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Hello, thanks for your question.
My name is Tony, I can assist with this.
Do you have a shareholder agreement?
I just have a 20% stake in the business, I have worked for the company for 15 years and I was offered a stake. I took it and paid my money and I don't seemed to be getting my money back. I want to know my rights I seeing the books to know where the money is going.
Its a small tree surgery business that turns over £500,000. a year,
Okay. You have rights to see minutes of the meetings of directors and any resolutions passed (to see what decisions are made affecting the business)(Companies (Company Records) Regulations 2008). Also, under s.423 of the Companies Act 2006, you're entitled to see the annual accounts of the company too.
Also, if you think there is wrongdoing, you may be able to get even more information under Part 31.16 of the Civil Procedure Rules, but before doing that, I would strongly suggest you get advice from a solicitor.
Ok, I can get that information from the company account. But what rights do I have to see the business trading accounts to see what is going in and out of the company including what is being paid as wages, either through direct wages or divides or by other means. ie, who is on the pay roll and how much do they get paid.
You have no rights to see those simply by being a shareholder. You would have to assert wrongdoing, and then you would be entitled to the under CPR 31.16, pre-action disclosure. The idea being that you would get them to help resolve the issue in dispute with the company.
You may need to make an application to the Court too to compel it to release the information, but you should be able to get it if you have a proper basis for complaint.
Of course, asking the directors questions and not getting answers is a good way to start - because you can highlight their refusal to cooperate reasonably with you.
Also, because you have 20% shares, you could force the company to call a shareholders meeting and require the attendance of the directors to answer your questions as members of the company. You can do this at any time.
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