This is the first volume in the new Oxford International and Comparative Insolvency Law Series. The series will provide a comparative analysis of all important aspects of insolvency proceedings and domestic insolvency laws in the main economically developed and emerging countries, starting with the opening of proceedings. This volume addresses the commencement of insolvency proceedings over business debtors and the conditions in which they may arise. It explains the types of proceedings available and the participants involved. The book also analyses the effect of such action on the various players, assets and liabilities concerned. The detail and uniform nature of the treatment of topics helps practitioners to understand specific features of a foreign legal system and effectively brief foreign counsel. For all readers, the book provides access, through analysis in the detailed commentary, to material that was previously only available in a foreign language. Most major legal families (including various mixed legal systems) are covered to reflect the needs of the international insolvency community and intergovernmentalorganizations. This is the only book that offers a thorough comparative analysis of existing domestic insolvency laws concerning the opening of insolvency proceedings in the main economically developed and emerging countries.