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Articles contributed by Dorda Brugger Jordis
Austrian law distinguishes between composition proceedings in accordance with the Composition Code (Ausgleichsordnung-AO) and bankruptcy proceedings in accordance with the Bankruptcy Code (Konkursordnung-KO).
Bankruptcy proceedings have to be opened if the debtor is unable to pay. In particular, inability to pay must be assumed if the debtor suspends payments. Inability to pay does not require that creditors are actively seeking payment.
Bankruptcy proceedings are also opened in the event of overindebtedness in relation to commercial companies if no personally liable partner is a natural person, in relation to the assets of legal entities and in relation to the estates of deceased persons.
In its recently published "White Paper on Damages actions for the breach of EC antitrust rules" the European Commission identified access to cartel evidence as one of the key elements for enhancing private enforcement actions against anti-competitive practices.
Facing the situation on the international financial markets, the Austrian real estate market has stood up well against the sub-prime crisis and remains a stable investment haven.
Stefan Artner MRICS, head of the real estate desk at DORDA BRUGGER JORDIS, reports on current developments on the Austrian and CEE real estate market.
Austrian corporations have been allowed to integrate non-Austrian corporations into an Austrian tax consolidation group since 2005. This opportunity has proven to be an effective tool in achieving a crossborder use of losses between separate corporate entities and is widely used by internationally active groups with operations in Austria.
Amendments for auditors, supervisory boards and capital markets-oriented companies
Several accounting scandals in the recent past caused the EC to adopt both the Directive 2006/43/EC (Statutory Audit Directive) and Directive 2006/46/EC (Company Reporting Directive). The directives will improve the credibility of financial information and strengthen protection against financial scandals. These directives will be implemented in Austria with the legislative proposal for a Business Law Amendment Act 2008 (Unternehmensrechts-Aenderungsgesetz 2008, "URAeG 2008"). The amendments will be applicable for business years starting after 31 December 2008. However, some of the amendments will be in effect by 1 June 2008.