Carefree business: 10 legal focal points for 2024

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In the dynamic and complex world of corporate law, it is essential that your company is always in conformity with the current regulations and legal requirements. Whether you run a start-up, a medium-sized company or an established business, it is crucial to ensure that your business structure and organisation are legally in order. This not only prevents potential sanctions and legal disputes, but also provides the certainty needed for sustainable growth and success.

PKF BOFIDI Legal is ready to guide and support you in complying with the key legal obligations applicable to your business. We understand that keeping up with all the legal requirements can be challenging, which is why we have compiled a list of 10 legal topics that deserve your attention in 2024. By carefully managing these aspects, you can conduct your business with peace of mind, knowing that your company is legally in order in these areas.

Feel free to contact us for customised legal advice and support.

1. Bring your Statutes into line with the CAC

    Have your statutes (or articles of association) been amended in line with the Companies and Associations Code (CAC)? The deadline for updating them was 1 January 2024. If this has not been done yet, you should take action as soon as possible to avoid potential problems with accreditations, refusal of publications, directors’ liability and inconsistencies. (see Bofiflash)

    2. End of the quasi-immunity of intermediaries

    As of 01/01/2025, intermediaries (subcontractors, directors, consultants, employees, etc.) may be sued directly on a non-contractual basis by their principal’s creditors for facts occurring from that date, unless contractually agreed otherwise to protect these intermediaries. (see Bofiflash)

    3. Succession planning / shareholder agreements

    Have you already considered estate and succession planning, such as care proxies, gifts, partnership etc.? Have agreements been drawn up between the shareholders? Drawing up a shareholder agreement is crucial for shareholding stability, the transferability of shares, the organisation and operation of the company, decision-making by the General Meeting or the governing body, and the prevention or resolution of disputes.

    4. UBO

    After incorporation, it is mandatory to register UBOs, report changes within one month and confirm the data annually, otherwise there is a risk of fines, removal from the CBE, an activity ban, publication in the Belgian Official Gazette, etc. Check and update the CBE regularly. (see Bofiflash)

    5. GDPR (privacy, data processing, policies, data breaches, etc.)

    GDPR requires compliance with complex and mandatory regulations, with potentially significant penalties of up to 20 million EUR or 4% of turnover, but risk management can be simplified with minimal effort and cost by using the ‘GDPR basic toolkit’. (see Bofiflash)

    6. IP: protection of brand & trade secrets/customer lists

    Register and update your brands and trade secrets. (see Bofiflash)

    7. Bring your general terms and conditions into line with the current B2B and B2C regulations

    Bring your general terms and conditions into line with the current B2B and B2C regulations to avoid risks of unlawful and unenforceable clauses. For B2C, specifically, the amicable (out-of-court) debt collection procedure has been strictly regulated since 01/09/2023, including a free-of-charge reminder, a wating period, a notice of default including mandatory mentions and a clause imposing a ceiling on interest and damages to avoid uncollectibility. (see Bofiflash)

    8. Training rights for all full-time employees

    As of 2024, full-time employees of businesses with more than 20 employees are entitled to 5 training days per year, in companies with 10-20 employees this is 1 day, and in companies with fewer than 10 employees training days are optional. There are administrative fines for non-compliant employers. (see Bofiflash)

    9. Employees’ right to disconnect

    In companies with 20+ employees, the right to disconnect applies, i.e. employees are not obliged to be accessible via professional digital means (e.g. mobile phone, smartphone, email, etc.) outside their working hours. An administrative fine for non-compliance is possible. (see Bofiflash)

    10. Whistleblower scheme for SMEs and large enterprises

    Since 15/02/2023 it has been mandatory for large enterprises (250 employees or more) to set up an internal reporting channel for employees to report suspected illegal or fraudulent behaviour, with protection against reprisals. Since 17/12/2023 this has also applied to SMEs (50 to 249 employees), with administrative and criminal sanctions for non-compliance.

    Our PKF BOFIDI Legal experts will be pleased to help you with more information

    Do you have questions on any of these legal topics or would you like support in complying with your legal obligations? PKF BOFIDI Legal is ready to help you. Our experts offer personalised advice and guidance to ensure that your company is and remains legally compliant, so that you can focus on your core business. Contact us for more information.