On 1 July 2017, the Act dealing with payment terms of maximum sixty days for large enterprises came into force. This law provides that large enterprises cannot agree upon payment terms of more than 60 days entering into commercial contracts with the SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) and self-employed entrepreneurs as a supplier or service provider.
For existing agreements between large enterprises (as debtor) and SMEs or self-employed entrepreneurs (as creditor), this new maximum payment term will apply as from 1 July 2018.
This new act is a further implementation of the European Directive late payments (Directive 2011/7/EU).
Agreements whereby large enterprises nevertheless decide to agree on payment periods longer than 60 days will be declared null and void. The payment term will then by operation of law be converted into a payment term of 30 days. Should the debtor pay the invoice only after 30 days, legal interest rate is due (by way of law) over the period exceeding the 30-day period.