Continuation principle

Also known as: Going concern principle, principle of going concern

The going concern principle is part of the principles of proper accounting. It states that a company's balance sheet items are valued in terms of going concern. This assumption has an impact on the commercial and tax balance sheet and only applies if there are no early indicators of bankruptcy.

Definition / explanation

A company balance sheet is addressed to various addressees. For the proper (comparable) listing, legal principles must be observed, such as the continuation principle (also known as the going concern principle).

The assets are valued in accordance with the going concern principle as part of a continued company within the scope of the operational purpose. A year is assumed as the forecast timeframe. If the continuation of the company's activities is actually or legally jeopardized, this results in a change in the purpose of the balance sheet from the perspective of liquidation. This results in changed values, which means that successive balances cannot be compared.

How does the going concern principle affect?

Eine nach dem Fortführungsprinzip erstellte Bilanz beinhaltet demnach zu Anschaffungs- oder Manufacturing costs angesetzte Vermögensgegenstände, die innerhalb der betrieblichen Tätigkeit verbraucht oder beschafft werden.

If, on the other hand, it is foreseeable that a company will no longer pursue or pursue its business purpose, fixed or circulating goods are already valued at the assumed liquidation proceeds (creditors' interest).

Certain expenses that are realized in the context of an insolvency (e.g. social plan obligations, debts) are not to be accounted for accordingly.


  • The continuation principle is anchored in the Commercial Code as the principle of proper bookkeeping
  • Bewertung von Bilanzposten nach Fortführungsprinzip drückt aus, dass das Unternehmen auch nach dem Balance sheet date weiter besteht
  • becomes meaningless for companies in the face of impending bankruptcy
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