General meeting (EGM)

A general meeting of a company is a meeting of all members of a company (this usually means shareholders), and, in the UK, is simply called an general meeting unless it is the annual general meeting AGM A general may be called at any time. A general meeting is therefore called when a decision needs to be made that cannot wait for the next AGM.

In some countries a meeting needs to be designated an extraordinary general meeting in order to pass certain resolutions. This is no longer required in the UK, although some resolutions (e.g. winding up a company) still require more than a simple majority to pass, they may be passed at any general meeting, including the AGM.

An general meeting is called by the directors of a company. Shareholders with a sufficient stake may force a meeting.

Reasons for calling a general meeting include:

  • approving a major acquisition,
  • allowing major shareholders to arrange the removal directors with whom they have disagreed,
  • changing the name of the company,
  • approving major changes to a company's financial structure that require a reduction or increase in share capital.
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