Broader requirements for registration with the CBE - clarification for unincorporated companies

In a previous article, we explained that the introduction of a definition of 'company' in the new Companies and Associations Code (CAC) also affects the registration with the CBE (Crossroads Bank for Enterprises). In this article, we will discuss in more detail the registration obligation for unincorporated companies. 

Consequences of the broader definition of a company 
With the new definition of a company, the following companies will now have to register in the CBE: 

  • partnerships 
  • silent trading companies 
  • joint ventures (which are common in construction projects) 
  • de facto associations (forms of cooperation) which are profit-making or which distribute profits to their members 

For example: Three doctors set up an association (de facto association) in which they will run a group practice. The patients pay the association. The profit is then distributed to the three doctors according to a pre-agreed distribution key. In this case, it is a form of cooperation that is intended to generate profit and then distribute this profit to its members. The association must be registered in the CBE. 

Which de facto associations do not have to register in the CBE?  
A cost-sharing association does not need to be registered in the CBE. A cost-sharing association is a collaboration set up solely for the purpose of sharing certain costs (e.g. equipment, secretariat, etc.). 

For example: Three doctors share the equipment costs, but the medical activities are not included in this collaboration. Each of the doctors still carries out their activities under their own name, and are paid their own fees. 

Please note: 
Is your de facto association already registered in the CBE because it is subject to VAT or employs staff and the administration (VAT-NSSO) has already created a business number (simple registration)? 
If so, the company still needs to register via an enterprise counter, so that, among other things, the capacity and business units of the company can be registered at the CBE.  

When do you need to register with the CBE, and how? 

  • Existing companies incorporated before 1 November 2018 are granted a 6-month transitional period. This means that they need to register via an enterprise counter by 30 April 2019 at the latest. 
  • In Brussels and the Walloon Region, the law on establishment remains unchanged. Companies with their registered office/address located in these regions still need to demonstrate knowledge of business management and, if applicable, the necessary professional knowledge when they register with the CBE. 
  • The statutory rate is normally €88.50.  For the time being, this amount is not being collected. 
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