How to setup a non-profit organisation in #Belgium? #nonprofit #asbl #vzw

Minimal table of contents of the Articles needed to start a non-profit organisation in Belgium:

The word ‘ASBL’ should be mentioned in every document

  • e.g. Sémaphore ASBL or Sémaphore Association Sans But Lucratif
  • it is forbidden to use a name of a non profit already existing


  • exact address and district judicial e.g. Arrondissement de Bruxelles

The goal of the association:

  • be very precise (help children from third world countries) and DO NOT list the activities (collect money, etc.)

The goal of the association:

  • be very precise (help children from third world countries) and DO NOT list the activities (collect money, etc.)

The members of the Association:

  • The articles must state: The full names, address of each founder (individual);
  • The name, legal form (ASBL) and the registered address of each founder (legal entity). The registered office of any corporate founders should not be confused with the head office of the association is established.
  • The conditions and formalities of admission and discharge of the members must also be defined in the articles
  • The rights and obligations of the members must also be fixed by the articles (and not by internal rules of procedure).

General Assembly: powers, summons, notice to members

  • The articles must state the functions and mode of convening the general assembly. They must also indicate how its decisions are brought to the attention of members and third parties.
  • The powers reserved to the General Assembly are:
    • Changes in articles;
    • Appointment and dismissal of directors;
    • The appointment and dismissal of auditors and fixation of their compensation if a payment is foreseen;
    • Discharge to be granted to directors and commissioners;
    • approval of budgets and accounts;
    • The dissolution of the association;
    • Exclusion of a member;
    • The transformation of the association in corporation with a social purpose;
    • All the conducts the articles require.
  • It is important to indicate that anything that is not assigned by law or the articles is under the jurisdiction of the Board of the General Assembly
  • The general meeting is convened by the board or when a fifth of the members requests it. The Articles shall determine the terms of this notice. The notice period is eight days at least.
  • It is usual that the association keeps a register that records the decisions of the General Assembly. The articles should determine how members can see it.

Directors: appointment, dismissal and powers

  • The articles must contain the rules for the appointment, dismissal and termination of a director and the extent of their powers and how to exercise (by acting either individually or jointly, or in college). It is also necessary to regulate the duration of their mandate.
  • If the articles permit individuals to represent the association and / or the delegation of daily management
    the association, these mentions are also required.
  • If the articles are considering the appointment of commissioners, they should mention their method of appointment

Contributions or payments by members

  • The maximum amount of the contribution must be stated in the statutes, in order to inform those wishing to join the association on the financial commitments that will be required

Allocation of assets on dissolution

  • The articles must specify the destination of the assets resulting from the liquidation of an association. It must be assigned to a disinterested purpose. If you wish to give the property at the disposal of an association and later retrieve, you are advised to establish a writing describing the conditions.

Lifetime of the association

  • You should indicate the lifetime of the association when it is not unlimited. Indeed, some are non-profit organization formed to ensure that the pursuit of a goal limited in time.
  • The mention of the term in the articles, when it is not unlimited, provides an additional guarantee to potential members.

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