When signing a contract with a Belgian company, the parties should know that in Belgium all contracts must observe the provisions of the Belgian Civil Code and the Commercial Code. The Civil Code contains the basic principles of Contract Law and the Commercial Code contains special provisions for business activities.
The Belgian contract law is generally flexible and allows private parties to conclude various types of contracts as they see fit.
A contract is considered an agreement enforceable by law. It is bounding to both parties and, according to Belgian law, both offers and acceptances are considered binding and valid if the parties express their will to be bound according to the agreement and the said agreement creates certain expectations that need to be fulfilled.
In order for the contract to be considered valid, both parties must agree to sign the document. The contract must be drawn up and according to Belgian jurisprudence, the signature is considered a `seal` of the agreement and is considered proof of the contractual obligation.
Whenever signing contracts with a Belgian company the signatories must also be fully aware of the legal consequences of signing a particular agreement. Missing or misleading information can sometimes lead to various litigation cases in Belgium.
There are several types of contracts than can be concluded between parties in Belgium. They can be classified as follows:
Employment contracts in Belgium, along with lease contracts or property purchase agreements are examples of various types of contracts that will be concluded by an entrepreneur in the country. Various contracts are needed when opening a business in Belgium. If you need to draw up one of these types of agreements, a lawyer at our Belgian law firm can help you draft and conclude the agreement.
There are a number of elements that need to be included in a contract. Although contracts will differ according to their purpose (e.g. a sales contract will be different from an employment contract), there are some items that are generally found in every type of agreement:
Contracts may allow the transfer of risk or ownership and they may include clauses for unforeseeable circumstances (`force majeure`).
When signing contracts in Belgium it is best to do so in the presence or with the representation of a Belgian lawyer. The law of 29 April 2013 allows the lawyer of a party to co-sign the agreement, thus making an enforcement of the client’s wishes. This is also useful for the client because it proves that he/she has been duly informed of the legal aspects and implications of a particular agreement. A party with separate legal interest will have to be represented by a separate co-signing lawyer.