Amortization (business)

The term payback (from French amortir, wipe ') has several meanings. The most common is the process to be covered in the initial outlay for an object by resulting income. The duration of this process is called amortization period.

Amortization is used both in economics, jurisprudence and in energy- technical context. Originally from the Middle Ages until the 20th century, meant amortization primarily the acquisition of assets of the church, as these goods withdrawn as the secular economic cycle ( dead ) were - hence the talk of the " dead hand " ( manus mortua ). The " payback laws" of the 19th century (eg 1870 Prussia, Bavaria in 1899, France 1901) determined the amount of the allowable Church property and lifted him up.

  • 3.1 Fiscal Law
  • 3.2 Copyright
  • 3.3 Company law 3.3.1 Germany
  • 3.3.2 Liechtenstein / Switzerland

Payback time

The payback period is a period within which the bound in an investment capital flowed back. In an averaged approach, this means:

When an investment has dynamically, ie, taking into account the interest to be paid, pays, can be calculated as follows:

Average profit = average profit after depreciation and imputed interest



This is meant in fixed rates for a timely repayment of long-term debt of money (often public bonds or mortgages).

On the other hand refers to the amortization in economics to cover the process in which the cost of acquisition of a particular investment by the resulting deposits. The required time is called amortization period and can be determined using a payback period. In such bills next success criteria ( eg profitability ) of investment appraisal must also be considered risk factors. While the static payback period calculates the payback period based solely on the incoming and outgoing payments, relates the dynamic payback period with the different times of the cash inflows and outflows and resulting interest with a.

By streamlining of people by machines, it is also to amortize → Running costs are reduced, thus " pays " the Investiton to (buy more expensive machine ) in the course of time.

Energy Technology

The payback period in energy technology refers to the time required for a power plant to deliver the same amount of energy (in the form of electricity ), as required in its construction.

See: crop factor.

Computer science

See Amortized running time analysis


Fiscal law

Starting from the Anglo-Saxon meaning of amortization in the tax law, where it describes amortization, the amortization of intangible assets. In the German tax law, this has particular importance when taking the legal text on EBITDA terms, especially in the interest barrier.


The copyright recognizes the authors of intellectual works protection, because this has a so-called amortization interest, that is, the expenses which he has invested in the plant, will get replaced by its exploitation.

Company law


The payback in company law, as described in § 34 Limited Liability Companies Act, the confiscation of shares of individual shareholders. However, this is only permitted if it has been agreed in the partnership agreement.

Further distinction is made between the simple payback, in which the shareholders must approve, and forced amortization. The requirements for this are located in § 34 para 2 GmbH.

Liechtenstein / Switzerland

In Liechtenstein and Switzerland is under " payback " within the meaning of Art 351 Property Law ( Liechtenstein ) or type 870 of the Civil Code for the cancellation of mortgage securities ( mortgage note or Gült ) or interest coupons ( interest coupons ) understood.