by JAY GIRVIN, Esq., Girvin & Ferlazzo. P.C., Albany, NY
- Can a shareholder or officer ever be held personally liable for the debts or liabilities of a corporation?
Most people (or groups of people) who engage in commercial business ventures choose to do so through a corporation, a limited liability company, or other form of business entity authorized under New York law. Once duly formed, corporations are treated as separate legal entities existing independently from their shareholders (the owners) and officers. Given this separate legal existence, one of the primary benefits of doing business through a corporate entity is the general rule that individual shareholders and officers are usually not personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the corporation. As a result, individuals conducting business through a corporation may usually do so without placing their personal assets at risk. [Read more…]