This article was originally written for the Business Law Section blog of the State Bar of Wisconsin and appears here with the permission of the State Bar and the article’s authors.


THOMAS J. NICHOLS & JAMES DECLEENE

Thomas J. Nichols, Marquette 1979, is a shareholder with Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C., Milwaukee,

One item often overlooked by parties while negotiating or deciding to enter into an Operating Agreement for a limited liability company or (“LLC”) with more than one member is what is often times referred to as a “capital call.” Buried deep in what can be voluminous pages of “legalese” contained in many LLC operating agreements, may lurk a requirement that members of the LLC contribute additional capital to the LLC – that is, more than their original investment . This can be triggered by majority vote, or, if so provided in the Agreement, by demand of a single Managing Member if he or she is given such power. 

Many investors in an LLC assume that once they make their initial capital contribution, they will not be required to contribute more, even if the underlying business is performing badly, unless they specifically agree to do so, or if “everyone” agrees to do so. Many times quite the opposite is true, and the unsuspecting investor could be facing some rather negative consequences.


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