Covid-19 legal changes in France

France legal changes following on coronavirus context

France has passed an emergency law to deal with the covid 19 epidemic. The order provides for the postponement of the holding of general meetings relating to the approval of the closed accounts in question.

We would like to thank our partner Alexandra SIX from the Cabinet ELOQUENCE who shared this updated information with us.

Article 3 of the Order of 25 March 2020 adapts the rules relating to the preparation, approval, audit, review, approval and publication of financial statements extends the period for approving financial statements by three months.

  1. This extension does not apply to legal persons and entities without legal personality under private law that have appointed an auditor when the latter has issued his report on the accounts before 12 March 2020.
  2. Thus, in practice, these measures apply to companies whose accounting and statutory auditor’s documents were in progress at the time of the entry into force of these measures and could not be completed within a period of time compatible with the holding of the general meeting.
  3. It is also provided that this extension applies to legal persons and entities without legal personality under private law closing their accounts between 30 September 2019 and the expiry of a period of one month after the date of cessation of the state of health emergency declared by Article 4 of the Law of 23 March 2020, i.e. “two months from the entry into force of this Law”, or until 23 May 2020, a date which could be extended by the Government.

With regard to the information to be provided to shareholders’ meetings, this ordinance extends and facilitates the de-materialised exercise of the right of communication that the members of shareholders’ meetings enjoy prior to their meetings.

  • When a meeting is convened in a place affected on the date of the convocation or on the date of the meeting by an administrative measure restricting or prohibiting collective gatherings for health reasons, the body competent to convene it or the legal representative acting on delegation from that body may decide that it shall be held without the members and other persons entitled to attend being physically present or by means of a telephone or audiovisual conference.
  • In practice, the decision to use videoconferencing or telecommunication means is the responsibility of the body competent to convene the meeting or, where applicable, its delegate.
  • It is also possible to resort to written consultation of the meetings, for companies for which the law does not provide for this.

Find the Order full text here:

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