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- New franchise law in Belgium – how should your template franchise agreement change?
Belgium has recently implemented a new law which will have direct implications on B2B relationships, in order to address abuse of economic dependence, unfair contractual terms and unfair practices. The aim of the new legislation is to balance the position of the contracting parties, with direct application to franchise agreements.
- New insights of the Belgian Data Protection Authority on cybersecurity and the role of the DPO
In a recent judgment of April 26, 2021, the Belgian Data Protection Authority (“DPA”) fined a financial institution (the “Company”) €100,000 for – amongst other things – failure to provide an adequate level of cybersecurity.
- The DPO and conflicts of interest: What (management) functions are compatible with the DPO?
In a decision of April 28, 2020, the Belgian Data Protection Authority (DPA) imposed a fine of €50,000 in a case where a data protection officer (DPO) also performed an incompatible function.
- Focus falls on corporate vigilance and accountability in Belgium
Lawmakers push for a framework for mandatory value chain due diligence. On 2 April 2021, a legislative proposal entitled “Proposition de loi instaurant un devoir de vigilance et un devoir de responsabilité à charge des entreprises tout au long de leurs chaînes de valeur” or “Wetsvoorstel houdende de instelling van een zorg- en verantwoordingsplicht voor de ondernemingen, over hun hele waardeketen heen” was introduced by members of various political parties before the Belgian Chamber of Representatives (the Belgian Vigilance Proposal). The Chamber of Representatives voted in favour of considering this legislative proposal on 22 April 2021, a few weeks ahead of the 10th anniversary of the unanimous endorsement by the United Nations Human Rights Council of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).
- COVID-19 - Tax cut for landlords who cancel rent of tenants forced out of business
More than a year into the pandemic, some businesses still have to stay closed because of COVID-19 lockdown measures. Their source of income has dried up, but significant monthly costs, such as rent for business premises, continue to be incurred during the mandatory closure period.
- Dentons COVID-19 Retail Tracker - Belgium
Status – Has any special status been introduced? This overview includes the COVID-19 federal measures implemented in Belgium. Please note that regions, provinces and municipalities can apply additional measures.
- Belgian FSMA publishes final FAQs regarding advertisements for investment instruments
On 1 April 2021, the FSMA published a communication containing its final version of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the requirements applicable to advertisements for investment instruments when they are offered to the public, admitted to trading or distributed to retail clients. Visit the following links for the Dutch and French versions of the FAQs. The English version is currently unavailable. Please see full Publication below for more information.
- ‘Privacy Rulings': legal certainty for your business?
While the Belgian Data Protection Authority (“DPA”) is becoming increasingly active in adjudicating GDPR claims and releasing opinions and recommendations, companies are still finding it difficult to implement the complexities of the GDPR in their businesses.
- Combating economic abuse in a franchise agreement (Belgian B2B law)
Business to business (“B2B”) agreements are often characterized by an economic imbalance between the parties, particularly in the franchise sector where the franchisor is (seen to) impose contractual clauses that are contrary to normal market practices.
- Introduction of a pre-pack insolvency procedure in Belgium
On Friday, 26 March 2021, the Belgian Insolvency Law was amended with the introduction of a pre-packaged insolvency procedure, allowing the debtor to discretely prepare for judicial reorganisation proceedings under the supervision of a judicial administrator. Other noteworthy changes include (i) a lower threshold for the opening of judicial reorganisation proceedings, and (ii) the more flexible appointment of judicial administrators.
- Belgian Class Actions - The Final Stretch
The Belgian collective redress act (hereafter the Collective Redress Act) was signed into law just before the Easter break on 27 March 2014 and is expected to enter into force in the next couple of months (a royal decree should set forth the effective date shortly)....
- Belgian Data Protection Authority Sues Facebook Over Privacy Breaches
As already stated in a previous blog post, on May 13, 2015, the Belgian Data Protection Authority issued a recommendation in which it expressed its concern about Facebook tracking users, non-users and logged-out users without their consent. It added that a failure to address such a situation would...
- Carried Interest: Belgian Ruling Commission Confirms Application Of Stock Option Law
The Belgian Stock Option Law sets out the tax treatment of stock options, thereby eliminating the uncertainty as to the taxable value of the stock options. In the past, the Belgian Ruling Commission has been reluctant to confirm that the Stock Option Law also applies to stock options on carried...
- Stricter Sanctions For Companies Who Fail To File Their Financial Statements
Since 12 June 2017, the commercial investigation chamber (chamber d'enquête commerciale / kamer voor handelsonderzoek) of a Belgian tribunal of commerce is entitled to refer a case to the tribunal in order to rule on the dissolution of a company when such company does not file its annual accounts (f...
- Investment Funds Update Europe - Legal and regulatory updates for the funds industry from the key asset management centres and primary European fund domiciles - Issue 2, 2018: Belgium
Implementation of MiFID - The FSMA issued on 18 July 2017 a communication (the “Communication”) on the preparation for the entry into force of the Directive 2014/65/EU on Markets in Financial Instruments (“MiFID II”). Such Communication (FSMA_2017_11) aimed at facilitating the...
- The New Belgium Insolvency Law
The reformed Belgium Insolvency Law adopted in 2017 eventually came into force on 1 May 2018. The law entitled Book XX of the Economic Law Code includes most of the 1997 Bankruptcy Law; the 2009 Law on the Continuity of Enterprises, which deals with the reorganisation of financially troubled...
- Belgian Government and FSMA prepare for Brexit
The Belgian government and financial services regulator are preparing for Brexit. This has recently resulted in the submission to the Belgian Parliament of a draft law providing a framework to take certain contingency measures notably in the financial sector....
- New EU Directive on digitalization of company law
In a world where technological advancements are taking place at a staggering pace, entrepreneurs are increasingly expecting to set up and do business with the help of digital processes. The European Union, in a drive to encourage innovation in business, has now set out in Directive 2019/1151 the...
- Belgian Data Protection Authority Releases Enforcement Priorities
The Belgian data protection authority has published for public consultation its priorities for 2019-2025....
- COVID-19: Can Directors’ and Shareholders’ Meetings Be Held Remotely in Belgium?
With the spread of COVID-19, governments and companies everywhere are faced with hitherto unseen challenges. Measures are being taken everywhere to contain the pandemic and to discourage gatherings of people....