Shareholders in Belgium
Shareholders in BelgiumUpdated on Friday 11th September 2015
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Company shareholders in Belgium are entitled to certain rights but are also required to perform specific duties within the company. The liability of Belgian shareholders varies according to the type of Belgian company and according to the amount of capital invested in the company.
The shareholders of a Belgian public limited liability company are liable only to the extent of their contribution. The shareholders must contribute a fixed amount of capital in return for shares in the company. The same conditions apply to public limited liability companies in Belgium, however, differences apply to the management rules of the two types of companies. Additionally, the shareholders of a public limited liability company are often anonymous.
General shareholder’s rights in Belgium
The rights of Belgian shareholders can vary not only according to the type of company, but also if the company is a traded public company or of it is a non-traded public company. Our Belgian lawyers can provide specific information about shareholder’s rights and listing on the Stock Exchange in Belgium.
In Belgium, the period for convening a general shareholder’s meeting is 30 days. The companies should use a variety of distribution channels to announce the meeting and the information is expected to be distributed effectively in the European Economic Area. One or more shareholders that own at least 3% of the share capital of a publicly traded company are entitled to add items on the agenda of the shareholder’s meeting. To be able to participate and vote in a shareholder’s meeting, the shareholder must have shares registered in his/her name.
Belgian shareholders may participate and vote from a distance in meetings, if the company’s articles of association stipulate this possibility. The company must verify the identity of the shareholder and the company must provide an electronic communications system so that the shareholder/s may participate in the discussions and exercise the voting right accordingly.
Other aspects about owning shares in Belgian companies
Any shareholder in Belgium is entitled to ask questions related to the agenda during general meetings. Also, Belgian shareholders may vote by proxy. In this case, the proxy has the same rights as those the shareholder would be entitled to. Our lawyers in Belgium can help you legally assign a proxy for a general shareholder’s meeting.
For more information about company law in Belgium, please contact our law firm in Belgium. Our team of professionals can provide wide range of legal services.