AISBL Guide - Rationale

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.

Reasons to choose the AISBL formula

There are many different forms of non-profit associations and foundations in every country. If one decides to base it in Europe, Belgium is usually considered as a good place to start a non-profit. Belgium allows national non-profit associations (ASBL), international non-profit associations (AISBL), and foundations.

As the European institutions have developed, a large number of international associations have chosen to establish themselves in Belgium. So much so that Brussels has become the second centre of international associations at the world level, after Washington. These employ between 20,000 and 30,000 people in our territory. (…) A majority of them (73%) opted for a tailor-made status, that of the AISBL (international non-profit association). (source (FR))

The foundation supposes founding members willing to invest money to pursue the goal of the foundation. Contrarily, associations don’t necessarily need to be based on money or even own or manage money.

The main non-profit association (ASBL) form is the standard form for non-profit associations in Belgium. It is easy to create, and needs to follow the same Code of Societies and Associations (FR) law as companies. However, it is not recognized outside Belgium and must have at least two members residing in Belgium. It doesn’t need statuses.

An International Non-Profit Association (Association Internationale Sans But Lucratif, or AISBL) is a newer (2002), international version of the standard Non-Profit Association (ASBL) in Belgium, it has the following characteristics: