When a shareholder of a corporation believes that he or she has been wronged, the shareholder generally has two options to file a lawsuit. The shareholder may either bring a direct action or a derivative action, depending on the facts of the case. In many instances, it is only appropriate for the shareholder to bring one of these two types of actions against the company. Below is a general explanation of how a corporation is set up, and a discussion of the differences between the two types of shareholder actions.
Let’s say that you decide to open a lemonade stand by yourself as a simple business. In a simple business, you would own the lemonade stand. If the lemonade stand did well, you would make more money, and if it did badly, you would not. In addition to being the owner, you would also run the lemonade stand. You would make day-to-day decisions about the lemonade stand, like how where to order to the lemons from, what equipment to use, and how much customers should pay for the lemonade. To sum up, you alone would both own and run everything.