AISBL Guide - Creation
This document contains things to know to create and manage an AISBL (International non-profit association seated in Belgium). We fill information here as we learn it, so don’t expect to find here complete, definitive information.
The statutes must be written by the persons willing to associate. The notary helps to review the text before turning it into the creation act. They must contain:
- The name of the AISBL and the location of its head office
- The purposes for which it is constituted, and the activities it proposes to implement to achieve these goals
- The conditions and formalities for admission and departure of members
- The rights and obligations of members
- The attributions, the method of convening and the mode of decision of the general management body (or general assembly) of the AISBL as well as the conditions under which its resolutions are brought to the attention of the members
- The attributions, the method of convocation and the mode of decision of the administrative body of the AISBL, the method of appointment, termination of functions and dismissal of the directors, their minimum number, the duration of their mandate, the extent of their powers and the manner of exercising them, as well as the mode of designation of the persons who have the power to bind the association to third parties and to represent it in acts, actions and in courts.
- The conditions for modifying the articles of association, the dissolution and liquidation of the association, and the destination of the AISBL’s assets. In the event of dissolution, it must be used for a selfless purpose.
Once the statuses are set up, the obtaining of a legal personality of an AISBL is done through a notarial act, which must be performed by a Belgian notary.
The AISBL must comply to the Code of Societies and Associations (FR) which is the main law that regulates associations. The notary who makes the creation act helps making sure it complies to the law. Some notaries will require you to contract an additional lawyer to do this step.
The notary costs to create an AISBL are roughly 2000 EUR (as of 12/2021). It usually includes everything needed to create the AISBL: the elaboration of the act, the requirement of the royal decree, the publication to the royal gazette and the registering at the crossroads bank.
Apart from the statutes text, all members will need to provide their identity/passport details, and, in case they won’t be present physically to the signing the notarial act, sign a procuration to one of the members who will sign the notarial act. This step is also done by the notary. All non-Belgian members will through this receive a Belgian identification number (RBis) which is similar to the national number that every Belgian citizen has.
The notarial act is reviewed by the interior ministry and in case no objection is done, a royal decree is delivered. This procedure takes around 3 months. The royal decree is the document that gives the association its legal personality.
Publication to the official gazette
The text of the notarial act is then published in the national gazette. The association statuses as well as Personal details (name, date of birth and address) of the members are made public, although in a non-searchable (scanned document) form.
Register at the crossroads bank
The registering of the association to the Crossroads bank for entreprises gives it an official entreprise / taxpaying number (which is also its VAT number if it gets registered to the VAT later on). This number is needed for a lot of things later such as opening a bank account.
Most banks in Europe are not very keen to open accounts for small non-profits, so it can be difficult to find a bank willing to open an account for a starting AISBL. It is advised to look for associative/cooperative banks, or ask a bank agency where on of the administrators already has a personal account. Banks will need:
- The entreprise number
- The statutes text
- Personal details of all administrators
- An initial budget for the first year
- The UBO register (see below)