中国担保制度之一:公司对外担保规则(中英文)

2021-09-10  来自: 常州市金诚工程担保有限公司 浏览次数:21

一、公司对外担保一般规则

I. General rules for company’s external security

(一)公司对外担保有公司适格决议的,公司对外担保有效

i. A company’s external security shall be effective with appropriate resolution

根据《中华人民共和国i公司法》(“《公司法》”)第16条的规定,公司向他人提供担保,依章程规定,必X经董事会或者股东会、股东大会决定。公司向股东或实际控制人提供担保,必X经股东会或者股东大会决定。如果公司经上述程序取得同意对外担保的决议,且无其他影响合同效力的情形,则公司的对外担保有效,应当承担相应的担保责任。

According to Article 16 of Company Law of the People's Republic of China ii (the “Company Law”), if a company provides security for others, a resolution passed by the board of directors, or the board of shareholders, or general meeting shall be required. In the case of a company providing security for its shareholder or its actual controlling party, the resolution shall be adopted by the board of shareholders or general meeting only. The external security of a company shall be binding if it goes through the process set above and there is no other condition that affects the validity of the security contract, and the company shall bear the corresponding security liability thereof.

若公司不存在董事会而仅设一名执行董事,且公司章程规定由执行董事而非股东会决定对外担保事务,则执行董事一人的签名即相当于董事会同意对外担保事项的决议。Z高人民法院(“Z高院”)认为,如该执行董事同时为公司法定代表人,则其仍需以执行董事身份另行签字,否则不能认为具有相当于董事会决议的效果。iii

In case of a company with an executive director instead of a board of directors with special regulations stipulated in the Articles of Association that external security related matters shall be decided by the executive director, the signature of him to approve the external security shall be deemed as a resolution of the board of directors. Moreover, the Supreme People’s Court of PRC (the “SPC”) held that if the executive director is also the legal representative of the company, he shall sign as the executive director specially to approve the external security, otherwise the signature of him as legal representative on the security contract shall not be deemed as the resolution of a board of directors to approve the external security.iv

(二)公司决议不适格或系伪Z变造的,当相对人善意时公司对外担保有效

ii. Where the resolution is ineligible, or forged, or altered, the external security shall still be effective if the counterparty is in good faith

在判断相对人是否善意时,需要注意把握好如下问题:

We should attend to the following problems to decide whether the counterparty is in good faith:

1. 法院是否应当主动审查相对人是否善意

(i) Whether the court should take initiative to examine the counterparty in good faith.

Z高人民法院认为,债权人在签订担保合同时是否善意属于基本事实,无论是否有人提出相应抗辩都应当予以查明。v

The SPC held that whether the creditor (that is, the counterparty) was in good faith while signing the security contract was a fundamental fact and shall be ascertained even if no party raise the corresponding defense. vi

2. 谁负有证明相对人善意的举证责任

(ii) Which party shall bear the burden of proof.

Z高人民法院关于适用《中华人民共和国民法典》有关担保制度的解释》(“《民法典担保制度解释》”)第7条第3款规定,“相对人有证据证明已对公司决议进行了合理审查”时为善意。因此,相对人需要提供证据证明自己为善意。

Article 7.3 of the Interpretation of Supreme People's Court on Application of the Security System under the Civil Code of the People's Republic of China (the “Interpretation”) provides that a counterparty is in good faith if he “has evidence to prove that he has reasonably examined the resolution of the company”. Therefore, the counterparty bear the burden of proof in this case.

3. 相对人对决议的审查标准

(iii) Standard of counterparty’s examination on the resolution.

《民法典担保制度解释》虽然使用了“合理审查”,但“合理审查”也仅X于形式审查。也即只要做出决议的机关符合法律和公司章程的规定,股东或董事的身份和人数与相关地方市场监督管理局记载相符,在关联担保中无表决权的股东未参与表决,则可以认为相对人进行了合理审查。公司不能以决议系伪Z或变造、决议程序违法、签名或签章不实等理由认为相对人非善意,除非有证据证明相对人知晓相应情况。

Although the Interpretation used the word ‘reasonably examined’, it is still limited to formal examination. The counterparty shall be deemed to fulfill his obligation of examination as long as the entity that resolved conforms to company’s articles of association, the identity and the number of the director(s) or shareholder(s) is consistent with the registration at relevant local Administration for Market Regulation, and the shareholders without voting right did not vote. The company cannot claim that the counterparty is not in good faith by reasons such as the resolution is forged or altered, the process of resolution is illegal, or the signature on it is not true, unless it can prove the counterparty has known of the situation aforesaid.

4. 相对人善意与否的法律后果

(iv) Legal consequence of whether the counterparty is in good faith.

若相对人善意,则公司对外担保有效,公司承担担保责任,但公司可以要求越权担保的法定代表人赔偿相应的损失。若相对人非善意,则担保合同对公司不发生效力,但相对人可以根据《民法典担保制度解释》第17条要求公司承担责任。

If the counterparty is in good faith, the company’s external security is valid and shall bear the corresponding security liability. After that, the company may claim for indemnification to its legal representative who exceeded his authority to provide security. For the counterparty not in good faith, the security contract is void and the counterparty may claim the company at fault for compensate under Article 17 of the Interpretation.

(三)公司对外担保无决议,公司对外担保无效

iii. A company’s external security is null and void without appropriate resolution

如无公司决议,则相对人当然地未履行审查决议的义务,因而无法主张自己善意,则担保合同对公司不发生效力,公司无需承担担保责任。有的相对人提出,其虽未现实审查决议,但公司在担保合同中做了存在适格决议的陈述与保证,并以此要求公司承担担保责任。在此种情形下,相对人未履行其审查公司决议的法定义务,轻信公司所做的陈述与保证,从维护法秩序和保护公司的角度出发,仍然认为其为非善意,担保合同对公司不发生效力。但相对人仍可以根据《民法典担保制度解释》第17条要求公司承担责任。

It is for sure that the counterparty failed his obligation of reasonable examination if the company has no resolution on external security, therefore the security contract is not binding and the company has no security liability in this case. Some counterparty may argue that the representations and warranties made by company in the security contract including an eligible resolution and ask the company to bear security liability accordingly. Under the circumstances that the counterparty is gullible on representations and warranties clauses in the security contract without examination on the resolution, for protection of the legal order, the SPC consider the representations and warranties are inadequate to prove counterparty’s good faith if he did not fulfill the reasonable examination obligation. However, the liability for compensation provided by Article 17 of the Interpretation shall still apply.

(四)“公司对外担保无决议而无效”的例外

iv. Exceptions for section I pointed in chapter iii.

《民法典担保制度解释》第8条规定了三种即使公司无相应决议,其对外提供的担保也有效的例外情形。分别为:(1)金融机构开立保函或者担保公司提供担保;(2)公司为其全资子公司开展经营活动提供担保;(3)对外担保合同系由单独或者共同持有公司三分之二以上对担保事项有表决权的股东签字同意。但上市公司、国有独资公司不适用其中第(2)、(3)项规定。

Article 8 of the Interpretation provided three exceptions in which a company’s external security is still valid disregard of the lack of the resolution: (a) letter of guarantee issued by a financial institution, or the security provided by a security company; (b) security provided by a company to its wholly-owned subsidiary; or (c) security contract signed by company’s shareholder(s) who separately or jointly hold two-thirds or more of voting rights with regard to security matters. It needs to be noted that aforesaid items (b) and (c) shall not apply when a listed company or a wholly state-owned company provides security.

二、公司分支机构担保规则及其例外

II.  Rules and exceptions on external security provided by company’s branch

公司的分支机构对外提供担保,未经公司股东(大)会或者董事会决议、授权,相对人善意的,公司或其分支机构应承担担保责任;相对人非善意的,公司或其分支机构依据《民法典担保制度解释》第17条承担责任。

Resolution passed by the board of directors, or the board of shareholders, or general meeting is also required for a company’s branch to make an external security. If there is no resolution and the counterparty is in good faith, the company or its branch still shall bear the security liability. While there is no resolution and the counterparty is not in good faith, the company or its branch may bear liability for compensation provided in Article 17 of the Interpretation.

此外,金融机构的分支机构超越其营业执照营业范围且未获得有权从事担保业务的上级机构授权开立保函,或者未经金融机构股东(大)会或者董事会决议、授权从事保函之外的其他担保业务,相对人善意的,金融机构或其分支机构应承担担保责任;

Besides, the financial institution and/or its branch shall also assume security liability to counterparty with good faith when (a)the letter of guarantee is issued by its branch even the branch exceeds its business scope registered in business license and is not authorized by the financial institution; or (b)the branch provides other security without resolution and permission of the board of directors or the board of shareholders or general meeting of the financial institution.

担保公司的分支机构对外提供担保,未经担保公司授权,相对人善意的,担保公司应承担担保责任。

Where the counterparty is in good faith, the security company shall bear corresponding security liability when its branch provides security without its permission.

三、上市公司担保规则及其例外

III.  Rules and exceptions on external security provided by listed company

(一)担保事项须经公告,上市公司担保合同方始生效

i. Security contract signed by listed company is not binding until disclosed

与一般公司不同,相对人必X根据公司已通过担保决议的公告与上市公司签订担保合同,担保合同方始对上市公司生效。如果相对人仅凭借上市公司的决议而未凭借相应公告,则担保合同对上市公司不生效。

Unlike general companies (that is, non-listed companies), the counterparty shall sign the security contract in accordance with the announcement disclosed by the listed company stating that the security matter has been adopted by the resolution of the board of directors or the shareholders' general meeting. The security contract is not binding on the company if the counterparty only relies on the resolution rather than the disclosure announcement.

(二)相对人审查公告的标准

ii. Standard of counterparty’s examination on listed company announcement

相对人审查上市公司公告Z主要的几个内容包括:被担保事项是否已经董事会或者股东大会决议通过的信息;被担保人也即主债务人的身份;为主债务人担保的金额。在此应当特别注意,公告中必X包含被担保事项是否已经董事会或者股东大会决议通过的信息,如果只有担保事项的信息而无决议信息,仍然不符合本条的要求。与此同时,在已有相应公告的情况下,相对人无需再审查上市公司的章程。vii

The counterparty should examine the following contents of the announcement: (a)whether the security is permitted by the board of directors or the shareholders' general meeting; (b)identity of the debtor; (c)amount of the security. Most noteworthy is that the announcement must entail whether the security is permitted by the board of director or the shareholder’s general meeting. Only with the information of the security matter is not sufficient to make the contract binding. In the meantime, the counterparty does not need to examine company’s articles of association with the existence of the announcement.viii

(三)上市公司担保规则适用的对象

iii. Entities to whom the previous rules apply

首先,该规则适用于上市公司及上市公司已公开披露的控股子公司。需要注意的是,上市公司已公开披露的控股子公司对外提供担保的,通常只需子公司(而无需上市公司)作出决议,上市公司仅就此发布公告即可。

Firstly, the rules apply to listed companies and their disclosed holding subsidiaries. It should be noted that the resolution shall be made by the subsidiary if the subsidiary intends to provide security to external and the listed company only need to issue an announcement regarding the security matter.

其次,该规则适用于在中国主板、创业板、中小板和新三板上市的公司,并不适用于境外注册、境外上市的公司。但境内注册、境外上市或境内外均上市的公司是否适用本规则,Z高人民法院的态度仍不清晰,有待观察。

Secondly, the rules apply to companies listed in the Main Board, the GEM, the SMEs Board and the new OTC Market. The rules do not apply to companies registered and listed abroad. However, the SPC has not yet declared clearly if these rules apply to domestic companies listed overseas or listed both domestic and overseas.

(四)上市公司担保无效的后果

iv. Legal consequence of invalid security provided by listed companies

与一般公司担保无效后责任分配不同,如相对人未凭相应公告签订担保合同,上市公司既不承担担保责任又不承担赔偿责任。也即,即使上市公司存在过错,也不承担责任。该规则是《民法典担保制度解释》新创制的,在此之前,在担保合同无效时,上市公司与一般公司承担的责任并无区别。根据法不溯及既往原则,为保护相对人的信赖利益,本规则仅适用于《民法典担保制度解释》生效之日,即2021年1月1日以后发生的担保行为。因此,如上市公司在2021年1月1日前与相对人签订的担保合同无效,如有过错仍应根据《民法典担保制度解释》第17条承担责任。

Unlike allocation of liability in general company, the listed company shall neither bear security liability nor do they bear liability for compensation, even if there is a fault of the listed company in the case of invalid security. This is a new rule established by the Interpretation. Before that, there is no difference in allocation of liability between listed companies and general companies under such circumstances. According to the principle of non-retroactivity of law and to protect the reliance interest of the counterparty, the rules established by the Interpretation shall only apply to security matters that occur after the Interpretation takes into effect, that is 1st January 2021. Therefore, if the security contract signed by a listed company before that date is not binding, it shall still bear liability for compensation according to the laws and regulations at that time.

 

 

免责声明

本文仅作一般参考之用,在任何情况下不构成任何法律建议并不具有指导作用。若计划依据本文任何内容采取行动之前,应当先征询法律Z人士的具体法律建议。

Disclaimer

This article has been prepared for general reference purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice or regarded as a substitute for detailed advice in individual cases. Readers should seek specific legal advice from legal professionals before acting with regard to anything contained in this article.

关键词: 公司对外担保规则           

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