I am the CEO and only shareholder of two CA corps. I am also the majority shareholder of a DE corporation. I am ceasing operations in CA and merging the two CA corps into DE corp. I filed a Certificate of Merger in DE, and then sent in the Agreement of Merger together with the DE Certificate to CA Secretary of State. They rejected it. They told me to send in an Agreement of Merger and a Certificate of Approval for each CA corporation. They said to use the form of the Agreement of Merger on the CA SOS website. But the Agreement of Merger on CA SOS website says the "surviving corporation" is a CA corporation and the disappearing corporation is also a CA corporation. How am I supposed to do this for a foreign (DE) corp?
You got bad advice from some clerk as DE is the surviving entity and DE law controls what gets filed (in Delaware) with essentially a notice/copy to CA telling them the former CA entities are no longer in existence. See CA website info on this issue and you will see why I said you got bad advice as it tells you that the SURVIVING entity (i.e., DELAWARE) papers is what controls here: http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/corp/pdf/mergers/corp-merger.pdf
My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a licensed attorney in your State should be obtained.
I am willing to bet (for a nominal sum) you can find a local attorney to do this for a very low sum of money. Just getting paperwork filed with CA and DE is not a hard thing. A lawyer that handles incorporation matters will know what is going on and endeavor to make sure there are no more hiccups. If you got a ad clerks once (as my colleague suggested) you are probably going to get the same bad clerk (rule of averages.)
Additionally, the legal bill CAN be a tax write off.
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I don't believe that you got bad advice from the DE clerk.
I believe that the DE clerk recommended that you *start with* the CA form of Agreement of Merger because DE does not provide such a document on its website. However - as you noted - you need to modify that form so that the DE corporation will be the surviving entity (just create a Word document with the appropriate portions of the form, adjusted as necessary).
Before you go further: Have you consulted with your tax adviser to ensure that mergers are the best way to proceed?
Good luck! Most entrepreneurs would be afraid to do, on their own, what you are intending to do.
This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.