Many companies experience cash flow problems. Since September 1 , 2023, new legal tools have been put in place to protect them from cash flow difficulties, which can unfortunately lead to bankruptcy if they are not taken in time.

What are they ?

Beforehand, it is essential to pay attention, as an entrepreneur or business manager, to the following first advice:

Be assisted by a good accountant: the entrepreneur or business manager must seek help from of this quarterly situations. Indeed, we cannot afford to wait for the annual situation in view of the closing of the financial year.

This will allow the business manager

To monitor your cash flow : in fact, if it is too tight, the business manager will be able to study the problem, look for the cause, etc.;

Not to focus only on turnover;

And finally, to ensure that you are paid fairly;

It is also important to negotiate with your creditors, especially institutional ones : in fact, surcharges and late payment interest (as well as recovery costs) are very expensive and can lead the company into an infernal spiral, potentially leading to a insolvency situation.

These good reflexes being recalled, you should know that the law of June 7, 2023 (entry into force on September 1, 2023) transposed into Belgian law, with considerable delay, European directive 2019/1023 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 “relating to preventive restructuring frameworks, debt forgiveness and forfeitures, and measures to be taken to increase the efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and debt forgiveness procedures, and amending Directive ( EU) 2017/1132 and containing various provisions relating to insolvency”.

Tools have therefore been put in place to avoid bankruptcy and alleviate the cash flow problems that companies may experience.

These will be presented to you each in turn in separate articles so that you can access them more easily.

First tool: Conciliation

As soon as the company director notices a probability of insolvency, he can, by simple mail or orally, during an appearance, contact the Chamber of Companies in Difficulty (CED) with a view to trying to obtain terms and deadlines. towards various creditors.

To this end, the Chamber of Companies in Difficulty can summon “threatening” creditors in order to reach an agreement with them.

These discussions will of course take place behind closed doors.

If an agreement is reached between the company and the creditors, the CED will note this in a report, which will have enforceable force, in the sense that it will be up to each of the parties to scrupulously respect this agreement.

The advantage of this procedure is that it is free, confidential and that the help of the CED will lead certain creditors to be more reasonable.

In a future article, we will examine the second tool put in place by the legislator to avoid bankruptcy, namely corporate mediation.