Professionals


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A

Alternative finance platform

An alternative finance platform is an undertaking: 

Alternative finance service

To provide of alternative finance services means to market, by means of a website or any other electronic medium, investment instruments issued by:

  • issuer entrepreneurs,
  • financing vehicles, or
  • starter funds.

The only investment services that can be included in alternative finance services are:

  • investment advice;
  • reception and transmission of orders. 

Such investment services can only be provided with respect to securities and units in starter funds. 

B

Belgian crowdfunding law

Wet van 18 december 2016 tot regeling van de erkenning en de afbakening van crowdfunding en houdende diverse bepalingen inzake financiën, gepubliceerd in het Belgisch Staatsblad op 20 dember 2016).

C

Cliënt

 

 

Crowdfunding service providers have two kinds of clients: 

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding refers to the activity of appealing to the public in order to raise money for financing specific projects, most often through an interactive website (i.e. a “platform”).

There are different types of crowdfunding platforms. The Belgian crowdfunding law only applies to investment-based crowdfunding platforms.

Crowdfunding service provider or service provider

 

In these FAQ, alternative finance platforms and regulated undertakings are jointly referred to as 'crowdfunding service providers' or 'service providers'.

E

 

 

F

 

 

D

Durable medium

A durable medium is any tool or instrument that allows a person to store information that is personally addressed to him / her.

The information should be stored in such a way that:

  • it is easily accessible for future reference;
  • it is valid for an adequate period of time;
  • it can be reproduced without being altered.

Some examples of durable media :

  • paper;
  • CD-ROMs;
  • DVDs;
  • the hard drive of a computer;
  • ...

F

Financial instrument

Financial instruments are a sub-category of investment instruments. In the context of the Belgian crowdfunding law, the most relevant financial instruments are:

 

This simplified schedule only shows the investment instruments that are most relevant for crowdfunding. The scope of the rules on crowdfunding varies. Some apply to all investment instruments. Others apply only to financial instruments or to securities, still others apply only to very specific instruments. It is therefore important to correctly determine the legal nature of the investment instruments offered on the platform.

Financing vehicle

Een “financieringsvehikel” vormt de schakel tussen beleggers en ondernemers-emittenten, om te vermijden dat ondernemers-emittenten die een beroep doen op alternatieve-financieringsdiensten naderhand geconfronteerd zouden worden met een te beheren versnipperde aandeelhoudersstructuur (met legio kleine aandeelhouders) of met talrijke schuldeisers. Concreet gezien belegt een belegger in een financieringsvehikel, dat de ontvangen gelden op zijn beurt aanwendt om aandelen te kopen of dat deze gelden uitleent aan de door de belegger gekozen ondernemer-emittent.

Een financieringsvehikel is dus

  • een uitgever van beleggingsinstrumenten;
  • die geen instelling voor collectieve belegging is;
  • die als enige activiteit heeft om aandelen te nemen in of leningen te verstrekken aan één of meer ondernemers-emittenten; en
  • die gefinancierd wordt door beleggers.

Financieringsvehikels verschillen fundamenteel van instellingen voor collectieve belegging, die fondsen discretionair beheren. Het zijn zogenaamde "één-op-één"-vehikels die de belegger toelaten om te kiezen in welke ondernemer-emittent hij belegt. De opbrengst voor de belegger wordt enkel bepaald door de opbrengst die deze ondernemer-emittent biedt.

H

 

 

 

I

Investment advice

Il s'agit de la fourniture de (a) recommandations (b) personnalisées à un client, soit à sa demande soit à l'initiative du prestataire de services, en ce qui concerne une ou plusieurs (c) transactions portant sur des (d) instruments financiers.

On parle donc de conseil en investissement lorsque plusieurs éléments sont réunis :

(a) le prestataire de services donne une recommandation

Une recommandation contient un élément d’opinion de la part du conseiller sur une ligne d’action à suivre présentée comme étant dans l’intérêt de l’investisseur. La simple fourniture d'informations générales, sans commentaire ou jugement de valeur quant à son utilité pour les décisions que l’investisseur peut prendre, n’est pas une recommandation.

(b) la recommandation est personnalisée

Une recommandation est personnalisée si elle est présentée comme adaptée pour le client concerné ou qu'elle est fondée sur l'examen de sa propre situation. Si le prestataire de services récolte des informations sur son client avant de lui recommander un investissement, ce dernier peut raisonnablement s'attendre à ce que les informations qu'il a communiquées soient utilisées afin que la recommandation corresponde à sa situation. Dans un tel cas, la recommandation sera donc toujours personnalisée, puisqu'elle est ou devrait être fondée sur la situation propre du client.  

(c) la recommandation concerne une ou plusieurs transactions

Par transaction, il faut comprendre l’achat, la vente, la souscription, l’échange, le remboursement, la détention ou la prise ferme d’un instrument financier particulier. Cela couvre également l’exercice ou le non-exercice du droit conféré par un instrument financier particulier d’acheter, de vendre, de souscrire, d’échanger ou de rembourser un instrument financier.

(d) la transaction conseillée porte sur des instruments financiers

On ne parle de conseil en investissement que si celui-ci concerne des instruments financiers. Si une recommandation porte sur un instrument de placement qui n'est pas légalement un instrument financier, comme un contrat de prêt standardisé non-négociable, cette recommandation n'est pas un conseil en investissement.

 

Investment instrument

Investment instrument is a broad category covering several sub-categories. In the context of the Belgian crowdfunding law, the most relevant investment instruments are

This simplified schedule only shows the investment instruments that are most relevant for crowdfunding. The scope of the rules on crowdfunding varies. Some apply to all investment instruments. Others apply only to financial instruments or to securities, still others apply only to very specific instruments. It is therefore important to correctly determine the legal nature of the investment instruments offered on the platform.

 

Investment service

The following services, if provided with respect to financial instruments, qualify as investment services:

1. het ontvangen en doorgeven van orders met betrekking tot e?e?n of meer financie?le instrumenten, met inbegrip van het met elkaar in contact brengen van twee of meer beleggers waardoor tussen deze beleggers een verrichting tot stand kan komen;

2. het uitvoeren van orders voor rekening van clie?nten;

3. het handelen voor eigen rekening;

4. vermogensbeheer;

5. beleggingsadvies;

6. het overnemen van financie?le instrumenten en/of plaatsen van financie?le instrumenten met plaatsingsgarantie;

7. het plaatsen van financie?le instrumenten zonder plaatsingsgarantie;

8. het uitbaten van multilaterale handelsfaciliteiten;

In order to provide investment services, an authorization is required. Regulated undertakings can provide any investment services included in their authorization as either an investment firm or a credit institution.

The only investment services securities and starter funds; they may do so only with respect to securities and units in starter funds

Issuer entrepreneur

In the context of the Belgian crowdfunding law, an issuer entrepreneur is an issuer of investment instruments whose main activity is

 

  • commercial,
  • artisanal,
  • liberal,
  • industrial,
  • real estate related.

J

 

 

 

M

Marketing

In the context of the Belgian crowdfunding law, marketing means presenting an investment instrument, regardless of the manner of presenting, in order to induce existing or potential investors to buy it or to subscribe to it.

 

L

 

 

N

 

 

P

Personalized recommendation

A recommendation is personalized when:

  • it is appropriate only for the person concerned;
  • it is made taking into account the personal situation of that person.
  • it is related to a transaction (buying, selling, trading …) in a specific financial instrument

A recommendation is not personalized when:

  • it is made solely through distribution channels accessible to a large number of people, or
  • it is made to the general public at large.

Q

Qualified investor

There are two types of qualified investors: “professional clients” and “eligible counterparties”.

  • Professional clients possess the required experience, knowledge and sufficient expertise to be able to make their own investment decisions and to properly assess the risks they incur. The law stipulates that some categories of clients should always be considered as professional clients. Others can be treated as professional clients at their own request, provided they meet specific legal requirements.
  • Eligible counterparties are financial sector professionals such as investment firms, credit institutions, insurance companies, institutions for collective undertakings and their management companies, pension funds and their management companies, national governments and government bodies,
    central banks and supranational institutions.

If you are not familiar with the legislation defining professional clients and eligible counterparties, you should seek assistance from a specialized counsel in order to determine whether your clients or prospects qualify as such.

R

Regulated undertaking

In the context of the Belgian crowdfunding law, there are two types of regulated undertakings: 

 

  • credit institutions;
  • investment firms.

 

S

Security

Securities are a sub-category of financial instruments. In the context of the Belgian crowdfunding law, the most relevant securities are:

  • shares and
  • tradable debt securities.

This simplified schedule only shows the investment instruments that are most relevant for crowdfunding. The scope of the rules on crowdfunding varies. Some apply to all investment instruments. Others apply only to financial instruments or to securities, still others apply only to very specific instruments. It is therefore important to correctly determine the legal nature of the investment instruments offered on the platform.

 

Standarized loan

 

 

Start-up SME

An SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) is a company to which no more than one of the below criteria apply:

  • an average number of employees of 50 (on a yearly basis); 
  • a yearly revenue amount (excluding VAT) of €9.000.000;
  • a balance sheet total of €4.500.000.

A start-up SME is an SME founded after January 1st, 2013 which has been registered with the "Kruispuntbank van Ondernemingen" for no more than 48 months.

 

 

Starter fund

There are two kinds of starter funds:

  • public starter funds, mentioned on the official list published by the FSMA;
  • private starter funds, mentioned on the official list published by the Ministry of Finance.

Starter funds invest in start-up SME's. Investors in starter funds are eligible for tax benefits, if they comply with relevant tax legislation. 

 

X

 

 

Y

 

 

Z