How do I return my shares to a company?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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