We are now more than six months after the new Belgian Company Code (BCC) was voted in Parliament in February this year. Though the genesis and legislative process was lengthy and the eventual vote in Parliament was postponed a number of times, the BCC already entered into force on 1 May 2019 for new companies and associations created as from this date. For the more than 1 million companies (legal entities) and non-profit organizations (NPO) and foundations, certain rules will become applicable as from 1 January 2020. That is in less than four months’ time … So, all Belgian companies, NPOs and foundations should get the ball rolling and assess the impact of the BCC on their organization. For those that have not yet had the time to dive into the matter, here are some thoughts I’d like to share with you.
Some principles of the current company code date back to as early as the Napoleonic era. Since society has evolved in many ways (hey, aren’t we all driving electric cars? And aren’t we only communicating through social media?), the ultimate purpose of the legislator was to modernize Belgian company and association law and also to increase the competitiveness of the Belgian economy by offering a cutting-edge framework for companies and associations and, by doing so, attract e.g. more foreign investors. With this in mind, the legislator revised the legislative framework by simplifying it, making it more flexible and adjusting it to the progress of European law.
In my opinion, the new BCC has opened up a plethora of opportunities for Belgian organizations.
Let’s take a helicopter view of what has changed.