Covid-19 legal changes in Austria

Austria has taken measures about corporate matters and annual financial statements to tackle the Covid-19 crisis. The new measures taken by the Austrian government are explained by our local partner Bettina Palisek
This legislative package includes measures relating certain corporate and contract matters as well as the disclosure of the annual financial statements.

Corporate Matters. Pursuant to the new COVID-19 Corporate Law Act, shareholder meetings and board meetings of, particularly, a corporation, a partnership, a cooperative, a private foundation or an association may be held without the physical presence of the participants, e.g. by means of a video conference. Further, ordinary general meetings of a stock corporation may be held within the first 12 (instead of the first 8) months of the financial year of the stock corporation concerned. Both provisions prevail deviating provisions in articles of association and are applicable for the duration of measures for combating COVID-19 until 31.12.2020 at the latest when the COVID-19 Corporate Law Act will automatically expire.

Annual Financial Statements. The Second COVID-19 Act provides for the suspension of time limits for certain filings to the court, by not including the period from 22.03.2020 until the end of 30.04.2020 into the period in which an action or application or a declaration has to be submitted to a court. Subject to the independent jurisprudence, these suspension provisions include the 9-months disclosure period for annual financial statements as well as the 2-months period for the imposition of recurring fines. The suspension period may be extended by regulation in case of the need for further measures to combat COVID-19. In any case these provisions will automatically expire on 31.12.2020.

What exactly does that mean for annual financial statements? This means that the time limit for the submission of annual financial statements that have to be received by the commercial court after 21.03.2020 is extended by 40 days, subject to an extension by regulation.

Please check Dr. Palisek full brief attached in our LinkedIn page for more information.

*This is not to be taken as legal advice. Legal Studio is not a law firm. This information blog was drafted based on input from a qualified lawyer. For more information, please contact us directly.