Delaware General Corporation Law

The Delaware General Corporation Law (Title 8, Chapter 1 of the Delaware Code) is the statute governing corporate law in the U.S. state of Delaware. It has been the most important jurisdiction in United States corporate law since the early 20th century. Over 50% of publicly traded corporations in the United States and 60% of the Fortune 500 are incorporated in the state.[1]

History

Delaware acquired its status as a corporate haven in the early 20th century. Following the example of New Jersey, which enacted corporate-friendly laws at the end of the 19th century to attract businesses[2] from New York, Delaware adopted on March 10, 1899, a general incorporation act aimed at attracting more businesses. The group that pushed for this legislation intended to establish a corporation that would sell services to other businesses incorporating in Delaware.[3] Before the rise of general incorporation acts, forming a corporation required a special act of the state legislature. General incorporation allowed anyone to form a corporation by simply raising money and filing articles of incorporation with the state's Secretary of State.

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