I am a shareholder in a private c-corp. I am trying to get financial records for the company and they are ignoring me. I believe this is my right as a shareholder. What options do I have? Am I mistaken about my rights?


Your rights arise from the corporation statute and the bylaws. Almost all U.S. states give shareholders a non-waiveable statutory right to examine the financial records of a corporation in which they own shares, although the details of what must be produced can vary and can often be reasonably adjusted in the bylaws. Sometimes a written demand in a statutory format must be given first.

You could have the right to bring suit in a court with jurisdiction over the corporation to have the records disclosed. In some states, this would be in a special expedited proceeding, while in others it would be an ordinary lawsuit. Often, if a court order is needed to obtain the records the corporation is also obligated to pay your attorneys' fees.

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  • Hi, I am getting asked "which financial documents I want". They are making me name. Can you suggest what I should name? I'm trying to get enough information to make my own valuation of the company. – Diamonds Mar 15 '18 at 17:25
  • @Diamonds The statutes and bylaws should say what you are entitled to. If you don't know what information within that is needed, you should talk to an accountant or business appraiser to see what is needed. – ohwilleke Mar 15 '18 at 21:53

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