1.  Introduction of the Flex-BV Act 

Today it was announced that the Act for simplification and flexibilization of private company law (de Wet vereenvoudiging en flexibilisering bv-recht) and the Implementation Act thereto (de Invoeringswet) (together: the "Flex-BV Act") will enter into force on 1 October 2012. These bills were adopted by the Senate today.

The introduction of the Flex-BV Act will make important changes to Dutch law that is applicable to private companies with limited liability (besloten vennootschappen or B.V.'s).

With the ease and flexibility created by the Flex-BV Act, the Netherlands will re-establish itself as the frontrunner in continental Europe when it comes down to the practicalities of setting up companies. In combination with the attractive Dutch corporate tax system, the broad double taxation and bilateral investment treaty network, this flexibility provides a unique proposition for establishing companies and joint ventures in the Netherlands.

  1. Significant changes

For the most significant changes to Dutch private company law, we refer to our Corporate Alert of November 2010.

Stibbe has further created a webtool (in Dutch only), indicating all major changes to B.V. law and required actions to be taken in relation to the legislative amendments.  

  1. Required actions in relation to the Flex-BV Act

On 1 October 2012 the Flex-BV Act will enter into force with immediate effect. This means that from then on the new legislation will immediately apply to all B.V.'s. The new Act will ease a large number of corporate provisions; some will even be deleted entirely. Furthermore, the Flex-BV Act introduces more possibilities to deviate from the provisions of the law in the articles of association.

It is important to screen the articles of association of existing B.V.'s in order to establish what effects the implementation of the Flex-BV Act will have and which changes in the articles of association are desirable or required.

If you intend to incorporate a new B.V., or to amend the articles of association of an existing B.V., to make a distribution to or acquire shares from shareholders, or to effect a legal merger or demerger, and such transaction will be completed after the date the Flex-BV Act will come into effect, this will have consequences for the actions required to effect the transaction.