When must companies and associations comply with the CAC (Companies and Associations Code)?


On 28 February 2019, the Chamber approved the New Companies and Associations (CAC) Introduction Act.

The CAC enters into effect on 1 May 2019.

As a consequence, all new companies, associations and foundations formed or converted from 1 May 2019 will automatically fall under the new CAC.

This means that from that time no new legal entities shall be constituted under a legal form eliminated by the CAC.

Only the partnership, the BV (private limited company), the NV (public limited  company) and the CV (cooperative company) will continue to exist. All other company forms will be abolished and integrated into the closest corresponding company form. These are:

  • silent and temporary trading companies;
  • the economic interest grouping (ESV);
  • the cooperative unlimited liability company (CVOA);
  • the agricultural company, currently the only transparent company with legal personality, however, this is to be included under the partnership form;
  • the single-member private limited liability company (EBVBA) and the private limited liability company starter (S-BVBA);
  • the limited partnership and the partnership limited by shares (Comm.VA); and
  • the community interest company (VSO)

Existing organisations have a longer transition period, namely until 1 January 2020.

However, existing companies may opt to fall under the new regime as soon as 1 May 2019. Indeed, some companies may find it very interesting to benefit more quickly from the possibilities introduced by the CAC.

The mandatory provisions of the CAC will apply from 1 January 2020.

Existing organisations have until the following alteration of their articles of association, or at latest until 1 January 2024 to implement the supplementary provisions.

However, certain changes will occur by law on 1 January 2020, namely:

  • The conversion of the BV (private limited company) and CV (cooperative company) into companies without capital: this will result in the capital and the legal reserve of all existing BVs (private limited companies) and CVs (cooperative companies) being converted into a blocked equity capital account under the articles of association, which may be unblocked by an alteration of the articles of association.
  • Should they fail to do this by themselves in time, existing legal entities whose company form has been abolished will be legally converted into the most similar remaining legal form.

The sole sanction is the directors’ liability.

So, from 1 January 2020, all provisions of the CAC will be applicable, even if the companies, associations or foundations concerned have not yet adapted their articles of association.

Transition to the registered office under the articles of association doctrine will commence on 1 May 2019. So, from such time, a legal entity will be governed by the company and association law of its registered office under the articles of association, even if it has its headquarters in a different country.

You can find more detailed information on the CAC in our other article; which you can consult by clicking here.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you wish us to check your articles of association, or for more information, info@seeds.law or +32 (0)2 747 40 07.

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Leila Mstoian

Leila Mstoian

Alain De Jonge

Alain De Jonge

Leo Peeters

Leo Peeters