Associations Get Easier Access to Belgium

The new Belgian code on Companies & Associations was adopted earlier this month by the Belgian federal parliament. FAIB (Federation of European and International Associations established in Belgium) welcomes the new Code: while preserving the essential elements of the flexibility of the AISBL / iVZW statute for international not for profit associations (INPAs) established in Belgium, the new Code modernises the law, making it much easier for associations of all types, whether trade or professional, NGOs or charities to transfer their seat seamlessly to Belgium. The merger and demerger of INPAs will also now be possible.

This is important as Brussels has now become the second advocacy capital of the world after Washington DC due to its twin advantages as the centre for the EU institutions and the flexible legal status for INPAs.

FAIB expects the new Code will enter into force on 1 May 2019 for new companies and associations while the new rules will apply to existing INPAs as from 1 January 2020. Changes to articles of association will also be required for all INPAs after a lengthy transition period of several years.

Adrian Harris, FAIB President, commented: “After the successful adoption of the law, what will be particularly important to ensure that the Code proves attractive to INPAs looking into relocating to Belgium by rapidly processing applications for AISBL/iVZW status and making administrative requirements such as the registration of foreign directors simple. These are issues which we are eager to quickly move forward on with the support of the Federal Ministry of Justice.” 

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