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Medansvarets upphörande - Särskilt om ändamålsenligheten i Högsta domstolens senaste praxis

Söderberg, Pontus LU (2019) JURM02 20192
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Det övergripande syftet med uppsatsen är att undersöka och analysera de aktiebolagsrättsliga kapitalbristreglerna. Inledningsvis ger uppsatsen en övergripande bild av reglernas konstruktion. Fokus läggs sedan på den sen-aste rättsutvecklingen som skett på området med avseende ansvarsperiodens upphörande. Eftersom den senaste rättsutvecklingen bl.a. berört förhållandet mellan kapitalbristreglerna och de insolvensrättsliga reglerna om konkurs och företagsrekonstruktion behandlas även dessa rättsregler i uppsatsen.

Kapitalbristreglerna innebär i korthet att ett aktiebolags styrelse har en skyldighet att vidta vissa åtgärder när det kan befaras att det egna kapitalet understiger hälften av det registrerade aktiekapitalet. Om styrelsen... (More)
Det övergripande syftet med uppsatsen är att undersöka och analysera de aktiebolagsrättsliga kapitalbristreglerna. Inledningsvis ger uppsatsen en övergripande bild av reglernas konstruktion. Fokus läggs sedan på den sen-aste rättsutvecklingen som skett på området med avseende ansvarsperiodens upphörande. Eftersom den senaste rättsutvecklingen bl.a. berört förhållandet mellan kapitalbristreglerna och de insolvensrättsliga reglerna om konkurs och företagsrekonstruktion behandlas även dessa rättsregler i uppsatsen.

Kapitalbristreglerna innebär i korthet att ett aktiebolags styrelse har en skyldighet att vidta vissa åtgärder när det kan befaras att det egna kapitalet understiger hälften av det registrerade aktiekapitalet. Om styrelsen underlåter att följa reglerna kan detta leda till att styrelseledamöterna drabbas av personligt betalningsansvar för de förpliktelser som uppkommer för bolaget under den tid som underlåtenheten består, den s.k. ansvarsperioden. Reglerna syftar till att skydda bolagets borgenärer mot att bolagets hela kapital förbrukas innan en avveckling av bolaget inleds. Reglerna har utsatts för hård kritik och anses av många att inte vara tillräckliga för att uppnå sitt syfte.

Enligt lagen kan ansvarsperioden avslutas på olika sätt. I praxis har HD dock angivit de i lagen angivna möjligheterna att avsluta ansvarsperioden inte är uttömmande. HD har i flera fall haft att bedöma om en löpande an-svarsperiod ska avslutas eller inte. I dessa fall har HD valt att fästa stor vikt vid just syftet när de tolkat bestämmelserna. I rättsfallen ”Trollhotellen” NJA 2012 s. 858 och ”Konkursbolagets skulder” NJA 2018 s. 602 angav HD att en fastställd årsredovisning som utvisar full täckning av det registrerade aktiekapitalet respektive ett konkursbeslut avslutar en löpande ansvarsperiod. I NJA 2014 s. 892 däremot slog HD fast att ett utträde ur styrelsen under en löpande ansvarsperiod inte medför att ansvarsperioden avslutas för styrelseledamoten. Utifrån kapitalbristreglernas syfte framstår HD:s lösningar i målen vara de mest ändamålsenliga.

I ”Rekonstruktionsbolagets skuld” NJA 2018 s. 1038 kom HD fram till slutsatsen att en beviljad företagsrekonstruktion inte avslutar en löpande ansvarsperiod. Det finns anledningar att ifrågasätta HD:s slutsatser i detta fall. Det finns flera skäl till stöd för att även företagsrekonstruktionsreglerna tillgodoser de intressen som kapitalbristreglerna avser att tillgodose. Av dessa anledningar fanns det stöd för att låta en beviljad företagsrekonstruktion avsluta en löpande ansvarsperiod.

I och med HD:s dom står det dock klart att en beviljad företagsrekonstrukt-ion inte avslutar en löpande ansvarsperiod. Det finns dock skäl för att lag-stiftaren bör vidta åtgärder för att ändra rättsläget. Dels måste företagsre-konstruktionsreglerna anses att på ett tillfredställande sätt tillgodose de intressen som kapitalbristreglerna avser att skydda, dels måste det anses mer gynnsamt för borgenärskollektivet att gäldenären rekonstruerar sin verksamhet jämfört med att den likvideras. Detta överensstämmer även med den bakomliggande tanken till EU:s nya rekonstruktionsdirektiv. Av dessa anledningar bör ordningen vara att företagsrekonstruktionsreglerna har företräde framför kapitalbristreglerna. (Less)
Abstract
The overall purpose of the essay is to investigate and analyze the capital deficiency rules in the Swedish Companies Act. Initially, the essay provides an overall picture of the rules' construction. The focus is then placed on the latest legal developments that have taken place in the area regarding the expiry of the liability period. Since the most recent legal development concerned the relationship between the capital deficiency rules and the insolvency rules on bankruptcy and corporate restructuring, these rules are also dealt with in the essay.

In short, the capital deficiency rules means that the board of a limited liability company has an obligation to take certain measures when it can be feared that the equity is less than half... (More)
The overall purpose of the essay is to investigate and analyze the capital deficiency rules in the Swedish Companies Act. Initially, the essay provides an overall picture of the rules' construction. The focus is then placed on the latest legal developments that have taken place in the area regarding the expiry of the liability period. Since the most recent legal development concerned the relationship between the capital deficiency rules and the insolvency rules on bankruptcy and corporate restructuring, these rules are also dealt with in the essay.

In short, the capital deficiency rules means that the board of a limited liability company has an obligation to take certain measures when it can be feared that the equity is less than half of the registered share capital. If the board fails to comply with the rules, this may lead to the board members being affected by personal liability for the obligations that arise for the company during the time of the omission, the so-called liability period. The rules are intended to protect the company's creditors against the situation where the company's entire capital is being consumed before a liquidation of the company begins. The rules have been criticized and are considered by many to be insufficient to achieve their purpose.

According to the law, the liability period can be terminated in different ways. The Swedish Supreme Court have, however, stated that the possibilities specified in the law to terminate the liability period are not exhaustive. In several cases, the Supreme Court have had to decide whether or not to terminate an ongoing liability period. In these cases, the Supreme Court stated that the purpose of the rules should be of great importance when the provisions were interpreted. In the "Trollhotellen" NJA 2012 p. 858 and "Konkursbolagets skulder " NJA 2018 p. 602, the Supreme Court stated that an established annual report that shows full coverage of the registered share capital and a bankruptcy, respectively, ends an ongoing period of liability. In NJA 2014 p. 892, however, the Supreme Court ruled that a resignation from the board during an ongoing period of liability does not result in the termination of the liability period for the board member. Based on the purpose of the capital deficiency rules, the Supreme Court's solutions in the cases appear to be the most appropriate.

In”Rekonstruktionsbolagets skuld” NJA 2018 p. 1038, the Supreme Court concluded that a granted restructuring does not end an ongoing liability period. There are reasons to question the Supreme Court's conclusions in this case. There are several reasons supporting the fact that the corporate restructuring rules also meet the interests that the capital deficiency rules intend to meet. For these reasons, the Supreme Court should have allowed a granted restructuring to end an ongoing liability period.

With the Supreme Court's decision, it is clear that a granted restructuring does not end an ongoing liability period. However, there are reasons why the legislature should take measures to change the legal situation. On the one hand, the corporate restructuring rules must be considered to adequately meet the interests that the capital deficiency rules intend to protect, and on the other, it must be considered more favorable to the creditors that the debtor restructures his business compared to liquidating it. This is also in line with the underlying idea of the EU's new directive on restructuring. For these reasons, the corporate restructuring rules should take precedence over the capital deficiency rules. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Söderberg, Pontus LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The expiry of the personal liability - Particularly on the appropriateness of Swedish Supreme Court's most recent precedents
course
JURM02 20192
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
associationsrätt, civilrätt, private law, company law, medansvar, kapitalbrist
language
Swedish
id
8998501
date added to LUP
2020-01-31 12:07:54
date last changed
2020-01-31 12:07:54
@misc{8998501,
  abstract     = {The overall purpose of the essay is to investigate and analyze the capital deficiency rules in the Swedish Companies Act. Initially, the essay provides an overall picture of the rules' construction. The focus is then placed on the latest legal developments that have taken place in the area regarding the expiry of the liability period. Since the most recent legal development concerned the relationship between the capital deficiency rules and the insolvency rules on bankruptcy and corporate restructuring, these rules are also dealt with in the essay.

In short, the capital deficiency rules means that the board of a limited liability company has an obligation to take certain measures when it can be feared that the equity is less than half of the registered share capital. If the board fails to comply with the rules, this may lead to the board members being affected by personal liability for the obligations that arise for the company during the time of the omission, the so-called liability period. The rules are intended to protect the company's creditors against the situation where the company's entire capital is being consumed before a liquidation of the company begins. The rules have been criticized and are considered by many to be insufficient to achieve their purpose.

According to the law, the liability period can be terminated in different ways. The Swedish Supreme Court have, however, stated that the possibilities specified in the law to terminate the liability period are not exhaustive. In several cases, the Supreme Court have had to decide whether or not to terminate an ongoing liability period. In these cases, the Supreme Court stated that the purpose of the rules should be of great importance when the provisions were interpreted. In the "Trollhotellen" NJA 2012 p. 858 and "Konkursbolagets skulder " NJA 2018 p. 602, the Supreme Court stated that an established annual report that shows full coverage of the registered share capital and a bankruptcy, respectively, ends an ongoing period of liability. In NJA 2014 p. 892, however, the Supreme Court ruled that a resignation from the board during an ongoing period of liability does not result in the termination of the liability period for the board member. Based on the purpose of the capital deficiency rules, the Supreme Court's solutions in the cases appear to be the most appropriate. 

In”Rekonstruktionsbolagets skuld” NJA 2018 p. 1038, the Supreme Court concluded that a granted restructuring does not end an ongoing liability period. There are reasons to question the Supreme Court's conclusions in this case. There are several reasons supporting the fact that the corporate restructuring rules also meet the interests that the capital deficiency rules intend to meet. For these reasons, the Supreme Court should have allowed a granted restructuring to end an ongoing liability period.

With the Supreme Court's decision, it is clear that a granted restructuring does not end an ongoing liability period. However, there are reasons why the legislature should take measures to change the legal situation. On the one hand, the corporate restructuring rules must be considered to adequately meet the interests that the capital deficiency rules intend to protect, and on the other, it must be considered more favorable to the creditors that the debtor restructures his business compared to liquidating it. This is also in line with the underlying idea of the EU's new directive on restructuring. For these reasons, the corporate restructuring rules should take precedence over the capital deficiency rules.},
  author       = {Söderberg, Pontus},
  keyword      = {associationsrätt,civilrätt,private law,company law,medansvar,kapitalbrist},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Medansvarets upphörande - Särskilt om ändamålsenligheten i Högsta domstolens senaste praxis},
  year         = {2019},
}