Little Amendment to Civil Code – Participation in Company Owned by Husband and Wife (Community Property)

2. 12. 2016

An important issue addressed by the Little Amendment to the Civil Code concerns the legal legislation regarding the community property and shares in a company.

The previous Civil Code (No 40/1964, Coll.) stipulated that a spouse becoming an associate in a company or a co-operative and subsequent acquisition of shares does not automatically provide grounds for the involvement of the other spouse (except for housing associations). The new Civil Code did not adopt the cited regulation and merely states that “shares of a spouse in a business company or a co-operative constitutes a part of a community property if the spouse becomes a business company partner or a co-operative member during the period of their marriage”.

The above statement posed rather serious exegetic problems after the re-codification of private law as opinions have been offered that the new regulation purportedly deviates from the previous rule, i.e. involvement of the other spouse in the company (=both spouses ought to be entered in the commercial registry as business partners). On the other hand, some argue that no factual change has been introduced and only the economic benefit or loss generated by the shares in the business company.

The so-called Little Amendment of the Civil Code approved by the Lower Chamber of the Parliament clarifies the issue with a statement which clearly determines that an acquisition of shares in a company or a co-operative into the community property does not automatically provide grounds for involvement of the other spouse (except for housing associations), which confirms the original rule of non-involvement of the other spouse in the company, as it was stipulated by the previous Civil Code.    

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