Bankruptcies on a monthly basis

November 2020: 595 bankruptcies

Economic indicators
November 2020: 595 bankruptcies

595 enterprises were declared bankrupt in Belgium in November 2020.

Bankruptcies registered in November resulted in 1,348 job losses: 886 full-time jobs, 226 part-time jobs and 236 salaried employers.

The sectors with the highest numbers of bankruptcies in November: 209 bankruptcies in transportation and other service activities, 133 in wholesale and retail trade, 128 in construction and 85 in accommodation and food service activities.

At regional level, there were 295 bankruptcies in Flanders, 168 in Wallonia and 132 in Brussels.

When interpreting the figures, account should be taken of the fact that there is a certain delay between the termination of the economic activity and the notification of bankruptcy by the business court. As a result, the economic impact is only reflected in the figures after a certain period of time.

Moreover, because of the Covid-19 crisis and the related lockdown, business courts and registries limited their activities until 18 May. A temporary moratorium was also in force until 17 June 2020 in order to protect enterprises that were healthy before 18 March 2020 from the effects of the Covid-19 crisis

Since then, business courts have gradually resumed their activities, but, for July and August, the judicial recess should be taken into account when interpreting the figures. Courts remain open during this period but the number of hearings is reduced. The public measures described above and the recess have probably had a mitigating effect on the number of bankruptcies pronounced from March to August.

From 6 November 2020 onwards and due to the second wave of coronavirus, the government approved a moratorium on bankruptcy proceedings until 31 January 2021 and committed itself to working on a new, simpler, faster and more efficient procedure for judicial reorganisation, always with the objective of creating the conditions for the continuity of enterprises in difficulty.

Many measures are in force - at federal, regional and local level - to support enterprises in these times of crisis. For example the NSSO grants voluntary payment plans for a maximum duration of 24 months for the payment of all contributions and sums due for the year 2020. At the level of the FPS Finances, enterprises encountering financial difficulties due to the spread of the coronavirus can ask for support measures until 31.03.20201.

Purpose and brief description

Every month, Statbel calculates the bankruptcy figures for the previous month. The figures are published around 15 days after the reference month. On this date, the bankruptcy figures are final. In addition to the monthly figures, Statbel can also make interim weekly estimates. These weekly figures make it possible to quickly observe the first trends. In addition to the figures on the number of bankruptcies, Statbel also always calculates the related job losses. For the job losses, Statbel uses the latest information available from the NSSO.

The bankruptcy statistics produced by Statbel are based on data from the Crossroads Bank of Enterprises (CBE) and the statistical business register. When interpreting the figures, account should be taken of the fact that there is some delay between the cessation of the economic activity and the declaration of bankruptcy by the business court. As a result, an economic impact is only visible in the figures with some delay.

Because of the measures taken during the Covid-19 crisis and the related lockdown, business courts and registries limited their activities until 18 May 2020. Furthermore, until 17 June 2020, a temporary moratorium was in force in order to protect the enterprises that were in good health before 18 March 2020 against the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis.

From 6 November 2020 onwards and due to the second wave of coronavirus, the government approved a new moratorium on bankruptcy proceedings until 31 January 2021 and committed itself to working on a new, simpler, faster and more efficient procedure for judicial reorganisation, always with the objective of creating the conditions for the continuity of enterprises in difficulty.

Between these two moratoriums, the tax administration and the NSSO spared, by a de facto moratorium, enterprises by not declaring them bankrupt due to tax and social debts.

Moreover, there was the judicial recess in July and August. Courts remained open during this period but the number of hearings was reduced. This is why our figures on bankruptcies are usually lower during this period.

Many measures are in force - at federal, regional and local level - to support enterprises in these times of crisis. For example the NSSO grants voluntary payment plans for a maximum duration of 24 months for the payment of all contributions and sums due for the year 2020. At the level of the FPS Finances, enterprises encountering financial difficulties due to the spread of the coronavirus can ask for support measures until 31.03.2021.

All these public measures described above have had a moderating impact on the number of bankruptcies declared since March.

Population

Enterprises subject to the law of 11 August 2017 adding a new Book XX ‘Insolvency of Enterprises’ to the Economic Law Code, and introducing the definitions specific to Book XX and the implementing provisions specific to Book XX in the Book I of the Economic Law Code, as published in the Belgian Official Journal on 11 September 2017. Title VI of Book XX contains the rules on bankruptcy.

Frequency

Monthly

Timing of publication

The publication of the monthly bankruptcy figures takes place around 15 days after the reference month.

Definition

Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy is pronounced as soon as an enterprise meets two conditions:

  • The enterprise is no longer able to pay its bills;
  • The enterprise does not find any new credits.

A bankruptcy always concerns one enterprise. A legal arrangement in which several persons have set up the same enterprise is counted as one bankruptcy.

Job losses

Statbel calculates the job losses related to a bankruptcy based on the latest information available from the NSSO.

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