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Metadata: Strike offs of enterprises


Statbel, processed by Statistics Flanders


Among cessations, there is a distinction between ordinary strike offs of VAT payers and bankruptcies.

Strike offs: the strike offs group the entities that are not liable to VAT on 31 December of the observed year and had that status on 31 December of the previous year.

The final annual figures for year x are published by Statbel in the month of October of year x+1.

Bankruptcies: a company is in bankruptcy if 2 conditions are met. On the one hand, the merchant has stopped paying, i.e. he no longer honours his creditors. On the other hand, his credit has been shaken. That means he has lost the trust of his creditors. For example, the bank refuses to grant credit. A company is required to file for bankruptcy within a month of ceasing to pay. The decision is made by the board of directors or the managing director.

Remarks on quality

Regarding strike offs: only in case of major change at the level of the variable NACEBEL can an update of the already published years take place. This must, however, remain exceptional. The distribution policy is to ‘freeze’ the published data. In October 2018, a full review of the years from 2008 to 2016 was undertaken with regard to the classification of VAT liable enterprises according to employee categories. Since this review, the number of employees employed by a VAT liable enterprise is consistently determined using data from the fourth quarter of the year concerned. This review also provided the occasion for establishing additional one-to-one links between the CBE numbers and the NSSO numbers at the level of legal entity for the years in question. Based on the latter, employment is determined.

Regarding bankruptcies: bankruptcy statistics are the result of a collaboration between the Federal Public Service (FPS) Justice and the FPS Economy. These are the bankruptcy figures of enterprises in Belgium by activity, according to the NACEBEL nomenclature. These figures are based on declarations from the courts of commerce and are supplemented, if necessary, by information from Statbel’s business register. The strong relationship between the conjuncture and the number of declared bankruptcies makes this statistic primarily a conjuncture indicator. As part of the administrative simplification and efforts to increase consistency between Statbel statistics, from 2015 the business register will be used as the main source and the declarations of the courts of commerce will be used as an additional source. Adjusting the processing of source data may require a revision of monthly bankruptcy statistics from December 2014.

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