2018 North Dakota Century Code
Title 10 Corporations
Chapter 10-06.1 Corporate or Limited Liability Company Farming


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CHAPTER 10-06.1 CORPORATE OR LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY FARMING 10-06.1-01. Definitions. For the purposes of this chapter, unless the language or context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended: 1. "Farming or ranching" means cultivating land for production of agricultural crops or livestock, or the raising or producing of livestock or livestock products, poultry or poultry products, milk or dairy products, or fruit or horticultural products. It does not include production of timber or forest products, the growing or processing of marijuana under chapter 19-24.1, or a contract whereby a processor or distributor of farm products or supplies provides grain, harvesting, or other farm services. 2. "Farming or ranching corporation" means a farm or ranch corporation, joint-stock company, or association which, at all times, complies with the requirements of this chapter. 3. "Farming or ranching limited liability company" means a farm or ranch limited liability company which, at all times, complies with the requirements of this chapter. 4. "Nonprofit organization" means an organization or trust that has tax-exempt status under at least one of the following sections of the Internal Revenue Code: a. An organization that was in existence on December 31, 1984, and that is organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals under section 501(c)(3), or is a domestic fraternal organization under section 501(c)(10). b. A charitable, religious, educational, or scientific organization classified as either a private foundation or as a public charity having status as an organization described in section 509(a)(1) or (3). c. A trust described in section 4947 for which a deduction is allowable under section 170. 10-06.1-02. Farming or ranching by corporations and limited liability companies prohibited. All corporations and limited liability companies, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, are prohibited from owning or leasing land used for farming or ranching and from engaging in the business of farming or ranching. A corporation or a limited liability company may be a partner in a partnership that is in the business of farming or ranching only if that corporation or limited liability company complies with this chapter. 10-06.1-03. Retention of mineral interests prohibited. For land and minerals acquired after July 1, 1985, any corporation or limited liability company that acquires mineral interests through foreclosure or in lieu of foreclosure which were not specifically valued at the time the security interest in the minerals was acquired, and which is prohibited from owning or leasing land used in farming or ranching, is prohibited from retaining mineral interests in land used for farming or ranching when the corporation or limited liability company divests itself of the land, and the mineral interests must be passed with the surface estate of the land when the corporation or limited liability company divests itself of the land under this chapter. 10-06.1-04. Conversion of corporations. A business corporation organized under chapter 10-19.1 may convert to a farming or ranching corporation by adopting an amendment to its articles of incorporation which specifies that the corporation elects to be subject to this chapter and by complying with all requirements of this chapter. The amendment must be filed with the secretary of state with the prescribed fee and with the initial report required by section 10-06.1-15. A farming or ranching corporation may convert to a business corporation by adopting an amendment to its articles of incorporation. The Page No. 1 amendment must be filed with the secretary of state with the prescribed fee. The amendment must be accompanied by a report outlining the information, as of the date of the amendment, which is required under section 10-06.1-17, and the manner in which the corporation has divested itself of its owned or leased land holdings and its business of farming or ranching. 10-06.1-05. Conversion of limited liability company. A domestic business limited liability company organized under chapter 10-32.1 may convert to a farming or ranching limited liability company by adopting an amendment to its articles of organization which specifies that the limited liability company elects to be subject to this chapter and by complying with all requirements of this chapter. The amendment must be filed with the secretary of state with the prescribed fee and with the initial report required by section 10-06.1-15. A farming or ranching limited liability company may convert to a domestic business limited liability company by adopting an amendment to its articles of organization. The amendment must be filed with the secretary of state with the prescribed fee. The amendment must be accompanied by a report outlining the information, as of the date of the amendment, which is required under section 10-06.1-17 and the manner in which the limited liability company has divested itself of its owned or leased land holdings and its business of farming or ranching. 10-06.1-06. Surface coal mining - Exception. A corporation or limited liability company not engaged in the business of farming or ranching may own or lease lands used for farming or ranching, when the business of such a corporation or limited liability company is the conducting of surface coal mining operations or related energy conversion, and when the owning or leasing of lands used for farming or ranching is reasonably necessary in the conduct of the business of surface coal mining or related energy conversion. When the necessity for owning or leasing of lands used for farming or ranching no longer exists, the exception provided in this section ceases and the corporation or limited liability company owning or leasing such lands is subject to this chapter. 10-06.1-07. Industrial and business purpose exception. A corporation or limited liability company that is not engaged in the business of farming or ranching may own or lease land used for farming or ranching when the land is necessary for residential or commercial development; the siting of buildings, plants, facilities, industrial parks, or similar business or industrial purposes of the corporation or limited liability company; or for uses supportive of or ancillary to adjacent nonagricultural land for the benefit of both land parcels. The farmland or ranchland while not being immediately used for any purpose of the corporation or limited liability company must be available to be leased by persons who farm or ranch as sole proprietorships or partnerships, or by corporations or limited liability companies allowed to engage in farming or ranching under section 10-06.1-12. 10-06.1-08. Cooperative corporations allowed to engage in the business of farming or ranching - Requirements. This chapter does not prohibit cooperative corporations, seventy-five percent of whose members or shareholders are actual farmers or ranchers residing on farms or ranches or depending principally on farming or ranching for their livelihood, from acquiring real estate and engaging in cooperative farming or ranching. 10-06.1-09. Certain nonprofit organizations or trusts may own or lease land - Certain nonprofit organizations may continue farming or ranching - Restriction on acquisition and ownership of land. 1. A nonprofit organization or a trust for the benefit of an individual or a class of individuals related within the degrees of kinship specified in subsection 2 of section 10-06.1-12 may own or lease farmland or ranchland if that land is leased to a person who farms or ranches the land as a sole proprietorship or partnership, or a corporation or limited liability company allowed to engage in farming or ranching under section 10-06.1-12. Page No. 2 2. 3. To the extent farming or ranching is essential to a nonprofit organization's charitable purposes, a nonprofit organization actively engaged in the business of farming or ranching in this state on January 1, 1983, may continue to engage in the business of farming or ranching without interruption after January 1, 1983. A nonprofit organization that owned farmland or ranchland for the preservation of unique historical, archaeological, or environmental land before January 1, 1983, may continue ownership of that land without interruption after January 1, 1983. An organization that is holding land for scenic preservation shall either prohibit all hunting, or if any parcel of the land is open to hunting, it must be open to hunting by the general public. 10-06.1-10. Acquisition of certain farmland or ranchland by certain nonprofit organizations. A nonprofit organization may acquire farmland or ranchland only in accordance with the following: 1. Unless it is permitted to own farmland or ranchland under section 10-06.1-09, the nonprofit organization must have been either incorporated in this state or issued a certificate of authority to do business in this state before January 1, 1985, or, before January 1, 1987, have been incorporated in this state if the nonprofit organization was created or authorized under Public Law No. 99-294 [100 Stat. 418]. A nonprofit organization created or authorized under Public Law No. 99-294 [100 Stat. 418] may acquire no more than twelve thousand acres [4856.228 hectares] of land from interest derived from state, federal, and private sources held in its trust fund. 2. The land may be acquired only for the purpose of conserving natural areas and habitats for biota, and, after acquisition: a. The land must be maintained and managed for the purpose of conserving natural area and habitat for biota. b. Any agricultural use of the land is in accordance with the management of the land for conservation and agricultural use, and is by a sole proprietorship or partnership, or a corporation or limited liability company allowed to engage in farming or ranching under section 10-06.1-12. c. If any parcel of the land is open to hunting, it must be open to hunting by the general public. d. The nonprofit organization must fully comply with all state laws relating to the control of noxious and other weeds and insects. e. The nonprofit organization must make payments in lieu of property taxes on the property, calculated in the same manner as if the property was subject to full assessment and levy of property taxes. f. All property subject to valuation must be assessed for the purpose of making the payments under subdivision e in the same manner as other real property in this state is assessed for tax purposes. Before June thirtieth of each year, the county auditor of any county in which property subject to valuation is located shall give written notice to the nonprofit organization and the tax commissioner of the value placed by the county board of equalization upon each parcel of property subject to valuation in the county. 3. Before farmland or ranchland may be purchased by a nonprofit organization for the purpose of conserving natural areas and habitats for biota, the governor must approve the proposed acquisition. A nonprofit organization that desires to purchase farmland or ranchland for the purpose of conserving natural areas and habitats for biota shall first submit a proposed acquisition plan to the agriculture commissioner who shall convene an advisory committee consisting of the director of the parks and recreation department, the agriculture commissioner, the state forester, the director of the game and fish department, the president of the North Dakota farmers union, the president of the North Dakota farm bureau, the president of the North Dakota stockmen's association, and the chairman of the county commission of any county affected by the acquisition, or their designees. The advisory committee shall hold a public hearing with Page No. 3 4. 5. the board of county commissioners concerning the proposed acquisition plan and shall make recommendations to the governor within forty-five days after receipt of the proposed acquisition plan. The governor shall approve or disapprove any proposed acquisition plan, or any part thereof, within thirty days after receipt of the recommendations from the advisory committee. Land acquired in accordance with this section may not be conveyed to the United States or any agency or instrumentality of the United States. On failure to qualify to continue ownership under subsection 2, the land must be disposed of within five years of that failure to qualify. 10-06.1-11. Required divestiture of agricultural land. In addition to the divestiture requirements of sections 10-06.1-10 and 10-06.1-24, a nonprofit corporation that acquires land by gift or devise after December 31, 1984, the ownership of which is not permitted under this chapter, shall divest itself of the land within ten years after the acquisition. For purposes of this section, "ownership" means holding either fee or equitable title, unless fee title is held solely as security for payment of the purchase price, or unless fee title does not carry with it the right to immediate possession of the property. If the corporation fails to divest itself of the land within the required time, the attorney general shall take action under section 10-06.1-24. 10-06.1-12. Corporation or limited liability company allowed to engage in the business of farming or ranching - Requirements. This chapter does not prohibit a domestic corporation or a domestic limited liability company from owning real estate and engaging in the business of farming or ranching, if the corporation meets all the requirements of chapter 10-19.1 or the limited liability company meets all the requirements of chapter 10-32.1 which are not inconsistent with this chapter. The following requirements also apply: 1. If a corporation, the corporation must not have more than fifteen shareholders. If a limited liability company, the limited liability company must not have more than fifteen members. 2. Each shareholder or member must be related to each of the other shareholders or members within one of the following degrees of kinship or affinity: parent, son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, grandparent, grandson, granddaughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, great-grandparent, great-grandchild, first cousin, second cousin, or the spouse of a person so related. 3. Each shareholder or member must be an individual or one of the following: a. A trust for the benefit of an individual or a class of individuals who are related to every shareholder of the corporation or member of the limited liability company within the degrees of kinship or affinity specified in this section. b. An estate of a decedent who was related to every shareholder of the corporation or member of the limited liability company within the degrees of kinship or affinity specified in this section. 4. A trust or an estate may not be a shareholder or member if the beneficiaries of the trust or the estate together with the other shareholders or members are more than fifteen in number. 5. Each individual who is a shareholder or member must be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien of the United States. 6. If a corporation, the officers and directors of the corporation must be shareholders who are actively engaged in operating the farm or ranch and at least one of the corporation's shareholders must be an individual residing on or operating the farm or ranch. If a limited liability company, the governors and managers of the limited liability company must be members who are actively engaged in operating the farm or ranch and at least one of its members must be an individual residing on or operating the farm or ranch. 7. An annual average of at least sixty-five percent of the gross income of the corporation or limited liability company over the previous five years, or for each year of its Page No. 4 8. existence, if less than five years, must have been derived from farming or ranching operations. The income of the corporation or limited liability company from nonfarm rent, nonfarm royalties, dividends, interest, and annuities cannot exceed twenty percent of the gross income of the corporation or limited liability company. 10-06.1-12.1. Ownership or leasing of land by corporations - Exceptions. Disapproved by R.M. June 14, 2016. 10-06.1-13. Applicability of North Dakota Business Corporation Act. Chapter 10-19.1 is applicable to farming or ranching corporations, which have the powers and privileges and are subject to the duties, restrictions, and liabilities of other business corporations except when inconsistent with the intent of this chapter. This chapter takes precedence in the event of any conflict with the provisions of chapter 10-19.1. 10-06.1-14. Applicability of North Dakota limited liability company laws. Chapter 10-32.1, except those sections which pertain to foreign limited liability companies, is applicable to farming or ranching limited liability companies, which have the powers and privileges and are subject to the duties, restrictions, and liabilities of other business limited liability companies, except when inconsistent with the intent of this chapter. This chapter takes precedence in the event of any conflict with the provisions of chapter 10-32.1. 10-06.1-15. Initial report - Shareholder and member requirements. 1. Every farming or ranching corporation or limited liability company shall file an initial report with its articles of incorporation. The report must be signed by the incorporators or organizers and must contain the following: a. The name of the corporation or limited liability company. b. With respect to each shareholder or member: (1) The name and address of each, including the names and addresses and relationships of trusts and estates that own shares or membership interests; (2) The number of shares or membership interests or percentage of shares or membership interests owned by each; (3) The relationship of each; (4) A statement of whether each is a citizen or permanent resident alien of the United States; and (5) A statement of whether each is actively engaged in operating the farm or ranch, whether each resides on the farm or ranch, and whether each depends principally on farming or ranching for a livelihood. c. With respect to management: (1) If a corporation, then the names and addresses of the officers and members of the board of directors; or (2) If a limited liability company, then the names and addresses of the managers and members of the board of governors. d. A statement listing the acreage [hectarage] and location listed by section, township, range, and county of all land in the state owned or leased by the corporation or limited liability company and used for farming or ranching. 2. A corporation or a limited liability company may not commence farming or ranching in this state until the secretary of state has received and filed the articles of incorporation or articles of organization and the initial report required by this section. The corporation or limited liability company shall furnish to the official county newspaper of each county or counties in which any land is owned or leased by the corporation or limited liability company a legal notice reporting the following: a. The name of the corporation or limited liability company and its shareholders or members as listed in the initial report. Page No. 5 b. A statement to the effect that the corporation or limited liability company has reported that it owns or leases land used for farming or ranching in the county and that a description of that land is available for inspection at the secretary of state's office. 10-06.1-16. Share and membership interest transfer records. Every corporation owning or leasing land used for farming or ranching or engaged in farming or ranching after June 30, 1981, shall keep a record of transfers of shares or transfers of interests in the corporation. Every limited liability company owning or leasing land used for farming or ranching or engaged in farming or ranching shall keep a record of transfers of membership interests in the limited liability company. If a corporation, the corporation's secretary shall cause to be recorded in the record all transfers of shares or transfers of interests among and between the corporation and its respective shareholders or holders of interest. If a limited liability company, the limited liability company's secretary shall cause to be recorded in the record all transfers of membership interests among and between the limited liability company and its respective members. The record must contain at least the following: the names of the transferor and transferee, their relationship, the date of the transfer and, if a corporation, the number of shares or the percentage of interests transferred or, if a limited liability company, the number or percentage of membership interests transferred. 10-06.1-17. Annual report - Contents - Filing requirements. Before April sixteenth of each year, a corporation engaged in farming or ranching after June 30, 1981, and a limited liability company engaged in farming or ranching shall file with the secretary of state an annual report signed as provided in subsection 58 of section 10-19.1-01 if a corporation and subsection 47 of section 10-32.1-02 if a limited liability company. If the corporation or limited liability company is in the hands of a receiver or trustee, it must be signed on behalf of the corporation or limited liability company by the receiver or trustee. An annual report must include the following information with respect to the preceding calendar year: 1. The name of the corporation or limited liability company. 2. The name of the registered agent of the corporation or limited liability company as provided in chapter 10-01.1 and, if a noncommercial registered agent, the address of the registered office of the corporation or limited liability company in this state. 3. With respect to each corporation: a. A statement of the aggregate number of shares the corporation has authority to issue, itemized by classes, par value of shares, shares without par value, and series, if any, within a class. b. A statement of the aggregate number of issued shares, itemized by classes, par value of shares, shares without par value, and series, if any, within a class. 4. With respect to each shareholder or member: a. The name and address of each, including the names and addresses and relationships of beneficiaries of trusts and estates which own shares or membership interests; b. The number of shares or membership interests or percentage of shares or membership interests owned by each; c. The relationship of each; d. A statement of whether each is a citizen or permanent resident alien of the United States; and e. A statement of whether at least one is an individual residing on or operating the farm or ranch. 5. With respect to management: a. If a corporation, then the names and addresses of the officers and members of the board of directors; or b. If a limited liability company, then the names and addresses of the managers and members of the board of governors. 6. A statement listing the acreage [hectarage] and location listed by section, township, range, and county of all land in the state owned or leased by the corporation or limited Page No. 6 7. 8. 9. 10. liability company and used for farming or ranching. The statement must also designate which, if any, of the acreage [hectarage] is leased from or jointly owned with any shareholder or member and list the name of the shareholder or member with that acreage [hectarage]. A statement of the percentage of the annual average gross income of the corporation or limited liability company which has been derived from farming or ranching operations over the previous five years or for each year of existence if less than five years. A statement of the percentage of gross income of the corporation or limited liability company derived from nonfarm rent, nonfarm royalties, dividends, interest, and annuities during the period covered by the report. A corporation engaged in farming which fails to file an annual report is subject to the penalties for failure to file an annual report as provided in chapter 10-19.1, except that the penalties must be calculated from the date of the report required by this section. A limited liability company engaged in farming which fails to file an annual report is subject to the penalties for failure to file an annual report as provided in chapter 10-32.1, except that the penalties must be calculated from the date of the report required by this section. 10-06.1-18. Reports of corporations and limited liability companies not engaged in farming or ranching. Any business or nonprofit corporation and any limited liability company not engaged in the business of farming or ranching which owns or leases a tract of land used for farming or ranching which is larger than twenty acres [8.09 hectares] in size shall file with the attorney general, within twelve months of any transaction involving the purchase, sale, or surface leasing of such farmland or ranchland by that corporation or limited liability company, a report containing all of the following information: 1. The name of the corporation or limited liability company and its place of incorporation or organization and, if a nonprofit corporation, a copy of its section 501(c)(3) exemption letter from the internal revenue service. 2. The name of the registered agent of the corporation or limited liability company as provided in chapter 10-01.1 and, if a noncommercial registered agent, then the address of the noncommercial registered agent in this state. 3. The acreage [hectarage] and location listed by section, township, range, and county of all such land in the state owned or leased by the corporation or limited liability company and used for farming or ranching. 4. The date and method of acquisition or disposal of such farmland or ranchland. 10-06.1-19. Exemption from certain disclosure and other requirements for certain organizations. Sections 10-06.1-12, 10-06.1-15, 10-06.1-17, and 10-06.1-18 do not apply to nonprofit organizations or to corporations or limited liability companies such as banks, trust companies, or foundations serving in a fiduciary capacity as the personal representative or trustee of an estate or trust for an individual described in subsection 2 of section 10-06.1-12. 10-06.1-20. Failure to file report - Penalty. Every corporation or limited liability company which fails to file any report required under this chapter or willfully files false information on any report required under this chapter is guilty of a class A misdemeanor. 10-06.1-21. Secretary of state to transmit information of noncompliance. If the secretary of state finds from the annual report that the corporation or limited liability company is not in compliance with the requirements of section 10-06.1-12, the secretary of state shall transmit such information to the attorney general and the governor. Page No. 7 10-06.1-22. Tax commissioner to compare returns and reports. Each year the tax commissioner shall select at random at least five percent of the income tax returns filed by corporations or limited liability companies which report on income from farming or ranching operations and shall compare such returns with the annual report required to be filed with the secretary of state by section 10-06.1-17 and shall forward any apparent violations to the attorney general and the governor. 10-06.1-23. Attorney general to conduct random compliance program. Each year the attorney general shall select at random at least five percent of the total number of corporations and limited liability companies authorized by this chapter for requests for information to determine compliance with this chapter. For such purpose, the attorney general may request affidavits, share transfer records, certified copies of marriage licenses, birth certificates, deeds, leases, and such other records and documents necessary to determine compliance. 10-06.1-24. Enforcement - Penalty. 1. The recorder shall mail or deliver a copy of every instrument filed or recorded, within thirty days after the instrument is recorded, to the attorney general if the instrument documents evidence of a lease agreement or purchase agreement pursuant to subsection 6 or 7 or if the instrument conveys the title to farmland or ranchland to a corporation or limited liability company. The attorney general shall commence an action in the district court of the county in which the substantial portion of farmland or ranchland used in violation of this chapter is situated if the attorney general has reason to believe that any person is violating this chapter. The attorney general shall file for record with the recorder of each county in which any portion of the land is located a notice of the pendency of the action. If the court finds that the land in question is being held in violation of this chapter, or that a corporation or limited liability company is conducting the business of farming or ranching in violation of this chapter, the court shall enter an order so declaring. The attorney general shall file any such order for record with the recorder of each county in which any portion of the land is located. Thereafter, the corporation or limited liability company shall, within the time set by the court not to exceed one year from the date of the court's final order, divest itself of any farming or ranching land owned or leased by it in violation of this chapter, and cease all farming or ranching operations. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 10, any corporation or limited liability company that fails to comply with the court's order is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars and may be dissolved or terminated by the secretary of state. 2. The divestment period is deemed to be a covenant running with the title to the land against any corporate or limited liability company grantee, corporate or limited liability company successor, or corporation or limited liability company assignee of the corporation or limited liability company not authorized to do business under this chapter. 3. Any land not divested within the divestment period prescribed must be sold at public sale in the manner prescribed by law for the foreclosure of real estate mortgage by action. In addition, any prospective or threatened violation may be enjoined by an action brought by the attorney general in the manner provided by law, including enjoining the corporation or limited liability company from completing performance on the remainder of any leasehold which is in violation of this chapter. 4. Subject to the divestiture requirements of subsections 5, 6, and 7, a domestic or foreign corporation or limited liability company may acquire farmland or ranchland as security for indebtedness, by process of law in the collection of debts, or by any procedure for the enforcement of a lien or claim thereon, whether created by mortgage or otherwise. 5. Unless retention of the farmland or ranchland is permitted under subsection 6 or 7, all farmland or ranchland acquired as security for indebtedness, in the collection of debts, Page No. 8 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. or by the enforcement of a lien or claim shall be disposed of within three years after acquiring ownership, if the acquisition would otherwise violate this chapter. The disposition requirement does not apply to a corporation or limited liability company that has acquired title to the land through the process of foreclosure of a mortgage, or a deed from a mortgagor instead of a foreclosure, if, by the expiration of one month after what is or what would have been the redemption period of the mortgage if the mortgage had been foreclosed, that corporation or limited liability company leases to the prior mortgagor from whom it was acquired, with an option to purchase, and if documents evidencing the lease agreement have been filed with the recorder of each county in which the land is located. A copy of a notice of lease is sufficient evidence. The exemption in this subsection applies for only five years and then only if the property has been appraised in accordance with subsection 8. The annual lease payments required of the tenant may not exceed seven percent of the appraised value. The disposition requirement does not apply to a corporation or limited liability company that has acquired title to the land through the process of foreclosure of a mortgage, or a deed from the mortgagor instead of foreclosure, if, by the expiration of one month after what is or what would have been the redemption period of the mortgage if the mortgage had been foreclosed, that corporation or limited liability company contracts for the sale of the land to the prior mortgagor from whom it was acquired, and if documents evidencing the purchase agreement have been filed with the recorder of each county in which the land is located. A copy of a notice of the contract for deed is sufficient evidence. An exemption under this subsection is valid only if an appraisal has been made in accordance with subsection 8, and if it is valid, the exemption is unlimited in duration. The sale price may not exceed the price determined by the appraisers. If an appraisal is required, the appraisal must be made by three independent appraisers, one selected by the corporation or limited liability company, one selected by the prior mortgagor, and the third selected by the first two appraisers. If a corporation or limited liability company holds land pending divestiture, and the holding is not otherwise governed by this section, the land must be leased to persons actually engaged in farming or ranching and a disposal may not be to a corporation or limited liability company unless ownership by that corporation or limited liability company is authorized under this chapter. The civil penalty for a violation of section 10-06.1-10 may not exceed one hundred thousand dollars. Except as provided in subsection 10, any corporation or limited liability company continuing to violate this chapter is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars and may be dissolved or terminated by the attorney general in accordance with the laws of this state. 10-06.1-25. Private enforcement. This chapter may be enforced in the same manner as provided in section 10-06.1-24 by any corporation or limited liability company authorized to engage in farming or ranching by this chapter or any resident of legal age of a county in which the land owned or leased by a corporation or limited liability company in violation of this chapter is located. If such action is successful, all costs of the action must be assessed against the defendant and a reasonable attorney's fee must be allowed the plaintiff. If judgment is rendered for the defendant, such costs and a reasonable attorney's fee for the defendant must be paid by the plaintiff. 10-06.1-26. Protection of minority shareholders. If a shareholder owns less than fifty percent of the shares of a farming or ranching corporation doing business under this chapter, and if the terms and conditions for the repurchase of those shares by the corporation or by the other shareholders are not set forth in the bylaws or the instrument which transferred the shares to the shareholder, or are not the subject of a shareholders' agreement or an agreement between that shareholder and the Page No. 9 corporation, then the disposition of such shares must be determined by this section upon the withdrawal of the shareholder. Any shareholder who desires to withdraw from the corporation shall first offer the shares for sale to the remaining shareholders in proportion to the shares owned by them. If not all of the shareholders wish to purchase the shares, any one shareholder may purchase all of the shares of the withdrawing shareholder. If no shareholder desires to purchase the shares of a withdrawing shareholder, then the corporation may purchase the shares. If the corporation chooses not to purchase the shares of the withdrawing shareholder, then the withdrawing shareholder may sell the shares to any other person eligible to be a shareholder. If the withdrawing shareholder is unable to sell the shares to any other person eligible to become a shareholder, then the withdrawing shareholder may bring an action in district court to dissolve the corporation. Upon a finding that the withdrawing shareholder cannot sell the shares at a fair price, the court shall enter an order directing that the corporation itself or any or all of the remaining shareholders pro rata or otherwise shall have twelve months from the date of the court's order to purchase the shares of the withdrawing shareholder at a fair price as determined by the court and that if the shares of the withdrawing shareholder are not completely purchased at said price, the corporation shall be dissolved and the assets of the corporation shall be first used to pay all the liabilities of the corporation with the remaining net assets to be distributed pro rata to the shareholders in proportion to their ownership of shares. For the purpose of this section, a fair price for the shares of the withdrawing shareholder must be determined as though the shares were being valued for federal gift tax purposes under the Internal Revenue Code. 10-06.1-27. Protection of minority members. If a member owns less than fifty percent of the membership interest of a farming or ranching limited liability company doing business under this chapter and if the terms and conditions for the repurchase of that membership interest by the limited liability company or by the other members are not set forth in the bylaws, the instrument that transferred the membership interest to the member, or are not the subject of a member-control agreement or other agreement between that member and the limited liability company, the disposition of the membership interest must be determined by this section upon the withdrawal of the member. Any member who desires to withdraw from the limited liability company shall first offer the membership interest for sale to the remaining members in proportion to the membership interests owned by the remaining members. If not all of the members wish to purchase the membership interest, any one member can purchase all of the membership interest of the withdrawing member. If no member desires to purchase the membership interest of the withdrawing member, the limited liability company may purchase the membership interest. If the limited liability company chooses not to purchase the membership interest of the withdrawing member, the withdrawing member may sell the membership interest to any other person eligible to be a member. If the withdrawing member is unable to sell the membership interest to any other person eligible to become a member, the withdrawing member may bring an action in district court to terminate the limited liability company. Upon a finding that the withdrawing member cannot sell the membership interest at a fair price, the court shall enter an order directing that the limited liability company or any of the remaining members pro rata or otherwise, have twelve months from the date of the court's order to purchase the membership interest of the withdrawing member at a fair price as determined by the court and that if the membership interest of the withdrawing member is not completely purchased at the fair price, the limited liability company must be dissolved and the assets of the limited liability company must be first used to pay all liabilities of the limited liability company with the remaining net assets to be distributed pro rata to the members in proportion to the member's membership interest ownership. For the purpose of this section, a fair price for the membership interest of the withdrawing member must be determined as though the membership interest was being valued for federal gift tax purposes under the Internal Revenue Code. Page No. 10
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