Which services are subject to the Wwft?
Not all our services are subject to the Wwft. The Wwft states that this law applies if we:
“[…] advise or assist in:
- the purchase or sale of properties subject to registration;
- the management of funds, securities, coins, banknotes, precious metals, precious stones or other assets;
- the incorporation or management of companies, legal entities or similar bodies […] or the organisation of the contribution necessary for the incorporation, operation or management thereof;
- the buying or selling of shares in, or the buying or selling or the taking over of all or part of businesses, companies, legal entities or similar bodies[…];
- activities in the field of taxation that are comparable with the activities of […] [tax advisors];
- the establishment of a right of mortgage on a property subject to registration; or
[…] act on behalf of and for the account of a client in any financial or real estate transaction”
This legislative text must be interpreted on a case-by-case basis. In general, the Wwft applies to services in the field of real estate and corporate law. The Wwft may also apply to personal and family law, for example if tax advice is also provided.
However, there are also exemptions. Firstly, the Wwft does not apply to our services when determining the client’s legal position. This is also called the exploratory stage, for example a first meeting. No substantive services are rendered at this stage. However, as soon as these services are rendered, the Wwft applies immediately.
Secondly, there is the so-called ‘process exemption’. The Wwft does not apply if we render services to represent a client in a lawsuit, to give advice in the context of a lawsuit or to give advice on instituting or avoiding a lawsuit.
These exemptions also apply if our services relate to one of the aforementioned Wwft services.