Legal Alert - Extension of the duration of the Royal Decree n°4 on the organisation of general meetings during the COVID-19 crisis

In a previous legal alert on the possibilities of organising the annual general meeting in the current circumstances, the challenges of these annual meetings were already raised, and it was elaborated in which way one could still validly deliberate without violating the measures taken by the government.

Subsequently, Royal Decree no. 4 containing various provisions on co-ownership and company and association law in the context of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic was published, with the possibility for a more flexible organisation of the general meeting, in order to meet the challenges posed by the current Covid-19 crisis. In particular, it provided for the possibility of organising a private general meeting in a way that would be compatible with the measures, the possibility of postponing the general meeting, and it was stressed that the management body could still deliberate in writing or electronically. The aforementioned Royal Decree was discussed in a second legal alert.

However, the measures provided for were limited in time, i.e. until May 3, 2020. By Royal Decree of April 28, 2020 it has now been decided to extend these measures until June 30, 2020. This means that companies that should hold their meetings before June 30, can now also invoke the measures provided for in the Royal Decree no. 4.

It is important to note that the extension of the period within which the annual general meeting should be held, and the period within which the annual accounts must be filed with the National Bank, remains unchanged. Companies that have closed their financial year on December 31, 2019 must still hold their annual general meeting no later than September 8, and the annual accounts should still be filed no later than October 8.