“In writing" or “written" includes a communication that is transmitted or received by electronic means.
Unless limited or otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation or bylaws, action required or permitted by this chapter to be approved by the members may be approved without a meeting of members if the action is approved by members holding at least 80 percent of the voting power, or a different percentage, not less than 50 percent, specified in the articles of incorporation or bylaws. The action must be evidenced by one or more written consents describing the action taken, signed by the required number of members, and delivered to the corporation for inclusion in the minutes or filing with the corporate records. All signatures on the written consent shall be dated and, in determining whether the required number of members have signed the consent, only those signatures dated after the date of the most recent meeting of the members may be counted.
If not otherwise determined under s. 181.0160
, the record date for determining members entitled to take action without a meeting is the date on which the first member signs the consent under sub. (1r)
Effect of consent.
A consent signed under this section has the effect of a meeting vote and may be described as such in any document filed with the department.
Written notice of member approval under this section shall be given to all members who have not signed the written consent. If written notice is required, member approval under this section shall be effective 10 days after such written notice is given.
Consent effective at future time.
Any person executing a consent may provide, whether through instruction to an agent or otherwise, that a consent to action will be effective at a future time, including a time determined upon the happening of an event, and, for purposes of this section, if evidence of such instruction or provision is provided to the corporation, such later effective time shall serve as of the date of signature. Unless otherwise provided, any such consent shall be revocable prior to its becoming effective.
A corporation shall give notice of meetings of members as provided in its bylaws or, if the bylaws are silent, in a manner that is fair and reasonable.
Any notice that conforms to the requirements of sub. (3)
is fair and reasonable. Except for matters referred to in sub. (3) (b)
, other means of giving notice may also be fair and reasonable when all of the circumstances are considered. Sections 181.0105 (4)
apply to notices provided under this section.
Notice safe harbor.
Notice is fair and reasonable if all of the following conditions exist:
The corporation notifies its members of the place, date and time of each annual, regular and special meeting of members not more than 60 days and not less than 10 days, or, if notice is mailed by other than first class or registered mail, 30 days, before the meeting date.
Notice of a special meeting includes a description of the matter or matters for which the meeting is called.
Unless the bylaws require otherwise, if an annual, regular or special meeting of members is adjourned to a different date, time or place, notice need not be given of the new date, time or place, if the new date, time or place is announced at the meeting before adjournment. If a new record date for the adjourned meeting is or must be fixed under s. 181.0707
, notice of the adjourned meeting must be given under this section to the members of record as of the new record date.
Notice of issues raised by members.
When giving notice of an annual, regular or special meeting of members, a corporation shall give notice of a matter that a member intends to raise at the meeting if requested in writing to do so by a person entitled to call a special meeting and the request is received by the secretary or president of the corporation at least 10 days before the corporation gives notice of the meeting.
History: 1997 a. 79
; 2021 a. 258
A member may waive any notice required by this chapter, the articles of incorporation, or bylaws before or after the date and time stated in the notice. The waiver must be in writing, be signed by the member entitled to the notice, and be delivered to the corporation for inclusion in the minutes or filing with the corporate records.
Effect of attendance.
A member's attendance at a meeting waives objection to all of the following:
Lack of notice or defective notice of the meeting, unless the member at the beginning of the meeting objects to holding the meeting or transacting business at the meeting.
Consideration of a particular matter at the meeting that is not within the purpose or purposes described in the meeting notice, unless the member objects to considering the matter when it is presented.
History: 1997 a. 79
Record date; determining members entitled to notice and vote. 181.0707(1)(1)
Record date for notice.
The bylaws of a corporation may fix or provide the manner of fixing a date as the record date for determining the members entitled to notice of a members' meeting. If the bylaws do not fix or provide for fixing such a record date, the board may fix a future date as such a record date. If no such record date is fixed, members at the close of business on the business day preceding the day on which notice is given are entitled to notice of the meeting. However, if a meeting is held without notice, the determination of who is entitled to waive notice is made as of the close of business on the business day preceding the day on which the meeting is held.
Record date for voting.
The bylaws of a corporation may fix or provide the manner of fixing a date as the record date for determining the members entitled to vote at a members' meeting. If the bylaws do not fix or provide for fixing such a record date, the board may fix a future date as such a record date. If no such record date is fixed, members on the date of the meeting who are otherwise eligible to vote are entitled to vote at the meeting.
Record date for exercise of other rights.
The bylaws may fix or provide the manner for determining a date as the record date for the purpose of determining the members entitled to exercise any rights in respect of any other lawful action. If the bylaws do not fix or provide for fixing such a record date, the board may fix in advance such a record date. If no such record date is fixed, members at the close of business on the day on which the board adopts the resolution relating thereto, or the 60th day before the date of such other action, whichever is later, are entitled to exercise such rights.
Limitations on record dates.
Unless the bylaws of a corporation provide otherwise, a record date fixed under this section may not be more than 70 days before the meeting or action requiring a determination of members occurs.
A determination of members entitled to notice of or to vote at a membership meeting is effective for any adjournment of the meeting unless the board fixes a new date for determining the right to notice or the right to vote, which it must do if the meeting is adjourned to a date more than 70 days after the record date for determining members entitled to notice of the original meeting.
If a court orders a meeting adjourned to a date more than 120 days after the date fixed for the original meeting, it may provide that the original record date for notice or voting continues in effect or it may fix a new record date for notice or voting.
History: 1997 a. 79
Action by written ballot. 181.0708(1m)(1m)
In this section, “written ballot" includes a ballot transmitted or received by electronic means.
If permitted by the articles of incorporation or bylaws, any action that may be taken at an annual, regular or special meeting of members may be taken without a meeting if the corporation delivers a written ballot to every member entitled to vote on the matter.
A written ballot shall set forth each proposed action and provide an opportunity to vote for or against each proposed action.
Approval by written ballot under this section shall be valid only when the number of votes cast by ballot equals or exceeds the quorum required to be present at a meeting authorizing the action, and the number of approvals equals or exceeds the number of votes that would be required to approve the matter at a meeting at which the total number of votes cast was the same as the number of votes cast by ballot.
A solicitation for votes by written ballot shall include all of the following:
The number of responses needed to meet the quorum requirements.
The percentage of approvals necessary to approve each matter other than election of directors.
The time by which a ballot must be received by the corporation in order to be counted.
Except as otherwise provided in the articles of incorporation or bylaws, a written ballot may not be revoked.
History: 1997 a. 79
; 2003 a. 259
Members' list for meeting. 181.0720(1)(1)
List of members.
After fixing a record date for a notice of a meeting, a corporation shall prepare an alphabetical list of the names of all of its members who are entitled to notice of the meeting. The list must show the address and number of votes each member is entitled to vote at the meeting. The corporation shall prepare on a current basis through the time of the membership meeting a list of members, if any, who are entitled to vote at the meeting, but not entitled to notice of the meeting. This list shall be prepared on the same basis as and be part of the list of members.
Inspection before meeting.
The list of members must be available for inspection by any member for the purpose of communication with other members concerning the meeting, beginning 2 business days after notice is given of the meeting for which the list was prepared and continuing through the meeting, at the corporation's principal office or at a reasonable place identified in the meeting notice in the city where the meeting will be held. A member, a member's agent or a member's attorney is entitled on written demand to inspect and, subject to ss. 181.1602 (3)
, to copy the list, at a reasonable time and at the member's expense, during the period it is available for inspection.
Inspection at meeting.
The corporation shall make the list of members available at the meeting, and any member, a member's agent or a member's attorney is entitled to inspect the list at any time during the meeting or any adjournment.
Refusal to allow inspection.
If the corporation refuses to allow a member, a member's agent or a member's attorney to inspect the list of members before or at the meeting or to copy the list as permitted under sub. (2)
, the circuit court for the county where a corporation's principal office, or if none in this state, its registered office, is located, on application of the member, may summarily order the inspection or copying at the corporation's expense and may postpone the meeting for which the list was prepared until the inspection or copying is complete and may order the corporation to pay the member's costs, including reasonable attorney fees, incurred to obtain the order.
Effect of noncompliance.
Refusal or failure to prepare or make available the list of members does not affect the validity of action taken at the meeting.
History: 1997 a. 79
Voting entitlement generally. 181.0721(1)(1)
Unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws provide otherwise, each member is entitled to one vote on each matter voted on by the members.
Membership in the name of multiple persons.
Unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws provide otherwise, if a membership stands of record in the names of 2 or more persons, their acts with respect to voting shall have the following effect:
If more than one votes, the vote shall be divided on a prorated basis.
History: 1997 a. 79
Unless this chapter, the articles of incorporation, or bylaws provide for a higher or lower quorum, 10 percent of the votes entitled to be cast on a matter must be represented at a meeting of members to constitute a quorum on that matter.
Bylaw amendment to decrease quorum requirements.
A bylaw amendment to decrease the quorum for any member action may be approved by the members or, unless prohibited by the bylaws, by the board.
Bylaw amendment to increase quorum requirements.
A bylaw amendment to increase the quorum required for any member action must be approved by the members.
Quorum to take up additional matters.
The only matters that may be voted upon at an annual or regular meeting of members are those matters that are described in the meeting notice, unless at least one of the following conditions is met:
One-third or more of the voting power of the membership is present in person or by proxy.
The meeting notice contains a general statement that matters other than those specifically described in the notice may be considered at the meeting.
History: 1997 a. 79
A majority of the votes entitled to be cast by the members present in person or represented by proxy at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be necessary for the adoption of any matter voted upon by the members, unless a greater proportion is required by this chapter, the articles of incorporation or the bylaws.
Amendment to change voting requirements.
A bylaw amendment to increase or decrease the vote required for any member action must be approved by the members.
Votes by corporations and limited liability companies.
A corporate member's vote may be cast by the president of the member corporation, or by any other officer or proxy appointed by the president of such corporation, in the absence of express notice of the designation of some other person by the board of directors or bylaws of the member corporation. A limited liability company member's vote may be cast by a manager of the member limited liability company.
History: 1997 a. 79
Right to vote by proxy.
Unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws prohibit or limit proxy voting, a member may appoint a proxy to vote or otherwise act for the member by signing an appointment form either personally or by an attorney-in-fact.
An appointment of a proxy is effective when received by the secretary or other officer or agent authorized to tabulate votes. An appointment is valid for 11 months unless a different period is expressly provided in the appointment form.
Effect of death or incapacity.
The death or incapacity of the member appointing a proxy does not affect the right of the corporation to accept the proxy's authority unless notice of the death or incapacity is received by the secretary or other officer or agent authorized to tabulate votes before the proxy exercises authority under the appointment.
An appointment of a proxy is revocable by the member unless the appointment form conspicuously states that it is irrevocable.
Methods of revocation.
Appointment of a proxy is revoked by the person appointing the proxy in any of the following ways:
Signing and delivering to the secretary or other officer or agent authorized to tabulate proxy votes either a writing stating that the appointment of the proxy is revoked or a subsequent appointment form.
Acceptance by corporation.
Subject to s. 181.0727
and any express limitation on the proxy's authority appearing on the face of the appointment form, a corporation is entitled to accept the proxy's vote or other action as that of the member making the appointment.
History: 1997 a. 79
Cumulative voting for directors. 181.0725(1)(1)
If the articles of incorporation or bylaws provide for cumulative voting by members, members may so vote, by multiplying the number of votes the members are entitled to cast by the number of directors for whom they are entitled to vote, and cast the product for a single candidate or distribute the product among 2 or more candidates.
When not authorized.
Cumulative voting is not authorized at a particular meeting unless any of the following occurs:
The meeting notice or statement accompanying the notice states that cumulative voting will take place.
A member gives notice during the meeting and before the vote is taken of the member's intent to cumulate votes, and if one member gives this notice all other members participating in the election are entitled to cumulate their votes without giving further notice.
Removal of directors.
A director elected by cumulative voting may be removed by the members without cause if the requirements of s. 181.0808
are met unless the votes cast against removal, or not consenting in writing to such removal, would be sufficient to elect such director if voted cumulatively at an election at which the same total number of votes were cast, or, if such action is taken by written ballot, all memberships entitled to vote were voted, and the entire number of directors authorized at the time of the director's most recent election were then being elected.
Identical membership and directors.
Members may not cumulatively vote if the directors and members are identical.
History: 1997 a. 79
Other methods of electing directors.
A corporation may provide in its articles of incorporation or bylaws for election of directors by members or delegates on the basis of chapter or other organizational unit; by region or other geographic unit; by preferential voting; or by any other reasonable method.