An increasing number of businesses don’t hand their yearly accounts into the Belgian National Bank. This was the case for 139,416 businesses for the tax year 2013, L’Echo reported on Wednesday. In 2010, 107,213 businesses didn’t hand in their accounts. The following year it was 115,028, and in 2012 it went up to 129,920. The Justice Minister Koen Geens gave these figures in response to a parliamentary question. 64,422 Flemish businesses didn’t hand in their annual accounts in 2013, compared to 49,594 in 2010. There are more ghost businesses in Brussels than in Wallonia (39,786 in Brussels, 35,208 in Wallonia).
Prosecutor’s offices request the dissolution of a business that hasn’t handed in their accounts for three years. But most Prosecutor’s offices only intervene sporadically, for example in case of clear infraction, or when the addresses are known to be the fictional headquarters for a company.