China: 股份有限公司当如何应对发起人名称的变更

Last Updated: 30 September 2019
Article by Shidong Sang and Jianliang Zhang
Most Read Contributor in China, September 2019

依据我国现有《公司法》和相关规则之规定,发起人的姓名和名称(以下统称"发起人名称")不仅是股份有限公司章程中须记载的事项,而且是股份有限公司的公司登记的事项。然而,股份有限公司股东(包括发起人)转让股份时,股份有限公司无需进行工商变更登记。发起人将所持股份有限公司的股份全部转让后,其不再持有股份有限公司的股份,除历史上作为股份有限公司发起人之身份外,与股份有限公司不再有实质意义上的联系。

那么,遇到发起人的名称发生变更的,股份有限公司应如何应对呢?本文试从规则规定、规则实施和立法论上进行梳理和分析,以期助力于公司的运营合规和中国公司法规则的完善。

一、现有规定覧应进行变更登记并应修改公司章程

(一)发起人的界定

我国《公司法》在"股份有限公司的设立和组织机构"章节中使用了"发起人"一词,但并未对发起人的含义作出法律界定,"发起人"的概念只在股份有限公司的相关规定中出现。

《最高人民法院关于适用<中华人民共和国公司法>若干问题的规定(三)》(以下简称"《公司法解释(三)》")明确了发起人的概念以及法律责任,并将发起人之概念扩充适用至有限责任公司。

根据《公司法解释(三)》,发起人是指为设立公司而签署公司章程、向公司认购出资或者股份并履行公司设立职责的人。

(二)发起人改变名称的,章程应相应修订

依据《公司登记管理条例》的相关规定,发起人的名称为股份有限公司的公司登记事项 [1];股份有限公司的发起人改变名称的,股份有限公司应当自发起人改变名称之日起30日内申请变更登记。 [2]

(三)发起人改变名称的,章程应相应修订

依据《公司登记管理条例》的相关规定,公司申请进行变更登记时,变更登记事项涉及修改公司章程的,公司应当提交由公司法定代表人签署的修改后的公司章程或者公司章程修正案。 [3]因此,发起人名称变更的,股份有限公司还需要修订公司章程。

(四)未进行变更登记的法律后果

依据《公司登记管理条例》的相关规定,发起人名称变更后,股份有限公司未依照《公司登记管理条例》的规定办理有关变更登记的,由公司登记机关责令限期登记;逾期不登记的,处以1万元以上10万元以下的罚款。 [4]

二、规则实施情况覧几家遵守几家否

笔者查阅了发起人名称发生变更的11家上市公司的信息披露和该等公司在国家企业信用信息系统上公开的信息,对该等上市公司是否就其发起人名称变更进行工商变更登记和章程修订进行了统计。经统计,在该等11家上市公司中,有5家公司对发起人名称变更事宜进行了工商变更登记,并作了章程修订;有6家公司未对发起人名称变更进行工商变更登记,也未作章程修订。

该11家公司的发起人名称变更及有关工商变更登记、章程修订情况见下表所示:

由上表可以看出,当发起人的名称发生变更时,相当多的公司并未按照法律的规定进行工商变更登记并修改公司章程,相关规定并未获得普遍遵守。

三、规则的合理性分析覧理由不足,逻辑不洽,效率不高

(一)理由不足覧发起人名称变更,对股份有限公司的经营管理、股东权利等不具有实质性的意义

笔者未曾找到相关规则要求股份有限公司在发起人名称变更时,要作工商变更登记并修订公司章程的原因。

从相关方利益考量来看,股份有限公司的发起人是谁,在股份有限公司成立的过程中既已确定,构成了历史事实,且无法变动。公司成立后,发起人的名称变更并不影响股份有限公司经营运作,亦不影响公司的其他股东的权利、是否购买或出售该公司的股票,尤其是在股份有限公司成立后,发起人全部出售了股份有限公司的股份的情况下更是如此。唯一可能受到影响的利益主体可能是公司的债权人,在特定情况下(如突破股东有限责任,公司的股东需对债权人承担出资义务时),发起人名称变更公示对债权人来说有一定的意义。但由于股份有限公司的股东(除发起人外)变化一般不对外公示,仅公示发起人名称变化对于保护债权人的利益的作用有限。

综上,发起人名称变更,对股份有限公司、投资者等利益相关者的利益造成的影响甚小,甚至没有。

(二)逻辑不洽覧股份有限公司难以知悉发起人名称变更

现有《公司登记管理条例》虽然规定股份有限公司应当自发起人改变名称之日起30日内申请变更登记,但并没有规定发起人名称变更的,发起人应向股份有限公司告知,亦没有明确规定股份有限公司需要修订公司章程。

当发起人发生名称变更时,若发起人不对股份有限公司通知该等事项的,股份有限公司则可能无法知悉;即使股份有限公司在发起人未通知的情况下,知悉了发起人名称变更的情况,其也可能以没有被告知为由,而不进行工商变更登记。因此,该等规定存在逻辑不洽之处。

基于以上,也就不难理解,笔者统计的存在发起人名称变更的上市公司中,有一半以上的上市公司没有就发起人名称变更进行工商变更登记。

(三)效率不高覧修订章程的程序过于冗余

除了前述之弊端外,对发起人的名称变更修订公司章程的程序也不乏冗余之处,不够高效。

依据现有的公司法的相关规定,作出修订公司章程的决议,须经出席会议的股东所持表决权的三分之二以上通过。

而发起人名称变更是已经发生的事实,股份有限公司章程作出相应的修订记载,仅仅是对事实的反映,并没有提交股东大会审议的必要。就该等事项要求股东大会进行审议,显然是浪费人力、物力,没有实质性意义。

美国《商业公司示范法(2016年修订)》关于公司章程修订的权力分配或许可以给中国公司法章程修订规则的完善提供借鉴意义。《商业公司示范法(2016年修订)》第10.05条将章程中以下内容的修订权力交给董事会,无需提交股东大会审议:(1)延长公司的经营期限;(2)公司初始董事的姓名和住址;(3)公司注册代办机构的名称、住址;(4)公司的注册地址。制定机构的官方评论指出,这些事项只是惯常性的记载,在性质上只是文书性质,不会对股东的实质性权利有任何影响,因此,公司章程对该等事项的记载进行修订,交由董事会作出决定即可。

《商业公司示范法(2016年修订)》第10.08条还规定,当有管辖权的法庭依据有关法律判令公司进行重组的,公司章程的相关内容的修订经法庭批准即可,无需经过董事会批准或者股东大会批准。

四、规则修订期待覧制定一部合理的、自洽的、高效的公司法

前文已对股份有限公司发起人名称变更时股份有限公司应做工商变更登记和章程修订的规则及其实施状况及合理性进行了分析,指出了其在实践中所遭遇的执行不力,在规则的合理性、逻辑性、效率性方面的可能不足。笔者认为,就该等相关规则实有作出修订之必要。

此外,以笔者多年的实务操作经验看,现行《公司法》的相关规则中还存在诸多类似不起眼的小问题,如债转股是否要对债权评估的问题、股东大会召开通知时限的问题。该等问题虽然很小,但如严格落实,带来的将会是公司运作的僵化、低效率,并导致严重的资源浪费(如浪费大量的纸张去描述本没有什么法律意义的内容)。好在相关市场主体在适用《公司法》时,充分显示了灵活性的一面,不太计较僵化的法律条文。该等规则及其实际适用的情况侧面反映了现行《公司法》与公司实际运作的背离,《公司法》在操作性、效率性方面仍有较大的提升空间。

据悉,当前学界正在倡议对《公司法》进行大修。我们呼吁,在本次对《公司法》进行修订时,相关人士充分了解公司现实运作情况和《公司法》相关规则的具体实施情况,制定出一部合理的、自洽的、高效的公司法,为经济主体运行释放更多活力。

文中引用:

1《公司登记管理条例》第九条。

2《公司登记管理条例》第三十四条。

3《公司登记管理条例》第二十七条。

4《公司登记管理条例》第六十条。

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers
典he articles are extremely timely and highly applicable
的 often find critical information not available elsewhere
鄭s in-house counsel, Mondaq痴 service is of great value

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq痴 use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor痴 own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq痴 Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq痴 Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq痴 right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions