Chapter 6: The Range and Scope of Accounting Books and Records
Tony DongWook Kang INTRODUCTION I. While the right of a shareholder to inspect account books and records does not seem to be recognized in all countries, it is common to be an issue only during a control dispute. This is because the company’s management has no reason to reject a shareholder’s demand for inspection of company records if the shareholder has a good relationship and communicates well with the management. The former part of Section 7 “Accounting of Company” of Chapter IV “Stock Company” of the Korean Commercial Act provides for the shareholder’s right to inspect the balance sheet, income statements or business reports that may be easily accessed by the shareholder, whereas the latter part of Section 7, i.e., Article 466 provides for the “Shareholder’s Right to Inspect Account Books” which immediately precedes Article 467 (Inspection on Affairs and Status of Company’s Property) that provides for the shareholder’s right to apply for the appointment of an inspector to investigate the affairs of the company and the status of its property. Given the above structure of the Korean Commercial Act, our legislators are presumed to have prepared these latter provisions having taken into account a control dispute. As in the case of Japan, Korea appears to have introduced the provisions concerning the shareholder’s right to inspect account books and records similar to those adopted by the laws of the United States.1 In the United States, such right is recognized under common law. The same common law, under which the English...
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