THE ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION OF A DUTCH CARIBBEAN LEGAL ENTITY (I)

Ranging from basic to extremely complex

Under the laws of the Netherlands Antilles, public and private limited liability companies (NVs or BVs), foundations, co-operatives, mutual insurance societies and associations are considered legal entities.

The articles of incorporation (a.k.a. articles of association) provide the regulatory framework by which these legal entities in the Netherlands Antilles are governed and by which they must abide. Additionally regulations (‘reglementen’) are sometimes also used as a sort of ‘by-laws’.

The articles of association are more or less comparable with the constitution of a country. Regulations can for instance be adopted by a managing board, a supervisory board or a general meeting of members of an association. Although not entirely correct, one could say that while the articles of association regulate (i) the powers and responsibilities of the bodies of a legal entity as well as (ii) the interaction between the legal entity and the outside world, the regulations are primarily responsible for the internal conduct of the various bodies of the legal entity.

The articles of association can range from very basic, straight forward structures to extremely complex ones. Generally, the articles of association contain the name of the legal entity and its statutory seat, and address issues like the objectives and provisions of the powers of the managing directors, the fiscal year, the voting rights of members or shareholders (if any), the distribution of profits, provisions, and liquidation and dissolution.

Karel Frielink
Attorney (Lawyer) / Partner

November 2009

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