Audit for the purpose of paying an interim dividend (Art. 675a CO)
With the corporate law revision, which came into force on 1 January 2023, the legislator has created another possibility for the payment of dividends with the introduction of the interim dividend (Art. 675a CO). In contrast to the ordinary and extraordinary dividend distribution, the interim dividend allows to distribute a dividend out of proceeds from the current financial year. The prerequisite is that interim financial statements are prepared which are subject to an audit. The audit (limited statutory examination or ordinary audit) is based on the requirements of the Code of Obligations and must be carried out prior to the resolution of the General Meeting of Shareholders. The provisions on allocation to legal reserves according to Art. 671 to Art. 674 of the Swiss Code of Obligations must be considered when passing the resolution (Art. 675a para. 3 CO).
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If the company is not required to subject its annual financial statements to a limited statutory examination, no audit is required. The audit may be dispensed with if all shareholders agree to the payment of the interim dividend and the creditors’ claims are not put at risk thereby (Art. 675a para. 2 CO).