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There are two types of bankruptcy proceedings in Slovakia for companies in financial difficulties:
Both types of procedures are governed by mandatory law that provides for transparency and the operation of the Slovak court in the procedures is considerable. Creditors as business partners of such companies shall be granted the possibility to claim receivables, which eventually may change the scenario, e.g. a company initiating the restructuring procedure may turn out to be insolvent and may be ultimately handled by virtue of bankruptcy proceedings in Slovakia.
Other procedures which lead to the deletion of the company from the Commercial Register are mainly:
Bankruptcy proceedings and restructuring proceedings are the procedures applicable in the case of the insolvency of the company and are therefore dealt in detail in the following parts.
In case of the bankruptcy proceedings there are two insolvency tests under the Slovak legislation:
company is deemed insolvent if it is unable to fulfil at least two monetary obligations to more than one creditor 90 days after their due date
company is heavily indebted if it is obliged to keep accounts under a special regulation, has more than one creditor and the value of their obligations exceeded the value of their property
If the company is insolvent and/or heavily indebted, it is deemed bankrupt under Slovak law. Bankruptcy proceedings shall be initiated by the company (as the debtor) or may be initiated by its creditor.
In case the debtor had according to the last five financial statements neither liabilities nor assets in an amount that exceeds EUR 1,000,000 and other legal requirements are met, the so-called small bankruptcy shall be declared by the court. This proceeding is quicker and simpler than regular bankruptcy.
The company (as the debtor) shall file a proposal for the bankruptcy order within 30 days since the company has known or while maintaining due diligence should have known its status, while
the obligation to file the application on behalf of the company (as the debtor) has the statutory body as well as the member of the statutory body of the debtor, liquidator of the debtor and the company’s legitimate representative
for the event of breach of the obligation to file a proposal for the bankruptcy in time there is a penalty in the amount of EUR 12,500.
The company (as the debtor) is required to submit a list of assets, list of liabilities, list of related parties and the most recent financial statements (if applicable) with the application. When the bankruptcy petition is filed by the company (as the debtor) and the decisive facts are well-documented, the decision of the court is straightforward.
Bankruptcy proceedings may be initiated by the creditor, while the motion shall (i) describe the nature of the debt, which is 90 days overdue and the reasoning under which the creditor believes that the debtor is insolvent and (ii) identify another creditor of the company with a claim 90 days overdue.
It shall be noted that the claim of the creditor who is filling the application shall be duly proved in the motion in general by:
acknowledgment of the debt by the company (as the debtor) with the verified signature of the company (as the debtor),
final and non-appealable decision of a court or another authority,
confirmation of an auditor or of a court expert that the creditor accounts the receivable in accounting in accordance with accounting regulations.
The creditor who is filling the application shall not be obligated to prove his claim in the motion by abovementioned, if the creditor can reasonably presume the insolvency of his debtor or if the debtor is presumed to be insolvent due to the publication of a notice in the Commercial Gazette pursuant to a special regulation. The insolvency of the debtor may reasonably be presumed if the debtor has been in default for more than 90 days in the performance of at least two pecuniary obligations to more than one creditor and has been requested in writing by one of those creditors to pay.
In general, for the petition filed by the company or the creditor applies that the petitioner (company or the creditor) is required to make a deposit amounting to EUR 1,500 to cover the expected remuneration and expenses of the bankruptcy proceedings. The deposit shall be transferred to a bank account of the court prior to filing the petition in bankruptcy and a proof of payment of the deposit shall be included in the petition in bankruptcy. If the court dismisses the petition in bankruptcy or if prior to the commencement of the bankruptcy proceedings the petitioner withdraws its petition, the deposit shall be released to the petitioner.
In case of the restructuring proceedings the proceedings can be initiated by the company (as the debtor) or by its creditor.
If the company´s (as the debtor) bankruptcy is impending or already is bankrupt, it may authorize an administrator to draw up the Restructuring Opinion in order to ascertain, whether the criteria for the restructuring of the company are met, or not (it does not affect the duty of the company to file a petition in bankruptcy in due time, if conditions for obligatory bankruptcy are met).
If one or several creditors agree with the company (as the debtor) to provide the necessary collaboration, they may authorize an administrator to prepare the Restructuring Opinion also on their own.
In both alternatives the administrator may recommend a restructuring of the company only if:
A petition asking for the authorization of the restructuring has to be filed with the court having jurisdiction. The restructuring petition may be filed by either the company (as the debtor) or by the creditor. Attached to the restructuring petition the petitioner shall file the Restructuring Opinion of the administrator.
The bankruptcy proceedings and restructuring proceedings start officially with the resolution of the court which is published in the Company Gazette (in Slovak: “Obchodný vestník”). The date of publication is also the starting date of the period during which creditors may submit their claims on receivables against the company
In both procedures the submission of claims is free of charge. Each submitted claim shall be reconciled by the administrator with due care. If administrator finds out while analysing the claims, that any of them is disputable (as to the title of its existence or enforceability), the administrator shall be obliged to contest such claim to the extent in which it is disputable. However, the creditor holding a contested claim may file with the court an action asking the court to acknowledge the claim.
The objective of the bankruptcy proceedings is the termination of the company and the distribution of its assets. The administrator shall converse all the property of the company to funds in cash with the aim to satisfy the creditors. The proceeds from the sale of property shall be released to creditors holding proven claims, under a Distribution Scheme, which of course shall be approved by the respective body in the bankruptcy proceedings, respectively by the court.
Other possible final solutions in the bankruptcy proceedings may be mainly:
the court dismisses the petition in bankruptcy, if the petition in bankruptcy does not contain the essentials prescribed by the law and this deficiency was not removed in the stated period,
the court terminates the bankruptcy due to insufficient assets if it finds out that the property of the company (as the debtor) is not sufficient to cover at least the costs of the bankruptcy proceedings (i.e., EUR 6,500).
In the restructuring proceedings, a Restructuring Plan is prepared which includes two main sections: the descriptive part and the binding part which is crucial as it contains a specification of all rights and obligations to be constituted, altered or expired with respect to participants of the Restructuring Plan, such as prolongation of maturity, partial expiration of the obligations or instalments schedule.
The Restructuring Plan shall be approved by the creditors at the approval meeting and ratified by a decree of the course, once it was approved by the creditors.
Other possible final solutions in the restructuring proceedings may be that the court terminates the restructuring proceedings, if it finds out ex. g. that:
The property which is liable to the bankruptcy shall made up a bankruptcy estate, which shall be split between:
separated assets of secured creditors (receivables ex. g. secured by the pledge over the specific asset)
The creditors are satisfied by the funds which were converted by the sale of the assets from the respective group.
In general, the receivables are satisfied in the following order:
In the restructuring proceedings is applied that the property is divided as it is proposed in the Restructuring Plan, which shall be approved by the creditors and subsequently ratified by the court.
According to the law, the rate of satisfaction of any of the unsecured receivables shall not be lower than 50% of the amount of the claim, this does not apply if the concerned creditor agrees in writing with a lower level of satisfaction.
Company as the debtor is obliged to file a proposal for the bankruptcy order within 30 days since it knew or while maintaining due diligence should have known of its status. This obligation on behalf of the company (as debtor) has mainly the statutory body as well as the member of the statutory body of the company.
For the event of breach of the obligation to file a proposal for the bankruptcy in time, there is a fiction stipulated by the law, that between the company and the person obliged to file the proposal for the bankruptcy a contractual penalty in the amount of EUR 12,500 is negotiated. This sum serves for the satisfaction of bankruptcy costs and satisfaction of creditors (if the sum surpasses the bankruptcy costs). Any agreement between the company and the person obliged to file proposal for the bankruptcy, which excludes or restricts entitlement for the contractual penalty, shall be prohibited.
Entitlement for the contractual penalty shall not affect the entitlement to compensation for damage exceeding the contractual penalty.
If the court decides that the person breached the obligation to file a proposal for the bankruptcy in time and therefore the person is obliged to pay the contractual penalty as described above, the person will be disqualified by the court to be a member of the statutory body of the company (as debtor) and also of other companies and the prohibition can be up to 3 years.
Further the person will be registered in the state Registry of Disqualification which is a public registry operated by the district court.
There are several relevant criminal offenses according to Slovak Criminal Code concerning acting in insolvency status or in respect of the bankruptcy or restructuring proceedings, as:
Criminal offenses for an improper acting in the bankruptcy or restructuring proceedings are mainly:
All third persons are obliged to collaborate under the Act of bankruptcy and restructuring. The collaboration shall be provided promptly and free of charge. If any third person fails to provide collaboration as required by the law, the court may penalize such person by a fine up to EUR 3,300.