Guarantee of subsidiaries’ commitments under French law
Parent companies are often asked to guarantee the commitments of their subsidiaries towards third parties. The guarantee can take various forms, but the most frequently used ones are the joint and several guarantee (cautionnement), the independent guarantee (garantie autonome) and the letter of intent (lettre d’intention).
The conditions of validity of a guarantee will vary depending on the type of company issuing the guarantee, i.e., limited liability company or unlimited liability company. Furthermore, joint-stock companies are specific in that the prior authorization of the board of directors, or supervisory board as the case may be, is required for the granting of any sureties, endorsements and guarantees. Other limitations may result from the nature of the guarantee itself.