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Preincorporation Stock Subscriptions

15 January, 2016 - 09:36

One of the promoter’s jobs is to obtainpreincorporation stock subscriptions to line up offers by would-be investors to purchase stock in the corporation to be formed. These stock subscriptions are agreements to purchase, at a specified price, a certain number of shares of stock of a corporation, which is to be formed at some point in the future. The contract, however, actually comes into existence after formation, once the corporation itself accepts the offer to subscribe. Alice agrees with Bob to invest $10,000 in the BCT Bookstore, Inc. for one thousand shares. The agreement is treated as an offer to purchase. The offer is deemed accepted at the moment the bookstore is incorporated.

The major problem for the corporation is an attempt by subscribers to revoke their offers. A basic rule of contract law is that offers are revocable before acceptance. Under RMBCA, Section 6.20, however, a subscription for shares is irrevocable for six months unless the subscription agreement itself provides otherwise or unless all the subscribers consent to revocation. In many states that have not adopted the model act, the contract rule applies and the offer is always revocable. Other states use various common-law devices to prevent revocation. For example, the subscription by one investor is held as consideration for the subscription of another, so that a binding contract has been formed.