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SME’s need to be paid within 60 days

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On 29 October 2019, the law of 28 May 2019 amending the Law on late payment of commercial transactions of 2 August 2002 Act was published in the Belgian Official Gazette. This new law introduces restrictions with regard to the permitted payment between companies and will apply to agreements concluded as from 29 April 2020. 

Prior to the amendment of the law, companies were free to agree on a payment term that could be longer than 60 calendar days. As a result of this legislative amendment, a payment term agreed between a creditor who is an SME ("a company which, at the time of the conclusion of a commercial transaction, falls within the criteria set out in Article 1:24, § 1 WVV") and a debtor who is not an SME may not exceed a term of 60 calendar days. 

Furthermore, the new law provides that where the agreement between a creditor (SME) and a debtor (not an SME) provides for a payment term starting after acceptance or verification of the conformity of the goods or services, the maximum duration of the procedure of acceptance or verification cannot exceed 30 days. In this case, the total payment term cannot be longer than 60 days in total either.

A clause providing for a payment term that is longer than the permitted payment term will be "considered as not written", which means that the legal period of 30 days from the date of the invoice will apply. It is therefore advisable to amend your agreements and/or general terms and conditions.