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Tvångslikvidation vid kapitalbrist - en komparativ studie

Girborn, Emma LU (2011) JURM01 20111
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Bestämmelser om tvångslikvidation vid kapitalbrist har funnits i svensk aktiebolagsrätt sedan 1895 års ABL. Idag stadgas reglerna i 25 kap. 13-20§§ ABL. Det som fastslås i ABL skiljer sig från liknande stadgor i övriga Europa, detta är något som väcker frågor.

Stadgandet i 25 kap. 13-20§§ ABL ställer upp åligganden för ett bolags styrelsemedlemmar. Dessa åligganden sanktioneras med ett personligt betalningsansvar. Den första skyldigheten är att upprätta en kontrollbalansräkning då det finns ”skäl att anta” att en kritisk kapitalbrist har uppstått i bolaget. Om den upprättade kontrollbalansräkningen visar att en kapitalbrist rent faktiskt föreligger så är det styrelsens skyldighet att kalla till en första kontrollstämma. På den första... (More)
Bestämmelser om tvångslikvidation vid kapitalbrist har funnits i svensk aktiebolagsrätt sedan 1895 års ABL. Idag stadgas reglerna i 25 kap. 13-20§§ ABL. Det som fastslås i ABL skiljer sig från liknande stadgor i övriga Europa, detta är något som väcker frågor.

Stadgandet i 25 kap. 13-20§§ ABL ställer upp åligganden för ett bolags styrelsemedlemmar. Dessa åligganden sanktioneras med ett personligt betalningsansvar. Den första skyldigheten är att upprätta en kontrollbalansräkning då det finns ”skäl att anta” att en kritisk kapitalbrist har uppstått i bolaget. Om den upprättade kontrollbalansräkningen visar att en kapitalbrist rent faktiskt föreligger så är det styrelsens skyldighet att kalla till en första kontrollstämma. På den första kontrollstämman beslutar bolagets aktieägare om bolaget ska gå i frivillig likvidation eller om ett sådant beslut ska skjutas upp till en andra kontrollstämma. Om ägarna bestämmer sig för att avvakta så startar en rådrumsfrist om åtta månader, därefter ska en andra kontrollstämma hållas där en ny kontrollbalansräkning ska läggas fram. Om det på den andra kontrollstämman visar sig att bolagets situation inte har förbättrats så ska styrelsen ansöka om likvidation av bolaget. Om styrelsen inte uppfyller dessa åligganden så föreligger ett personligt betalningsansvar. Detta stadgar 25 kap. 18§ ABL.

Motiven till 25 kap. 13-20§§ ABL slår fast att det främsta skyddsintresset är de existerande och potentiellt tillkommande bolagsborgenärerna. De existerande borgenärerna skyddas genom att ett bolags verksamhet inte kan fortlöpa i all oändlighet. De tillkommande borgenärerna skyddas på så sätt att de uppmärksammas i ett tidigt stadium på bolagets situation och på grund av det kan välja att avstå från att investera i bolaget.

Reglerna utgår från ett bolags insufficiens. Det vill säga den tidpunkt då bolagets skulder är större än tillgångarna. Detta är något som har kritiserats inom doktrinen. Det har lagts fram att en kapitalbrist skulle kunna upptäckas i ett tidigare stadium om utgångspunkten istället hade varit insolvens.

I övriga Norden stadgas likaså regler om tvångslikvidation vid kapitalbrist. De är till stort sätt uppbyggda på samma vis som de svenska bestämmelserna. En stor grund till detta är det nordiska lagstiftningssamarbetet på 1960- och 1970-talet. Det som skiljer de övriga nordiska länderna från Sverige är att de inte använder sig av samma sanktionsbestämmelser. Både Danmark, Norge och Finland har istället valt att sanktionera med skadeståndsbestämmelser för styrelseledamöter likt de som stadgas i 29 kap. ABL. I förarbetena till 1975 års ABL utreddes det om de regler som vi idag finner i 29 kap. ABL skulle användas istället för det personliga betalningsansvaret som stadgas i 25 kap. ABL. Konklusionen drogs att det skulle vara svårare för en borgenär att föra bevisning utefter reglerna i 29 kap. ABL och det personliga betalningsansvaret behölls därför.
Vid en utblick i övriga Europa så finner vi också ett stadgat ansvar för bolagets styrelseledamöter. I Storbritannien stadgas likväl ett personligt betalningsansvar vid ”wrongful trading”. De bestämmelserna utgår dock från ett bolags insolvens.

Slutsatsen kan dras att Sverige har ett starkt skydd för bolagsborgenärerna, ett skydd som möjligtvis inte har getts lika stor vikt i exempelvis de övriga nordiska länderna. En annan orsak till de nordiska ländernas val av sanktionsbestämmelser kan vara att den process som måste föras i Sverige sägs vara kostsam och betungande.

Slutligen kan det konstateras att i ett vidgat, internationellt perspektiv kan reglerna ifrågasättas. Detta då det kan hävdas inte de inte är så konkurrenskraftiga som de skulle kunna vara. En orsak till detta är just det faktum att reglerna utgår från ett bolags insufficiens. Den slutliga frågan blir om borgenärsskyddet är det viktigaste eller om den internationella konkurrensen är det. Möjligtvis går dessa två att kombinera, då behövs dock ändringar göras i dagens ABL. (Less)
Abstract
The provisions on compulsory winding-up due to capital shortage have been found in the Swedish corporate law since 1895. Today the rules are stipulated in Chapter 25, Section 13-20 in The Swedish Corporate Act (ABL). What is set in ABL differs from similar laws in other European countries and this raises some questions.

The provisions in Chapter 25, Section 13-20 ABL sets up duties for the members of the board. These duties are sanctioned with a personal liability for payment. The first obligation is to draw up a balance sheet when there is "reason to believe" that a critical capital shortage has occurred in the company. If the established control balance sheet shows that a lack of capital actually exists, it is the board's duty to... (More)
The provisions on compulsory winding-up due to capital shortage have been found in the Swedish corporate law since 1895. Today the rules are stipulated in Chapter 25, Section 13-20 in The Swedish Corporate Act (ABL). What is set in ABL differs from similar laws in other European countries and this raises some questions.

The provisions in Chapter 25, Section 13-20 ABL sets up duties for the members of the board. These duties are sanctioned with a personal liability for payment. The first obligation is to draw up a balance sheet when there is "reason to believe" that a critical capital shortage has occurred in the company. If the established control balance sheet shows that a lack of capital actually exists, it is the board's duty to convene something called, a first control meeting. During the first control meeting the company's shareholders decides if the company should go into voluntary liquidation, or if such a decision should be postponed to a second control meeting. If the owners decide to wait, a respite period of eight months starts, then a second control meeting will be held where a new control balance sheet will be presented. If it is concluded on the other control meeting that the company's situation has not improved, the board have to apply for liquidation of the company. If the board does not fulfill these requirements, the personal liability for payment begins, this is stipulated in Chapter 25, Section 18 ABL.

Reasons for Chapter 25, Section 13-20 ABL states that the primary interest is protection of existing and potential, future corporate creditors. Existing creditors are protected by the fact that a company's operations can not run indefinitely. The future creditors are protected in the sense that they are informed of the company's situation at an early stage and because of this they may choose to refrain from investing in the company.

The rules are based on a company's insufficiency. That is the time when its debts are greater than its assets. This is something that has been criticized in the doctrine. It has been presented that a lack of capital could be detected at an earlier stage if the starting point instead had been insolvency.

Other Nordic countries also have rules regarding compulsory liquidation due to capital shortage. They are virtually constructed in the same way that the Swedish rules are. A major reason for this is the Nordic legislative cooperation in 1960 - and 1970's. What distinguishes the other Nordic countries from Sweden is that they do not use the same penalty provisions. Both Denmark, Norway and Finland have decided to use damages provisions for directors such as those provided in Chapter 29 ABL. The legislative history to the 1975 ABL investigated if the rules that we today find in Chapter 29 ABL could be used instead of the personal liability for payment as provided in Chapter 25 ABL. The conclusion was that it would be difficult for a creditor to bring along proof to the rules in Chapter 29 ABL and the personal liability for payment therefore retained.

With an outlook in the rest of Europe we also find a liability for the board of directors. In Britain a personal liability for payment is also stated, this applies to "wrongful trading". The rules are, however, assuming a company's insolvency instead of incufficiency.

In conclusion, Sweden has a strong protection for corporate creditors, protection that might not have been given equal weight in for example the other Nordic countries. Another reason for the Nordic countries choice of penalty may be that the process that must be conducted in Sweden is said to be costly and burdensome.

Finally, it should be noted that in a broader, international perspective, the rules could be challenged. This is because it can not be argued that they are not as competitive as they could be. One reason for this is the fact that the rules are based on a company's insufficiency. The final question is if the protection of creditors is the most important thing or if the international competition is. Those two could possibly be combined, but to make that a reality, changes have to be made in today's ABL. (Less)
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author
Girborn, Emma LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Compulsory winding-up due to capital shortage - a comparative study
course
JURM01 20111
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Aktiebolagsrätt
language
Swedish
id
1968796
date added to LUP
2011-05-24 15:53:33
date last changed
2011-05-24 15:53:33
@misc{1968796,
  abstract     = {The provisions on compulsory winding-up due to capital shortage have been found in the Swedish corporate law since 1895. Today the rules are stipulated in Chapter 25, Section 13-20 in The Swedish Corporate Act (ABL). What is set in ABL differs from similar laws in other European countries and this raises some questions.

The provisions in Chapter 25, Section 13-20 ABL sets up duties for the members of the board. These duties are sanctioned with a personal liability for payment. The first obligation is to draw up a balance sheet when there is "reason to believe" that a critical capital shortage has occurred in the company. If the established control balance sheet shows that a lack of capital actually exists, it is the board's duty to convene something called, a first control meeting. During the first control meeting the company's shareholders decides if the company should go into voluntary liquidation, or if such a decision should be postponed to a second control meeting. If the owners decide to wait, a respite period of eight months starts, then a second control meeting will be held where a new control balance sheet will be presented. If it is concluded on the other control meeting that the company's situation has not improved, the board have to apply for liquidation of the company. If the board does not fulfill these requirements, the personal liability for payment begins, this is stipulated in Chapter 25, Section 18 ABL.

Reasons for Chapter 25, Section 13-20 ABL states that the primary interest is protection of existing and potential, future corporate creditors. Existing creditors are protected by the fact that a company's operations can not run indefinitely. The future creditors are protected in the sense that they are informed of the company's situation at an early stage and because of this they may choose to refrain from investing in the company.

The rules are based on a company's insufficiency. That is the time when its debts are greater than its assets. This is something that has been criticized in the doctrine. It has been presented that a lack of capital could be detected at an earlier stage if the starting point instead had been insolvency. 

Other Nordic countries also have rules regarding compulsory liquidation due to capital shortage. They are virtually constructed in the same way that the Swedish rules are. A major reason for this is the Nordic legislative cooperation in 1960 - and 1970's. What distinguishes the other Nordic countries from Sweden is that they do not use the same penalty provisions. Both Denmark, Norway and Finland have decided to use damages provisions for directors such as those provided in Chapter 29 ABL. The legislative history to the 1975 ABL investigated if the rules that we today find in Chapter 29 ABL could be used instead of the personal liability for payment as provided in Chapter 25 ABL. The conclusion was that it would be difficult for a creditor to bring along proof to the rules in Chapter 29 ABL and the personal liability for payment therefore retained.

With an outlook in the rest of Europe we also find a liability for the board of directors. In Britain a personal liability for payment is also stated, this applies to "wrongful trading". The rules are, however, assuming a company's insolvency instead of incufficiency.

In conclusion, Sweden has a strong protection for corporate creditors, protection that might not have been given equal weight in for example the other Nordic countries. Another reason for the Nordic countries choice of penalty may be that the process that must be conducted in Sweden is said to be costly and burdensome. 

Finally, it should be noted that in a broader, international perspective, the rules could be challenged. This is because it can not be argued that they are not as competitive as they could be. One reason for this is the fact that the rules are based on a company's insufficiency. The final question is if the protection of creditors is the most important thing or if the international competition is. Those two could possibly be combined, but to make that a reality, changes have to be made in today's ABL.},
  author       = {Girborn, Emma},
  keyword      = {Aktiebolagsrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Tvångslikvidation vid kapitalbrist - en komparativ studie},
  year         = {2011},
}