Can minutes of Belgian corporate bodies be drawn up in a language other than one of the national languages?

1.

Many Belgian companies and associations with international activities have a governing body with an international composition. Board meetings are often held in a language that all directors understand, such as English. It is established practice that the minutes of these meetings are then also drawn up in the same language.

However, under the current language legislation[1], a company must draw up all “acts and documents required by law and regulations[2] in Dutch, French or German, depending on the location of its place of business (“exploitatiezetel” / “siege d’exploitation”).[3]

2.

In an article published in 2010[4], we argued that minutes of decisions of the governing body should not necessarily be considered as “acts and documents required by law and regulations”, at least for the purpose of the language legislation.[5] On the one hand, our analysis was based on Belgium’s mandatory language legislation and, on the other hand, on the provisions of the Belgian Companies Code (‘CC’) in force at the time, in particular article 63 of the Companies Code, which has since been restated without amendment in article 2:41 of the Code of Companies and Associations (‘CCA’).[6]

Based on our analysis at that time, Belgium’s mandatory language legislation only applied to (the relevant sections of) the minutes and other reports and documents issued by a governing body, when the relevant decisions must be deposited or published in the annexes to the Belgian Official Journal (“Belgisch Staatsblad” / “Moniteur belge”), or when the law expressly requires the governing body to draw up a special report or to communicate other documents as such to shareholders or to third parties.[7] In all other cases, the governing body may freely determine the language in which it draws up minutes (and other documents). The governing body should in such case make a reasonable choice of language that is justified by the concrete circumstances and that does not prejudice the normal functioning of the corporate bodies or a subsequent review of its decisions (e.g. by the statutory auditor or by shareholders).

However, a legislative initiative to remove restrictions on the use of languages in corporate documents seemed appropriate.[8]

3.

On 23 March 2019, the CCA was adopted.[9] The main objectives of the new Code are the adaptation to European developments, modernization, simplification and the flexibilization of company and association laws. The ultimate goal of this reform is to make our company and association law more attractive, so that it can compete internationally with the laws of other European countries so as to facilitate foreign investment into Belgium and corporate mobility for Belgian companies.[10] In this context, the Belgian Centre for Company Law (“Belgisch Centrum voor Vennootschapsrecht” / “Centre belge du Droit des Sociétés”) argued during the preparation of the CCA that the current language regime for companies should also be amended.[11]

The preliminary draft of the CCA also took a step in this direction. In line with a draft amendment previously proposed by HELLEMANS[12], the preliminary draft bill provided as follows:

“(…) The documents referred to in articles 2:7, 2:23, 3:10 and 3:12 (…) may be drawn up, whether or not in electronic form, at the discretion of the governing body, in Dutch, French, German or English, irrespective of the language(s) of the business court where the records are held. However, deeds of incorporation and deeds amending the articles of association must be drawn up in the language or one of the official languages of the business court where the records are held. (…)”[13]

If this article had been retained as such in the ultimately approved legislative text, Belgian companies, associations and foundations would not only be able to draft the minutes of their deliberative bodies (both the governing body and the general meeting of shareholders) in English, but also, for example, their annual accounts and annual report. Only the deed of incorporation and subsequent amendments to the articles of association would have to be drawn up in the language of the registered office[14] of the company, association or foundation. Furthermore, all publications could then also be drawn up in one of the official national languages or in English, unless they relate to the deed of incorporation or amendments to the articles of association.[15]

4.

This provision from the preliminary draft of the bill, however, did not make it into the final legislative text.[16] The Council of State (“Raad van State” / “Conseil d’État”) ruled that the federal legislator would thereby exceed its constitutional authority. The Council of State referred to article 129, § 1, third paragraph, and § 2 of the Constitution, which assigns the regulation of the use of language to the Communities (“gemeenschappen” / “communautés”) (at least for the Dutch and French language areas).[17] A prior amendment of the applicable language decrees is therefore necessary in order to allow the federal legislator to amend the CCA in this respect.[18]

Given this legislative process, the question now arises whether we can confirm our earlier view regarding the language of the minutes of the governing body under the new CCA.

5.

The correct scope of application of the new articles 5:75, 6:63, 7:95 and 9:9, third paragraph CCA should, among other things, be discussed in this regard. These new provisions refer to the minutes of the governing body of, respectively, the BV/ SRL, CV/ SC, NV/ SA and VZW/ ASBL, and stipulate the following:

“The minutes of the meetings of [a collegiate governing body (BV/ SRL and CV/ SC), the board of directors (NV/ SA), respectively the governing body (VZW/ ASBL)] are signed by the chairman and the directors who so request; copies for third parties are signed by [one or more directors with power of representation (BV/ SRL, CV/ SC and NV/ SA), respectively one or more members of the governing body with power of representation (VZW/ ASBL)].”[19]

These provisions are based on an analogous provision in the Companies Code, which concerned (the signing of) minutes of the general meeting of shareholders. The explanatory memorandum to the CCA indeed confirms that the new provisions are inspired by the old articles 278 (BVBA/ SPRL) and 546 (NV/ SA) of the Companies Code[20], adapted to the context of the governing body.[21] Even though the Companies Code did not explicitly include an obligation for the general meeting of shareholders to draw up minutes, a number of authors assumed that, based on these articles, there would be a general statutory obligation for the general meeting of shareholders to draw up minutes.[22] As such, one could then infer that minutes of the general meeting should be regarded as “acts and documents prescribed by law and regulations” and are therefore also subject to the language legislation.[23]

However, a more nuanced approach is also possible. VAN BAEL, for instance, stated that the content and scope of the decision should determine whether the language legislation is applicable. He makes a distinction between minutes of decisions concerning the existence and continuation of the company, on the one hand, and minutes in which other, merely internal decisions are recorded, on the other hand.[24] VAN GERVEN too finds that the obligation to comply with the language legislation only applies to minutes of decisions imposed by law under penalty of nullity or to minutes of decisions that must be published.[25]

6.

For companies and associations without legal personality, the choice of language is in principle free. Article 2:33 CCA, which imposes the obligation to deposit certain documents in the language of the company’s registered office, only applies to legal persons. The CCA furthermore does not contain any provisions analogous to the new articles 5:75, 6:63, 7:95 or 9:9, third paragraph CCA in relation to companies and associations without legal personality.[26]

7.

Based on the new provisions in the CCA, some authors have suggested that there may henceforth be a general, statutory obligation for the governing body of companies and associations with legal personality to draw up minutes.[27] However, the CCA does not contain an explicit obligation in this respect. The new provisions in the CCA, like the analogous provisions for the general meeting of shareholders, are limited to the signing of minutes or copies of minutes. The explanatory memorandum does not refer to any statutory obligation to draw up minutes either.[28]

In any event, in view of the intended modernization and flexibilization of the CCA and the clear intention of the legislator (as apparent from the preliminary draft of the bill), one cannot attribute such a wide scope of application to these new provisions implying that all minutes of meetings of the governing body, without distinction, should henceforth be considered as “acts and documents prescribed by law and regulations” for the purposes of the language legislation. Such an interpretation would be directly opposed to the most fundamental objectives of the CCA as well as to the concrete ratio legis that appears from the preliminary draft. It would also be contrary to the established practice, which has not been questioned by the legislator at any time during the legislative process. Indeed, it is assumed that the CCA has no impact whatsoever on the applicable language regime.[29]

8.

Any other approach would be highly regrettable, especially since our neighbouring countries have adopted a much more pragmatic approach in this regard.

A brief look across our borders indeed shows that companies established in neighbouring countries are subject to much more flexible language regimes. In France, the use of language in minutes is free. A French translation is only required when a copy of the minutes (or other documents) must be filed with the court registry.[30] In Luxembourg too, the use of languages is virtually free. Special requirements only apply to minutes or documents that should be deposited or published and to notarized deeds (which must also be drawn up in at least French, German or Luxembourgish).[31] Likewise, in Germany, the language rules are also limited to documents which must be deposited and published and to notarized deeds.[32] Finally, in the Netherlands, the use of language in minutes is completely free: the general meeting of shareholders can freely determine the language in which minutes are drawn up, both for the general meeting of shareholders and for the governing body (even if this is not explicitly provided in the articles of association).[33]

9.

Finally, the importance of this question must be put into perspective. After all, the possible nullity of the minutes on account of a violation of the language legislation, which is imposed as a penalty by the Flemish and French Language Decree[34], does not result in the nullity of the respective decisions of the governing body contained therein.[35] The penalty in the (federal) Language Act on Administrative Affairs[36] has even less impact, as no penalty of nullity is prescribed, the only consequence of non-compliance being limited to an obligation to replace the non-compliant document.

Moreover, non-compliant minutes can always be submitted as evidence in legal proceedings.[37]

10.

It is clear, however, that the legal certainty asked for by both practitioners and legal scholars concerning the application of our language legislation in corporate documents has not yet been achieved. A new legislative initiative, both at Community and at the federal level, therefore remains desirable in order to create the necessary legal certainty and to establish a more flexible and modern language regime for Belgian companies. Only then, we will be able to measure up to our neighbouring countries in this area and have a conclusive answer to the concrete needs of corporate practice in the 21st century.

This article is based on the opinion previously published in Revue pratique des sociétés / Tijdschrift voor Rechtspersoon en Vennootschap 21/8 (B. BELLEN and I. SCHOCKAERT, “Standpunt revisited:Kunnen notulen worden opgesteld in een andere taal dan één van de nationale talen?”, TRV-RPS 2021, 882-886).

Bart Bellen, Ine Schockaert & Marthe Wouters
Contrast


[1] Flemish Decree of 19 July 1973 on the use of languages in social relations between employers and employees as well as in company acts and documents that are required by law and regulations (“Decreet tot regeling van het gebruik van de talen voor de sociale betrekkingen tussen de werkgevers en de werknemers, alsmede van de door de wet en de verordeningen voorgeschreven akten en bescheiden van de ondernemingen” / “Décret réglant l’emploi des langues en matière de relations sociales entre employeurs et travailleurs, ainsi qu’en matière d’actes et de documents d’entreprise prescrits par la loi et les règlements”), Belgian Official Journal 6 September 1973 (hereinafter ‘Flemish Language Decree’); Decree of the French Community of 30 June 1982 on the protection of the freedom of use of the French language in social relations between employers and their staff, as well as of acts and documents of companies imposed by law and regulations (“Décret relatif à la protection de la liberté de l’emploi des langues et de l’usage de la langue française en matière de relations sociales entre les employeurs et leur personnel ainsi que d’actes et documents des entreprises imposés par la loi et les règlements” / “Decreet inzake de bescherming van de vrijheid van het taalgebruik van de Franse taal in de sociale betrekkingen tussen de werkgevers en hun personeel, alsook van akten en documenten van ondernemingen opgelegd door de wet en de reglementen”), Belgian Official Journal 27 August 1982 (hereinafter ‘French Language Decree’); Law of 18 July 1966 on the use of languages in administrative affaires (“wetten op het gebruik van de talen in bestuurszaken” / “lois sur l’emploi des langues en matière administrative”), Belgian Official Jounal 2 August 1966 (hereinafter ‘Language Act on Administrative Affairs’). Please also refer to B. BELLEN, “Standpunt: Kunnen notulen van het bestuursorgaan worden opgesteld in een andere taal dan één van de nationale talen?”, TRV 2010, (304) 304-305 and footnote 4.

[2] Article 129 Constitution: “door de wet en verordeningen voorgeschreven akten en bescheiden” / “actes et documents des entreprises imposés par la loi et les règlements”.

[3] Please also refer to B. BELLEN, “Standpunt: Kunnen notulen van het bestuursorgaan worden opgesteld in een andere taal dan één van de nationale talen?”, TRV 2010, (304) 305 and footnote 5.

[4] B. BELLEN, “Standpunt: Kunnen notulen van het bestuursorgaan worden opgesteld in een andere taal dan één van de nationale talen?”, TRV 2010, (304) 304-306.

[5] It is however advisable and a sign of good governance to always draw up minutes of the meetings of the governing body, as also indicated in our earlier contribution (see B. BELLEN, “Standpunt: Kunnen notulen van het bestuursorgaan worden opgesteld in een andere taal dan één van de nationale talen?”, TRV 2010, (304) 306, footnote 9). Please also refer to H. CULOT and D. VAN GERVEN, “Chronique droit des sociétés – Kroniek vennootschapsrecht 2019-2020”, TRV-RPS 2020, No. 6, (708) 719.

[6] Based on this provision, and in absence of provisions in the articles of association or special rules in the CC (respectively the CCA), the “ordinary rules of the deliberative meetings” (“gewone regels van de beraadslagende vergaderingen” / règles ordinaires des assemblées délibérantes) shall apply to the committees and meetings provided for in the CC (respectively the CCA), being the rules of procedure of the House of Representatives (Kamer van volksvertegenwoordigers” / “Chambre des représentants) and the Senate (Senaat” / “Sénat). A number of authors, however, state that there would be a general, statutory obligation for the governing body to draft minutes of their meetings on the basis of this article. For a more elaborate discussion of this topic, please refer to B. BELLEN, “Standpunt: Kunnen notulen van het bestuursorgaan worden opgesteld in een andere taal dan één van de nationale talen?”, TRV 2010, (304) 305 and footnotes 6 to 8.

[7] The public offer of securities is subject to a differing regime under the influence of the European Prospectus Directive.

[8] See also F. HELLEMANS, “Editoriaal. Taalgebruik in vennootschapszaken : time for reasonable changes”, TRV 2015, 273-274.

[9] Law of 23 March 2019 introducing the Code of Companies and Associations and containing various provisions (“wet tot invoering van het Wetboek van vennootschappen en verenigingen en houdende diverse bepalingen” / “loi introduisant le Code des sociétés et des associations et portant des dispositions diverses)”, Belgian Official Journal 4 April 2019.

[10] Draft law introducing the Code of Companies and Associations and containing various provisions (“wetsontwerp tot invoering van het Wetboek van vennootschappen en verenigingen en houdende diverse bepalingen” / “projet de loi introduisant le Code des sociétés et des associations et portant des dispositions diverses”), Parl.St. House of Representatives 2017-18, no. 54-3119/1, 3-6.

[11] Report of the Committee on Commercial and Economic Law (“Verslag Commissie voor handels- en economisch recht” / “Rapport de la Commission de droit commercial et économique”), “Gedachtewisseling met de minister van Justitie en met deskundigen van het Belgisch Centrum voor Vennootschapsrecht over de modernisering van het vennootschapsrecht”, 3 December 2015, Parl.St. House of Representatives 2015-16, no. 54-1500/1, 13 and 34.

[12] F. HELLEMANS, “’t Amendement. Naar een Realpolitik inzake taalgebruik in vennootschapszaken”, TRV-RPS 2016, 104-109. In this contribution, HELLEMANS presents a concrete proposal for the amendment of both the federal and regional language legislation, as well as the Companies Code and the Law of 27 June 1921 on non-profit associations, international non-profit associations and foundations.

[13] Draft law introducing the Code of Companies and Associations and containing various provisions, Parl.St. House of Representatives 2017-18, no. 54-3119/1, 420-421: “(…) De stukken bedoeld in de artikelen 2:7, 2:23, 3:10 en 3:12 (…) mogen, al dan niet in elektronische vorm, naar keuze van het bestuursorgaan in het Nederlands, Frans, Duits of Engels worden opgesteld, ongeacht de ta(a)l(en) van de ondernemingsrechtbank waar het dossier wordt gehouden. Evenwel moeten de oprichtingsakten en de akten houdende statutenwijziging opgesteld worden in de taal of één van de officiële talen van de ondernemingsrechtbank waar het dossier wordt gehouden. (…)” / “ (…) Les documents visés aux articles 2:7, 2:23, 3:10 et 3:12 (…) peuvent être établis, sous forme électronique ou non, au choix de l’organe d’administration, en néerlandais, en français, en allemand ou en en anglais, quelles que soient la ou les langues du tribunal des entreprises où est tenu le dossier. Toutefois, les actes constitutifs et les actes portant modification des statuts doivent être établis dans la langue ou dans une des langues officielles du tribunal des entreprises où est tenu le dossier. (…)”.

[14] It should be noted that the preliminary draft uses the concept of “the business court where the records are held” (which is linked to the registered office)rather than the concept of “place of business”, as referred to in the applicable language legislation, which is a clear choice for the registered office regarding the prescribed use of language. This would also create legal certainty for companies that have a place of business in multiple different (unilingual) language areas. Please see in this context F. HELLEMANS, “’t Amendement. Naar een Realpolitik inzake taalgebruik in vennootschapszaken”, TRV-RPS 2016, (104) 106-107. For a more comprehensive discussion of the matter, please also refer to H. GORET, “De taal van een vennootschapsakte: het lijkt eenvoudig…”, Notariaat 2017, no. 5, (1) 5 and J. VAN BAEL, “Taal in vennootschapsakten”, RW 1985-86, (1678) 1711-1712; D. VAN GERVEN, Handboek vennootschappen. Algemeen deel, Brussels, Larcier, 2020, 359-362, no. 248.

[15] See in this context also K. MARESCEAU and B. JOYE, “Het bestuur van vennootschappen in het nieuwe Wetboek van Vennootschappen en Verenigingen” in D. BRULOOT, P. ERNST, A. FRANÇOIS, K. MARESCEAU, C. PIETTE, R. TAS and M. WYCKAERT, De nieuwe vennootschapswet. VPG studiedag 2018, Mechlin, Wolters Kluwer, 2018, (83) 91 and E-J. NAVEZ and A. NAVEZ, Le code des sociétés et des associations, Brussels, Larcier, 2019, 59-60.

[16] Please also refer to K. MARESCEAU and B. JOYE, “Het bestuur van vennootschappen in het nieuwe Wetboek van Vennootschappen en Verenigingen” in D. BRULOOT, P. ERNST, A. FRANÇOIS, K. MARESCEAU, C. PIETTE, R. TAS and M. WYCKAERT, De nieuwe vennootschapswet. VPG studiedag 2018, Mechlin, Wolters Kluwer, 2018, (83) 91.

[17] Draft law introducing the Code of Companies and Associations and containing various provisions, Parl.St. House of Representatives 2017-18, no. 54-3119/2, 36. The federal legislator, however, remains competent for the German language area, the bilingual Brussels-Capital area and in several municipalities on both sides of the language border and in the periphery around Brussels. The relevant language legislation for these areas has been set out in the Language Act on Administrative Affairs.

[18] See in this context also F. HELLEMANS, “’t Amendement. Naar een Realpolitik inzake taalgebruik in vennootschapszaken”, TRV-RPS 2016, 104-109, which contains a concrete proposal for the amendment of the federal and regional language legislation (p. 104).

[19] “De notulen van de vergaderingen van [een collegiaal bestuursorgaan (BV en CV), de raad van bestuur (NV), resp. het bestuursorgaan (VZW)] worden ondertekend door de voorzitter en de bestuurders die erom verzoeken; kopieën voor derden worden ondertekend door [één of meer bestuurders met vertegenwoordigingsbevoegdheid (BV, CV en NV), resp. één of meer vertegenwoordigingsbevoegde leden van het bestuursorgaan (VZW)]” / “Le procès-verbal des réunions [d’un organe d’administration collégial (SRL et SC), du conseil d’administration (SA), respectivement de l’organe d’administration (ASBL)]est signé par le président et les administrateurs qui le souhaitent; les copies à délivrer aux tiers sont signées par [un ou plusieurs administrateurs ayant le pouvoir de représentation (SRL, SC et SA), respectivement un ou plusieurs membres de l’organe d’administration ayant le pouvoir de représentation (ASBL)].

[20] These provisions were adopted almost unchanged in the articles 5:93 and 7:141 CCA for the BV/ SRL and NV/ SA, respectively.

[21] Draft law introducing the Code of Companies and Associations and containing various provisions, Parl.St. House of Representatives 2017-18, no. 54-3119/1, 158.

[22] F. HELLEMANS, De algemene vergadering. Een onderzoek naar haar grondslagen, haar bestaansreden en de geldigheid van haar besluiten, Kalmthout, Biblo, 2001, 532-533 (reference is also made in this context to the doctrine cited in footnote 1823); D. VAN GERVEN, Handboek vennootschappen. Algemeen deel, Brussels, Larcier, 2020, 590; R. TAS and A. STEENO, “Bewijsproblemen in het vennootschapsrecht. Over het bewijs van het bestaan en het aandeelhouderschap van de vennootschap, bewijskracht van notulen en vermoedens inzake bestuurdersaansprakelijkheid” in A. DE BOECK, S. STIJNS and R. VAN RANSBEECK (eds.), Het vermogensrechtelijk bewijsrecht vandaag en morgen, Bruges, die Keure, 2009, (155) 166.

[23] F. HELLEMANS, “Editoriaal. Taalgebruik in vennootschapszaken: time for reasonable changes”, TRV 2015, (273) 273. The Antwerp Business Court also ruled in summery proceedings in a judgement of 7 January 2020 that the discussion and decision-making of the general meeting of shareholders can take place in a language other than the regional language, as long as the minutes comply with the language legislation (President Business Court Antwerp (summery proceedings) 7 January 2020, TRV-RPS 2020, 97).

[24] J. VAN BAEL, “Taal in vennootschapsakten”, RW 1985-86, (1678) 1706-1708.

[25] D. VAN GERVEN, Handboek vennootschappen. Algemeen deel, Brussels, Larcier, 2020, 592. Zie ook H. CULOT and D. VAN GERVEN, “Chronique droit des sociétés – Kroniek vennootschapsrecht 2019-2020”, TRV-RPS 2020, no. 6, (708) 719.

[26] In specific cases, taking minutes will be necessary, for example when the law requires certain matters to be recorded, such as in order to avoid joint and several liability in a collegiate governing body (article 2:56, last paragraph CCA). See also D. VAN GERVEN, Handboek vennootschappen. Algemeen deel, Brussels, Larcier, 2020, 590.

[27] P. BAERT, “Commentaar bij artikel 5:75 WVV” in Comm.V.en V., 2020, no. 58, (1) 2-3; P. BAERT, “Commentaar bij artikel 7:95 WVV” in Comm.V.en V., 2020, no. 58, (1) 2-3; H. CULOT and D. VAN GERVEN, “Chronique droit des sociétés – Kroniek vennootschapsrecht 2019-2020”, TRV-RPS 2020, no. 6, (708) 719 and D. VAN GERVEN, Handboek vennootschappen. Algemeen deel, Brussels, Larcier, 2020, 590.

[28] See in this respect inter alia the passage in the explanatory memorandum with regard to article 9:9 CCA: draft law introducing the Code of Companies and Associations and containing various provisions, Parl.St. House of Representatives 2017-18, no. 54-3119/1, 283-284.

[29] D. VAN GERVEN, Handboek vennootschappen. Algemeen deel, Brussels, Larcier, 2020, 592. Please also refer to H. CULOT and D. VAN GERVEN, “Chronique droit des sociétés – Kroniek vennootschapsrecht 2019-2020”, TRV-RPS 2020, no. 6, (708) 719.

[30] A. CHARVERIAT, A. COURET and B. ZABALA, “Sociétés commerciales 2014” in F. LEFEBVRE (ed.), Mémento pratique, Levallois, Editions Francis Lefebvre, 2013, 573.

[31] Article 36 loi du 9 décembre 1976 relative à l’organisation du notariat, Journal Officiel du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg 23 décembre 1976, 1229, http://www.legilux.public.lu and article 22-2 loi du 19 décembre 2002 concernant le registre de commerce et des sociétés ainsi que la comptabilité et les comptes annuels des entreprises et modifiant certaines autres dispositions légales, Journal Officiel du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg 31 décembre 2002, 3629, http://www.legilux.public.lu.

[32] §184 Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz, http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de; §325 (1) Handelsgesetzbuch, http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de; §5 Beurkundungsgesetz, http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de; B. OETKER, “HGB §11 Offenlegung in der Amtssprache eines Mitgliedstaats der Europaïschen Union” in B. OETKER, Handelsgesetzbuch, München, C.H.BECK, 2017, http://www.beck-online.beck.de; A. KRAFKA, “Das neue Handels- und Unternehmensregister – Übersicht über das Registerrecht in der Fassung des Referentenentwurfs zu einem Gesetz über elektronische Handelsregister und Genossenschaftsregister sowie das Unternehmensregister (EHUG-RefE)”, Mitteilungen des Bayerischen Notarvereins, der Notarkasse und der Landesnotarkammer Bayern 2005, (290) 292, http://www.beck‑online.beck.de.

[33] A.J.M. KLEIN WASSINK, “Een Babylonische spraakverwarring in de algemene vergadering van aandeelhouders?” in J.B. HUIZINK (ed.), Opstellen aangeboden aan Prof. mr. P. van Schilfgaarde, Deventer, Kluwer, 2000, (215) 215-223.

[34] Article 10 Flemish Language Decree and article 3 French Language Decree. Moreover, both decrees also allow for the replacement of the null and void document, which has the effect of cancelling its nullity.

[35] Please also refer to Court of Commerce Dendermonde 10 September 2009, TBH 2009, 976, TRV 2010, 589, annotation S. DE DIER.

[36] Art. 59 Language Act on Administrative Affairs.

[37] B. BELLEN, “Standpunt: Kunnen notulen van het bestuursorgaan worden opgesteld in een andere taal dan één van de nationale talen?”, TRV 2010, (304) 305 and 306.

One thought on “Can minutes of Belgian corporate bodies be drawn up in a language other than one of the national languages?”

  1. thanks for this contribution.
    Can we now also infer that unanimous written resolutions should necessarily be drafted in an official language (not English)?

    Like

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