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eStox, a digital shareholders’ register for companies (PwC)

Author: Philippe Vyncke (PwC) 

Publication date: 16/07/2020

The shareholders’ register is an important cornerstone for every company. A shareholders’ register provides an overview of who the shareholders are, when they became shareholders and which shares a company has. Paper shareholders’ registers involve multiple risks. They can get lost, entries can be incomplete or there can be discussions about who has the voting rights. Furthermore, remote access or consultation is not possible.

What is eStox

The federation of Accountants and Tax Consultants (“IAB”) recently renamed in ITAA, the institute of Tax advisors and Accountants and the federation of the Notaries have launched a digital tool, namely eStox in which digital shareholders’ registers can be put in place.

eStox is a legally recognised shareholders’ register for companies whereby the paper version of the shareholders’ register will become unnecessary.

Our current way of working shows how important it is that everything is electronically available and works remotely.

Advantages of eStox

The digital shareholders’ register reduces the risk of errors and uncertainties. Notaries, tax advisors and accountants will be registering the information into the digital shareholders’ register. The intervention of notaries, tax advisors and accountants increases the reliability of the register. The directors and shareholders will of course be able to consult the digital register remotely and download copies.

It is also possible to link the digital shareholders’ register with the UBO-register, so that the information concerning the ultimate beneficial owners, namely in first instance shareholders who have a participation of more than 25%, is automatically transferred to the UBO-register. This is also important in the context of the yearly obligation to confirm the UBO’s. However, the link between eStox and UBO-register is not required.

In order to keep up to date with the digital developments in the current environment, it is appropriate for every company to check whether it is now the moment to change its paper version of the shareholders’ register into a reliable digital shareholders’ register.

Read the original article here