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Tvångslikvidation på grund av kapitalbrist - En balansgång mellan två intressen?

Reinprecht, Jan LU (2017) JURM02 20171
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
Since 1895, there have been provisions on compulsory liquidation due to capital shortage. Today, the provisions are found in the Swedish Companies Act (ABL) chapter 25 art. 13-20. The rules stipulate that the board is, under certain conditions, obliged to act. When this duty to act arises for the board, is stated in ABL chapter 25 art. 13:
The board shall immediately draw up a control balance sheet when there is reason to assume that the company's equity is less than half of the registered capital (the critical limit).
If the control balance sheet shows that there really is a critical capital shortage, meaning that an actual critical capital shortage has been confirmed, the board shall convene a first control meeting of shareholders. If... (More)
Since 1895, there have been provisions on compulsory liquidation due to capital shortage. Today, the provisions are found in the Swedish Companies Act (ABL) chapter 25 art. 13-20. The rules stipulate that the board is, under certain conditions, obliged to act. When this duty to act arises for the board, is stated in ABL chapter 25 art. 13:
The board shall immediately draw up a control balance sheet when there is reason to assume that the company's equity is less than half of the registered capital (the critical limit).
If the control balance sheet shows that there really is a critical capital shortage, meaning that an actual critical capital shortage has been confirmed, the board shall convene a first control meeting of shareholders. If the shareholders, at this first control meeting, do not take a decision to liquidate, a respite period starts to run. During this respite, the shareholders have eight months to try to heal the shortage. The whole shortage must be restored. If the shareholders fail to cope with the shortage within the time limit, at the end of the respite, an obligation to liquidate occurs.
ABL chap. 25 art. 18 stipulates the conditions under which the board may suffer from personal payment liability. Thus, if the board fails to draw up a control balance sheet, fails to convene a first control meeting or fails to apply for liquidation, the board members may suffer personal payment liability. Under certain circumstances, other company representatives and shareholders may also suffer from personal payment liability.

From older legislative history, the statements were sparse regarding what the purpose of the legislation really was. In the 1940s it was said that the idea was to promote health in the limited company system. In the 1970s it was stated that as a limited company operates without personal liability, the business should not be able to continue when most of the share capital has been lost.
However, around the turn of the century, the legislator made more statements about the purpose of the regulation. Ultimately, it was said, the purpose was to protect the company's creditors against all capital being consumed before the liquidation process had started. Furthermore, it was said that the personal payment liability was a pressure measure to make the board comply with the act-based action pattern. The liability provisions were meant to push the board into action.
However, there were more statements made. The legislator also stated that it is not intended that companies that are viable should be forced into liquidation. In other legislative history, this has been repeated, namely that it is not the legislator's intention to force viable companies to liquidate. It has also been stated that it may often be impossible to heal the capital shortage if too little time is given to the owners, and in that case liquidation would lead to unnecessary value destruction.

The purpose of this work has been to first review the provisions on compulsory liquidation due to capital shortage.
Following the review of the provisions, there is then a discussion in which the starting point for the discussion is the legislator's statement that the provisions are in place to protect the creditors. The purpose of the discussion is to investigate, with the help of the previous review, whether the creditor's protection is decisive, or if the legislator also considers other interests.

The investigation shows that it is not as easy as just talking about a creditor's protection when talking about the regulatory system in question.
The starting point is the creditor's protection, but it shows that the legislator does not intend to force companies, that have a real opportunity to survive, into liquidation with these provisions. Thus, a need to safeguard the interests of the shareholders is made visible.
The conclusion drawn is, that there is a balancing act between the creditor protection and the shareholder interest, where the creditors' need for protection stands against the shareholders' interest in not to be forced into liquidation. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Sedan 1895 har det funnits bestämmelser om tvångslikvidation på grund av kapitalbrist. Idag återfinns bestämmelserna i Aktiebolagslagen 25 kap. 13–20 §§. Reglerna stipulerar att styrelsen under vissa förutsättningar är skyldig att agera. När denna handlingsplikt för styrelsen uppkommer, framgår av ABL 25 kap. 13 §:
Styrelsen ska genast upprätta en kontrollbalansräkning när det finns skäl att anta att bolagets eget kapital understiger hälften av det registrerade kapitalet (den kritiska gränsen).
Visar kontrollbalansräkningen på att det verkligen föreligger en kritisk kapitalbrist, d.v.s. en faktisk kritisk kapitalbrist är konstaterad, ska styrelsen kalla till en första kontrollstämma. Om aktieägarna vid denna stämma inte tar ett beslut om... (More)
Sedan 1895 har det funnits bestämmelser om tvångslikvidation på grund av kapitalbrist. Idag återfinns bestämmelserna i Aktiebolagslagen 25 kap. 13–20 §§. Reglerna stipulerar att styrelsen under vissa förutsättningar är skyldig att agera. När denna handlingsplikt för styrelsen uppkommer, framgår av ABL 25 kap. 13 §:
Styrelsen ska genast upprätta en kontrollbalansräkning när det finns skäl att anta att bolagets eget kapital understiger hälften av det registrerade kapitalet (den kritiska gränsen).
Visar kontrollbalansräkningen på att det verkligen föreligger en kritisk kapitalbrist, d.v.s. en faktisk kritisk kapitalbrist är konstaterad, ska styrelsen kalla till en första kontrollstämma. Om aktieägarna vid denna stämma inte tar ett beslut om likvidation börjar en s.k. rådrumsfrist att löpa. Under denna rådrumsfrist har aktieägarna åtta månader på sig att försöka läka bristen. Hela bristen måste återställas. Lyckas aktieägarna inte läka bristen inom rådrumsfristen inträder vid rådrumsfristens utgång en skyldighet att likvidera.
I ABL 25 kap. 18 § stadgas under vilka förutsättningar styrelsen kan drabbas av ett personligt betalningsansvar. Sålunda framgår det att om styrelsen underlåter att upprätta en kontrollbalansräkning, underlåter att sammankalla en första kontrollstämma eller underlåter att ansöka om likvidation så riskerar styrelsens ledamöter att drabbas av ett personligt betalningsansvar. Under vissa förutsättningar kan även andra bolagsföreträdare samt aktieägare drabbas av ett personligt betalningsansvar.

Från äldre förarbeten var det sparsmakat med uttalanden om vad syftet med lagstiftningen egentligen var. På 1940-talet talades det om att tanken var att befordra sundhet inom aktiebolagsväsendet. På 1970-talet uttalades att eftersom aktiebolag drivs utan personligt ansvar så borde verksamheten inte kunna fortsätta när större delen av aktiekapitalet gått förlorat.
Runt sekelskiftet kom dock lagstiftaren att göra större uttalanden om syftet med regleringen. Ytterst, sades det, var syftet att skydda bolagets borgenärer mot att allt kapital förbrukats innan avvecklingen inletts. Vidare sades det att det personliga betalningsansvaret var ett påtryckningsmedel för att få styrelsen att följa det i lagen uppställda handlingsmönstret. Ansvarsreglerna skulle pressa styrelsen till handling.
Det fanns dock fler uttalanden. Lagstiftaren uttalade även att det inte är meningen att bolag som är livsdugliga ska tvingas i likvidation. I andra förarbeten har detta upprepats, nämligen att det inte är lagstiftarens avsikt att livskraftiga bolag ska tvingas i likvidation. Det har även uttalats att det ofta kan vara omöjligt att läka kapitalbristen om för lite tid ges till ägarna och då skulle en likvidation leda till onödig värdeförstörelse.

Syftet med detta arbete har varit att först göra en genomgång av bestämmelserna kring tvångslikvidation på grund av kapitalbrist.
Efter genomgången av bestämmelserna förs därefter en diskussion där utgångspunkten för diskussionen är lagstiftarens uttalande om att bestämmelserna är till för att skydda borgenärerna. Syftet med diskussionen är att med hjälp av den föregående presentationen av regelsystemet undersöka om borgenärsskyddet är det avgörande eller om lagstiftaren även tar hänsyn till andra intressen.

Undersökningen visar att det inte är så enkelt som att bara tala om ett borgenärsskydd när man talar om det regelsystem som här är fråga om.
Utgångspunkten är borgenärsskyddet men det framkommer att lagstiftaren inte har för avsikt att med dessa bestämmelser tvinga bolag, som har en reell möjlighet att överleva, i likvidation. Därmed synliggörs ett behov av att tillvarata aktieägarnas intresse, ett aktieägarintresse.
Slutsatsen som dras är att det föreligger en balansgång mellan å ena sidan borgenärsskyddet och å andra sidan aktieägarintresset, där borgenärernas behov av skydd står mot aktieägarnas intresse av att inte tvingas till likvidation. (Less)
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author
Reinprecht, Jan LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Compulsory liquidation due to capital shortage - A balancing act between two interests?
course
JURM02 20171
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Associationsrätt
language
Swedish
id
8925821
date added to LUP
2017-10-05 07:27:10
date last changed
2017-10-05 07:27:10
@misc{8925821,
  abstract     = {Since 1895, there have been provisions on compulsory liquidation due to capital shortage. Today, the provisions are found in the Swedish Companies Act (ABL) chapter 25 art. 13-20. The rules stipulate that the board is, under certain conditions, obliged to act. When this duty to act arises for the board, is stated in ABL chapter 25 art. 13:
The board shall immediately draw up a control balance sheet when there is reason to assume that the company's equity is less than half of the registered capital (the critical limit).
If the control balance sheet shows that there really is a critical capital shortage, meaning that an actual critical capital shortage has been confirmed, the board shall convene a first control meeting of shareholders. If the shareholders, at this first control meeting, do not take a decision to liquidate, a respite period starts to run. During this respite, the shareholders have eight months to try to heal the shortage. The whole shortage must be restored. If the shareholders fail to cope with the shortage within the time limit, at the end of the respite, an obligation to liquidate occurs.
ABL chap. 25 art. 18 stipulates the conditions under which the board may suffer from personal payment liability. Thus, if the board fails to draw up a control balance sheet, fails to convene a first control meeting or fails to apply for liquidation, the board members may suffer personal payment liability. Under certain circumstances, other company representatives and shareholders may also suffer from personal payment liability.

From older legislative history, the statements were sparse regarding what the purpose of the legislation really was. In the 1940s it was said that the idea was to promote health in the limited company system. In the 1970s it was stated that as a limited company operates without personal liability, the business should not be able to continue when most of the share capital has been lost.
However, around the turn of the century, the legislator made more statements about the purpose of the regulation. Ultimately, it was said, the purpose was to protect the company's creditors against all capital being consumed before the liquidation process had started. Furthermore, it was said that the personal payment liability was a pressure measure to make the board comply with the act-based action pattern. The liability provisions were meant to push the board into action.
However, there were more statements made. The legislator also stated that it is not intended that companies that are viable should be forced into liquidation. In other legislative history, this has been repeated, namely that it is not the legislator's intention to force viable companies to liquidate. It has also been stated that it may often be impossible to heal the capital shortage if too little time is given to the owners, and in that case liquidation would lead to unnecessary value destruction.

The purpose of this work has been to first review the provisions on compulsory liquidation due to capital shortage.
Following the review of the provisions, there is then a discussion in which the starting point for the discussion is the legislator's statement that the provisions are in place to protect the creditors. The purpose of the discussion is to investigate, with the help of the previous review, whether the creditor's protection is decisive, or if the legislator also considers other interests.

The investigation shows that it is not as easy as just talking about a creditor's protection when talking about the regulatory system in question.
The starting point is the creditor's protection, but it shows that the legislator does not intend to force companies, that have a real opportunity to survive, into liquidation with these provisions. Thus, a need to safeguard the interests of the shareholders is made visible.
The conclusion drawn is, that there is a balancing act between the creditor protection and the shareholder interest, where the creditors' need for protection stands against the shareholders' interest in not to be forced into liquidation.},
  author       = {Reinprecht, Jan},
  keyword      = {Associationsrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Tvångslikvidation på grund av kapitalbrist - En balansgång mellan två intressen?},
  year         = {2017},
}