DEFINITION of 'Handelsgesetzbuch - HGB'
A law that governs the primary commercial code for companies in Germany. Included in the law is regulation related to the preparation of financial statements. This law is similar to GAAP, which is followed in the United States.
BREAKING DOWN 'Handelsgesetzbuch - HGB'
The commercial code of Germany was first established on May 10, 1897. In 1998, the code was adapted to conform with new laws within the European community. The HGB has also been used in Austria since 1938. However, on January 1, 2007, the HGB will be replaced by a new unified commercial code called the Unternehmensgesetzbuch (UGB). This will be a modernized version of the HGB.