Any company or organisation of which the usual professional activity consists of hosting a digital platform to provide alternative financing services in Belgium, moving forward, has to be certified by the FSMA (Law of December 18, 2016, entering into effect on February 1, 2017).
A distinction needs to be made between different types of crowdfunding platforms:
- platforms on which the public can make a donation to a project or a company;
- platforms on which the public is transferring money in order to receive something in kind (hard copy of a publication, commercial gift, …) which in general has less value than the amount paid;
- platforms on which the public invests in the company, either by a loan, either by a capital investment in order to share in the potential profit.
The new law is targeting this last type of platforms that allow the purchasing of company shares.
The period during which companies that are already applying crowdfunding could request the accreditation terminated on March 31, 2017.
The financing platforms that have entered a valid request for certification are allowed to continue their activities for the time being, until the final verdict from the FSMA.
This concerns following organisations: Crofun (Schoten), Ecco Nova (Liège), Ekigroup (Braine-le-Comte), Lookandfin (Bruxelles) and MyMicroinvest (Bruxelles).
Any companies that had already obtained their accreditation by the FSMA for other activities only need to formally notify of their intention to propose alternative financing services in Belgium.
This applies to following companies: KBC Securities (Bruxelles) and Hands-on BV (Rotterdam).