear rules in the joint venture's articles of association or internal regulations, it would be difficult for the Holding Shareholder to ever regain the business license and official seal.
     
      其次,对于非持有股东来讲,需要以公司内部规定的形式[4]明确规定营业执照和公章的使用权限、程序和事项,防止持有股东滥用营业执照和公章,在其滥用营业执照和公章的情况下也可以确定其责任[5]。另外,非持有股东还需要在公司章程中设立一方股东即可决定公司可以起诉股东的机制,以防持有股东把持公司,导致公司无法起诉持有股东。
     
      Second, the Non-Holding Shareholder needs to make sure that the internal regulations of the joint venture expressly provide for the authority, process and matters for use of business license and official seal, to prevent abuse by the Holding Shareholder, and also to determine liability in case of such abuse. In addition, the Non-Holding Shareholder also needs to establish in the articles of association of the joint venture a mechanism where any single shareholder can make a decision to have the joint venture sue another shareholder to prevent the Holding Shareholder taking the joint venture prisoner and rendering it unable to sue the Holding Shareholder.
     
      第三,如果股东间势力比较均衡,公司营业执照和公章可以分别由两个股东或者两个股东联盟分别持有。营业执照由势力较小的股东持有,公章由势力较大的股东持有。在需要使用营业执照的时候,势力较小的股东出示营业执照或提供复印件[6]。这样的话,势力较小的股东在某些情况下就可以对势力较大的股东起到一定的牵制作用,在某些情况下甚至占据了主动地位或者对势力较大的股东有一定的威慑作用。
     
      Third, if the powers of the shareholders are more or less balanced, the business license and official seal of the joint venture company may be separately kept by each shareholder or each coalition of shareholders. The business license should be held by the weaker shareholder, while the official seal by the stronger shareholder. When it is necessary to use the business license, the weaker shareholder will provide the business license or a copy thereof. Thus, the weaker shareholder could constrain the stronger shareholder in certain cases, even taking the initiative in some instances, or have a certain deterrent effect on the stronger shareholder.
     
      最后,需要注意的是,在制订公司内部规定的时候,一定要在公司内部公布并让相关人员签字确认,否则,在具体案件中就有可能无法被采信为证据。
     
      Finally, it should be noted that such internal regulations of the joint venture must be circulated within the joint venture company and signed off by the relevant persons, otherwise, it might not be admitted as evidence in a specific case.

    【作者简介】
    邓永泉,律师,大成律师事务所高级合伙人、北京仲裁委员会仲裁员、中欧仲裁委员会仲裁员,《商法》(China Business Law Journal)“法律精英100强”(China's Top100 Lawyers)。
    【注释】
    [1]实践中,有的地区发生过同时挂失补办营业执照和挂失补刻公章的成功案例。
    In practice, there are instances in some places where an entity successfully reported the loss of both business license and official seal, and applied for new business license and official seal at the same time.
    [2]有的地区还需要加盖中方股东公章和外方股东法定代表人签字。
    In some places, it also requires the official seal of the Chinese shareholder and the signature of the legal representative of the foreign shareholder.
    [3]在本案中,双方的争议解决选择了诉讼而不是仲裁。
    In the cited instance, the parties opted for court proceedings instead of arbitration.
    [4]在公司章程中规定很麻烦,如果稍有变动,就得到商务机关进行变更。当然,在签订合资合同和公司章程的同时,一定要准备好公司内部规定,并由未来的董事签署决议案,待公司取得营业执照的时候即可生效。这样可以防止公司设立之后达不成公司内部规定,损害非持有股东的利益。
    It is cumbersome to incorporate such provisions into the articles of association, as any slight change needs to be registered with the department of commerce. Of course, when signing the joint venture contract and the articles of association for the joint venture company, the internal regulations should be ready and in place, and by a resolution adopted by the future directors, to take effect upon issuance of the business license, in order to prevent any impasse between the parties over such internal regulations to the detriment of Non-Holding Shareholders.
    [5]相应地,在合资合同中还要规定股东委派的人员违反公司内部规定的责任,以便公司或其他股东可以追究违约股东的责任。
    Accordingly, the joint venture contract should also lay out the liabilities for violation of internal regulations of the joint venture company by any representative of the shareholders, so that the joint venture company or other shareholders could hold such breaching shareholder liable for such violations.
    [6]如果势力较大的股东不同意如此安排,势力较小的股东还可以做出让步,同意势力较大的股东持有营业执照复印件。
    If the stronger shareholder doesn't agree to such arrangement, the weaker shareholder may also make a concession and agree to have the stronger shareholder hold a copy of the business license.

    本网站文章仅代表作者个人观点,不代表本网站的观点与看法。
    转载请注明出自北大法律信息网
0
北大法律信息网
www.chinalawinfo.com
法律动态
网站简介
合作意向
网站地图
资源导航
版权声明
北大法宝
www.pkulaw.cn
法宝动态
法宝优势
经典客户
免费试用
产品服务
专业定制
购买指南
邮件订阅
法律会刊
北大英华
corp.chinalawinfo.com
英华简介
主要业务
产品列表
英华网站
诚聘英才
联系我们
用户反馈
返回顶部
二维码