How do I return my shares to a company?

I was asked by the owner if I wanted to be a shareholder during a conversation. I said that seemed good but had to think about it. He listed me as a shareholder of 20% and now the company is failing. I’m afraid he is going to try and pass the debt burden to me. I never signed anything to become a shareholder of the corporation. It was a verbal communication.

Asked on July 1, 2017 under Business Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Shareholders are not liable for the corporation's debts, except for those they personally guaranteed, so if this is a corporation and you are a shareholder, you should not have to worry about any company debts.
2) You can't become a shareholder without your consent, so if you never agreed to accept the shares, you did not. Indicate in writing to the attorney and any company officers, sent some way that you could prove delivery, that you never agreed to be come a shareholder and demand that they change their records. If despite that, they or anyone tries to insist for some reason that you did take the shares and you do not want to be considered a shareholder, you would have to bring a lawsuit against the company seeking a "declaratory judgment" (or court determination) that you are not a shareholder.


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