On a proposal by Barbara Trachte, Secretary of State for Economic Transition, the Brussels Government has granted €830,000 to the Centre for Enterprises in Difficulty and to bMediation to help enterprises access the judicial reorganisation procedure (PRJ) and business mediation.
The major economic crisis that we are living through threatens many enterprises with bankruptcy. However, there are procedures that make it possible to avoid this. These include the judicial reorganisation procedure (PRJ) and business mediation, which can allow the enterprise in difficulty to find a solution with its creditors and continue its business more calmly (clearance, staggering or forgiveness of debts, etc.).
The Region has implemented a system designed to facilitate access to these two procedures by covering some of the procedural costs. This system was created in partnership with the Centre for Enterprises in Difficulty (CEd), bMediation, the Commercial Court, hub.brussels and 1819, as well as in collaboration with l’ITAA and the Brussels Bar Association.
HOW IT WORKS
The system for supporting access to the judicial reorganisation procedure and to mediation enlarges the role of the Centre for Enterprises in Difficulty (CEd). What happens in practice is that the CEd examines the situation of the enterprise in difficulty. A financial and legal diagnosis is performed with its experts (accountants, lawyers, etc.). Depending on the findings of this initial analysis, the enterprise may be redirected towards the appropriate mediation system or judicial reorganisation procedure, with coverage of up to 75% of the fees of the various parties involved (mediators, lawyers, accountants, etc.).
Certain minimum criteria must be met (or useful documentation for analysis of the case must be provided) in order to be able to benefit from the coverage of 75% of the procedural costs:
- The enterprise must have its registered office or a place of business in the Brussels region
- The business owner must not have been involved in more than three bankruptcies in the last five years
- The enterprise must not have a case open at the Public Prosecutor’s Office or the Labour Inspection Agency
- Enterprises more than three years old must have a positive amount of corrected equity at 31 December 2019 (provide detailed internal accounts)
- The amounts claimed by creditors for which access to the system is requested must total at least €1,000
- The following documents must be provided:
- A list of the enterprise’s creditors (identification, amount of the debt)
- And additionally for the judicial reorganisation procedure:
- Sole proprietor: the last two notices of assessment, the last two VAT returns and an accounting report less than three years old
- Legal entities: detailed internal accounts + the most recent annual accounts filed with the National Bank
Coverage for mediation is limited to 75% of the costs incurred, subject to a ceiling of €1,875 per case (mediators).
Coverage for the judicial reorganisation procedure is limited to 75% of the costs, subject to a ceiling of €4,000 per case (lawyers, accountants, mediators, etc.).
In the context of this system, mediators, lawyers or accountants who wish to take part in the mediation process must contact the bMediation association (firstname.lastname@example.org / 02 643 78 00). Those wishing to take part in the judicial reorganisation procedure must contact the CEd (02 533 40 90).