Help, my supplier is going out of business

| Annelien Maurissen

What if one of your supplier files for bankruptcy? You have placed an order and maybe even paid an advance. Will the delivery still take place? Can you already start looking for a new supplier? A number of questions that you would rather not be confronted with, but which are not inevitable. Discover which steps you can take yourself if your supplier goes bankrupt.

Bankruptcy_designed by Freepik

It still remains to be seen what impact the corona crisis will have on our economy. It is not yet possible to calculate how many companies will eventually have to close their doors. Due to the protective measures of the government, many companies remain protected and it is only a matter of time before they will go down. A study by Statbel show that of all sectors, the automotive, catering and construction industry are experiencing the most bankruptcies. Together, the three sectors taking into account 63 percent of all bankruptcies in 2020.


Immiment bankruptcy for my supplier? Follow your gut feeling

As a buyer of goods and services, you risk entering a danger zone if your order will not be delivered. Often you are not even informed about this. Do you feel like your supplier is using excuses for a delayed delivery? Is he less easily accessible or even not at all? Are there rumors about an impending bankruptcy? Follow your gut feeling if you think that one of your suppliers is doing less well financially. Consult the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE) or consulr the Belgian Government Gazette and find our whether your supplier has filed for bankruptcy.

In the event of bankruptcy, the court will appoint a trustee to sell the company’s assets and distribute the proceeds among the creditors. However, do not count on the curator to notify you. Often the administration of your supplier is so chaotic that there is no clear customer list.


The curator is in control

Your supplier is in a poor financial position. What does this mean for you? An impending bankruptcy does not automatically end your contract, unless your agreement states that the contract will be automatically terminated in the event of bankruptcy. We therefore advise you not to place a new order immediately, because you could receive a double delivery.

  1. Contact the appointed curator to get more clarity about your order. You can find his contact details via Regsol, the Central Register of Solvency. Contact hi mand request a written confirmation that indicated that the order will not be fulfilled.
  2. Send him a reminder by registered letter if you do not receive a response.
  3. You still have no answer fifteen days after your registered letter? Then the contract is terminated and you can apply for a compensation by filing a claim via Regsol.

If you have already paid an advance, you can also report this via Regsol. As a creditor without privilege, however, you are at the back of the proverbial row. The tax authorities, NSSO and banks with a mortgage loan are preferential creditors and therefore have priority to get their debt claims paid. It does not matter whether you are the first to file a claim or not. The chance that you will get this amount back is very small.

It is, nonetheless, very useful to file a claim. The claim makes it possible that you can write off the amount as a business loss and recuperate the VAT amount already paid.

Het is wel heel nuttig om aangifte van schuldvordering te doen. De vordering maakt het namelijk mogelijk dat je het bedrag als bedrijfsverlies kan afschrijven en het reeds betaalde btw-bedrag kan recupereren.