Company bankrupt: What now?

When your company is declared bankrupt, you are not personally liable for it in general. You are merely considered as a manager or director of the company.

The Commercial Court will appoint a receiver who is responsible for the liquidation of your company’s bankruptcy. They will contact you and ask you a series of questions.

Your cooperation is mandatory and extremely important. If you do not provide full cooperation, the receiver may file a criminal complaint against you with the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Information to be provided to the receiver in case of company bankruptcy

If your company goes bankrupt, you must provide the following information/documents/papers to the receiver:

1. The company file

This includes, among other things, the articles of association, deed(s) of capital increase, proof of full payment of the subscribed capital, financial plan, and shareholder register.

2. The complete bookkeeping

  • The last two filed annual accounts

  • The ledger with histories of the last closed financial year and the current financial year

  • Interim trial and balance sheet as of the date of bankruptcy

  • Sub-ledger for customers with histories of the last closed financial year and the current financial year and aging list + copy of outstanding invoices

  • Sub-ledger for suppliers with histories of the last closed financial year and the current financial year and aging list + copy of outstanding invoices

  • Journals of cash and banks

  • Journal of sundry items

  • The inventory of the last closed financial year

  • The depreciation table of the last 2 financial years

  • The last tax return for corporate tax

  • The current status of VAT and current account (and any special accounts)

  • A list holding details of the accounting in your possession

 3. Bank cards

Bank cards, cheques, etc. in the name of the company, bank account numbers used.

 4. The personnel register

The personnel register should also include a list of the personnel still in service, with mention of name, place of residence, date of birth, employee or management contract, date of employment, dependents, gross monthly salary, social secretariat, and date of departure of the last employee.

5. Cars

Delivery of keys, registration papers and conformity certificate.

6. Inventory of furniture, inventory of stock and real estate

7. Cash and securities (cash position)

8. Identity of the owner(s)

Concerns owner(s) of the goods located in the company’s bankruptcy (vehicles or equipment on lease or consignment).

9. Any lease contracts

10. The fire insurance policy and its expiry date

11. Other contracts

Think of loans, financings, mortgages, guarantees, leasing contracts, life, executive and group insurances.

Declaration of corporate income tax for current and/or previous fiscal year

Directors or (delegated) managers of a bankrupt company remain responsible for the company’s accounting until the date of the bankruptcy. The company’s tax obligations also continue until that date.

Therefore, you remain responsible for the tax returns for the previous fiscal year and the current fiscal year up to the date of bankruptcy. From the date of bankruptcy, only NIL returns will follow.

In principle, the returns must be filed via BIZTAX before the end of September.

You will have to provide proof of these returns to the trustee.

Declaration of VAT for the current period

The same applies for the current period: the current month up to the date of bankruptcy if the bankrupt company is a monthly VAT declarer, otherwise the current quarter if the company is a quarterly VAT declarer.

Retention of accounting records of bankrupt company

If your company is bankrupt, you as a director are obliged to retain the company’s accounting records and make them available to the trustee. This is done at your own expense and responsibility.

You must keep the accounting records for a period of 7 years, starting from the first of January following the date of the bankruptcy or until the closure of the bankruptcy if it is not completed within a period of 7 years.

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