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It's kind of basic, but I don't find the name of that construction. I've never learnt it, just pops up very often in newspapers and contracts.

The formula is something like:

Verb (oft in Konjunktiv) + Subjekt (+ vll. irrelevantes Ding) 
+ Komma (,) + so + Verb + Subjekt + usw.

For instance:

Entstünden Schwierigkeiten bei der Installation, so sagen Sie uns Bescheid.

or, without subjunctive,

Erfolgt die Zahlung nicht bald, sind wir berechtigt Ihren Vertrag zu kündigen.

If I understand correctly, that means

Wenn Schwierigkeiten entstehen (würden), können sie uns Bescheid sagen.


Wenn sie nicht zahlen, werden wir ihren Vertrag kündigen.

respectively. In case it's correct (for I'm not sure if the so and the subjunctive are mandatory),

  • what is the name (if any) and possible usage field of that construction?

I'm not confindent to use it, since I think it could sound menacing.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is a contracted form of conditional ("Bedingungssatz", "Konditionalsatz") using subclauses ("Nebensätze") with verb in first position ("V1-Stellung").

It's explained here (German Wikipedia).

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