contents table Lexparency.org
On coordination of safeguards which, for the protection of the interests of members and others, are required by Member States of companies within the meaning of the second paragraph of Article 54 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in respect of the formation of public limited liability companies and the maintenance and alteration of their capital, with a view to making such safeguards equivalent Text with EEA relevance
Article 17

Article 17

  1. Except for cases of reductions of subscribed capital, no distribution to shareholders may be made when on the closing date of the last financial year the net assets as set out in the company's annual accounts are, or following such a distribution would become, lower than the amount of the subscribed capital plus those reserves which may not be distributed under the law or the statutes.
  2. Where the uncalled part of the subscribed capital is not included in the assets shown in the balance sheet, that amount shall be deducted from the amount of subscribed capital referred to in paragraph 1.
  3. The amount of a distribution to shareholders may not exceed the amount of the profits at the end of the last financial year plus any profits brought forward and sums drawn from reserves available for this purpose, less any losses brought forward and sums placed to reserve in accordance with the law or the statutes.
  4. The expression distribution used in paragraphs 1 and 3 includes in particular the payment of dividends and of interest relating to shares.
  5. When the laws of a Member State allow the payment of interim dividends, the following conditions at least shall apply:
    1. interim accounts shall be drawn up showing that the funds available for distribution are sufficient;
    2. the amount to be distributed may not exceed the total profits made since the end of the last financial year for which the annual accounts have been drawn up, plus any profits brought forward and sums drawn from reserves available for that purpose, less losses brought forward and sums to be placed to reserve pursuant to the requirements of the law or the statutes.
  6. Paragraphs 1 to 5 shall not affect the provisions of the Member States as regards increases in subscribed capital by capitalisation of reserves.
  7. The laws of a Member State may provide for derogation from paragraph 1 in the case of investment companies with fixed capital.

    The expression investment company with fixed capital, within the meaning of this paragraph, means only those companies:

    1. the exclusive object of which is to invest their funds in various stocks and shares, land or other assets with the sole aim of spreading investment risks and giving their shareholders the benefit of the results of the management of their assets; and
    2. which offer their own shares for subscription by the public.

    In so far as the laws of Member States make use of this option they shall:

    1. require such companies to include the expression investment company in all documents indicated in Article 5 of Directive 2009/101/EC;
    2. not permit any such company whose net assets fall below the amount specified in paragraph 1 to make a distribution to shareholders when on the closing date of the last financial year the company's total assets as set out in the annual accounts are, or following such distribution would become, less than one-and-a-half times the amount of the company's total liabilities to creditors as set out in the annual accounts; and
    3. require any such company which makes a distribution when its net assets fall below the amount specified in paragraph 1 to include in its annual accounts a note to that effect.