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Insolvency 

Current information about insolvency, illiquidity, insolvency file, restructuring through out-of-court settlement, bankruptcy due to negligence, restructuring proceedings, bankruptcy proceedings, etc. 

Information for newcomers 

Please note

Information about personal bankruptcy (NEW) can since 1 November 2017 also be found at USP.gv.at. 

Insolvency describes a business in a situation of illiquidity or excessive debt, the presence of which requires insolvency proceedings to be opened. 

Illiquidity is a situation in which payments due cannot be made. 

Excessive debt is a situation in which 

  • liabilities exceed assets and 
  • there is no positive prognosis for continued existence

The debtor is obligated to file for insolvency proceedings with a court within 60 days after the onset of insolvency. 

The opening of insolvency proceedings is made public by edict, with the proceedings expressly termed either bankruptcy proceedings or restructuring proceedings (in addition, an entry is made in the companies register if applicable). 

For bankruptcy and restructuring proceedings with no self-administration, a liquidator is appointed. 

The liquidator is appointed by the court and 

  • cannot be either a representative of the debtor or of the creditor
  • must be of good standing, reliable and experienced in business 
  • must have sufficient expertise in business law or business management
  • must ensure that the insolvency proceedings are conducted expeditiously. 

A legal entity or a registered partnership may also be appointed as a liquidator. 

A foreign liquidator may also exercise all of the powers in Austria that they have in the state in which the proceedings are opened. They must comply with Austrian law and have no power to take coercive steps or adjudicate legal disputes. 

After insolvency law was reformed (Insolvenzrechtsänderungsgesetz 2010), bankruptcy and composition proceedings were brought together into a uniform insolvency procedure in the Insolvency Code. In this procedure, apart from bankruptcy proceedings, there is a restructuring procedure that is substantially more attractive than the previous composition procedure; restructuring can be performed with or without self-administration. 

For restructuring proceedings with self-administration, the entrepreneur must submit to the court in a timely manner a restructuring plan, a financial plan and other documents. In the case of restructuring proceedings without self-administration, the company can also remain intact but without self-administration by the entrepreneur. 

However, there is also the option to submit a restructuring plan as part of bankruptcy proceedings (formerly: enforced composition). 

Caution

These rules apply to all traders from EU Member States in Austria. 

Relevant body 

the regional court (→BMJ)German text (in Vienna: the commercial court (→BMJ)German text)

To report a business as insolvent, there are various options for insolvency proceedings, depending on the economic capacity of the business. 

Costs 

The costs vary depending on the revenue attained during disposal of assets and depending on the amount of the debts. Court costs, the liquidator and the creditor must be paid. 

Tip

It is important to confront a crisis as early on as possible and to initiate an appropriate procedure. The insolvency process offers solutions that allow the business to be kept intact or at least to obtain a discharge of debt. 

If the situation is not yet one of insolvency, there is the option of initiating a reorganisation procedure in accordance with the Unternehmensreorganisationsgesetz (Enterprise Reorganisation Act). The Chambers of Commerce in the Federal Provinces can provide information. 

At the website of the Vienna debt counselling service [ Schuldnerberatung Wien] you can calculate your minimum subsistence level by entering your monthly net income and other financial commitments. 

Tip

You can find more detailed information about the corresponding rules in other EU Member States at Your Europe Business.

Further links 

Legal basis

 

Translated by the European Commission
last update: 12 November 2020

responsible for content: Federal Ministry of Justice

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