Buying a home, setting up a company... we are all familiar with the raft of "paperwork" that this involves. Digitization is helping here and is providing entrepreneurs with tools to efficiently consult, save and share documents and deeds. We list the most recent ones for you.
1. IZIMI Safe
The IZIMI Safe is a tool provided by the notarial profession that acts as a free digital personal safe in which you can upload, store and keep an overview of important documents yourself and at your own discretion. All you need to do is create an account (using your eID or the Itsme app) and scan and upload the desired documents. The notarial deeds that have been signed since 2015 are automatically stored there by the notary office, so they are already present.
The system also allows you to securely share documents with, for example, your notary, accountant or legal advisor. You can do this by sending - via the system - an invitation to the person with whom you want to share items.
If you are looking for a copy of a notarial deed (which, for example, is not automatically present in the IZIMI safe because the deed dates from before 2015), you can consult and download it free of charge via the MyMINFIN portal (here too you can log in via eID or Itsme - 'my documents' - 'deeds'). These are all deeds from 2001 onwards to which you were a party and which were the subject of a mortgage entry or transfer (such as purchase/sale and gift of property, building rights, mortgage loans, etc.). In addition to notarial deeds, it also includes bailiff's deeds, judgments, and registered leases.
3. Statute Database
Through www.notaris.be/statuten it is possible to consult free of charge the (coordinated) articles of association of a company. This is a public application that is accessible to everyone based on the company number of the company in question.
The articles of association database stores all versions of articles of association resulting from notarial deeds executed in Belgium and deposited since 01/05/2019 (i.e. from the creation until the very last update of the articles of association).
Contrary to the (short) extract of the articles of association published in the Annexes to the Belgian Official Gazette, you can consult the full text of the (coordinated) articles of association in the articles of association database.
Since all companies will have to amend their articles of association by 2024 to adapt to the new company legislation, more and more (and therefore all) articles of association will be available online in the coming years.
4. Legal publications
Via www.wettelijke-publicaties.be you can register the name of your company and your company number free. In the event of publication (in the Belgian Official Gazette), you will automatically be notified by e-mail and will not have to actively follow it up yourself.
eStox is a digital securities register launched pursuant to cooperation between notaries, accountants and tax consultants ("Fednot" and "ITAA"). It is a paying service but offers many advantages over traditional "share registers":
- Online: the register can be consulted anytime and anywhere; you cannot lose or forget it. Also, the accessibility of the system ensures that your advisor can complete the register smoothly and correctly;
- Practical: the electronic securities register simplifies the convening of shareholders for the general meeting. Moreover, one can choose to automatically link the securities register to the UBO register, so that the obligations in this regard are fulfilled in the same movement;
- Discretion: the register can only be edited by the aforementioned advisors, who are otherwise bound by professional secrecy. They are responsible for the correct recording of shareholder information provided by the directors. The directors themselves also have access to their company's register and determine to which advisors they wish to grant read and/or write access. They can also grant access to a third party. As a shareholder, one thus has no (automatic) access to the register, nor does one have to intervene for a signature on the matter.
Thus, while the digital shareholder register has certain practical advantages, an important consideration is that as a shareholder you have no automatic access or control over the adjustments that happen in the shareholder register, which can be a disadvantage in some situations.
Both newly established companies and existing companies that want to digitize their share registers can rely on eStox.
The cost of using eStox is relatively small:
- For a creation of a company, there is a charge of 20 euros;
- For each entry ("line/creation") in the register, there is a charge of 5 euros.
A mere consultation of the register is free of charge.
In short, several tools that can make your life easier. Free or with a limited cost, secure and practical. If you have questions, contact us here!