THE TAX SHELTER CROWDFUNDING PROJECTS
Dagvers launched their crowdfunding campaign on 15 March. It’s a newly founded Antwerp company that prepares healthy, child-friendly ready meals using organic produce. The venture is the brainchild of a group of local organic farms and deliveries will be in the hands of a logistical partner for which sustainability is a major priority. Additionally, two members of Business Angels Network Flanders (BAN Vlaanderen) will be contributing capital and advice to the enterprise. Dagvers want to raise a minimum of 100 000 euros with its crowdfunding campaign.
The other start-up, ArtAssistant, has also launched a Bolero Crowdfunding campaign. ArtAssistant is an independent global platform aimed at art lovers. It collates information and forges contacts between collectors, auction houses, dealers and museums. In addition, the platform facilitates direct sales of artworks. ArtAsssistant wants to raise a minimum of 75 000 euros with its crowdfunding campaign.
HOW THE TAX SHELTER WORKS IN PRACTICE
Private individuals making an equity investment in a start-up can claim tax relief of 30% (for SMEs) and up to 45% (for micro-companies) of their investment for personal income tax purposes.
Moreover, the maximum per investor is being raised from 1 000 to 5 000 euros per crowdfunding project.
Most of the share-issuing companies on the Bolero Crowdfunding platform are start-ups and scale-ups that qualify as micro-companies. Investors must hold the shares for at least four years. Companies are limited to raising 250 000 euros of capital over their existence.
In the case of bonds and debentures, investors can claim an exemption from the 30% withholding tax that’s normally levied on the initial slice of interest accruing on such instruments up to 15 000 euros a year. Here, too, the term of the debenture has to be at least four years and it has to be issued by a start-up set up no more than four years previously.
Bolero Crowdfunding gives a clear indication on its website of projects qualifying under the tax shelter, both equity and bond investments.
A DEFINITE VISION OF THE FUTURE
‘We’re nothing less than delighted that, since 1 February, there has at last been a tax stimulus to further encourage investment in newly incorporated businesses. But the tax relief should not be the only purpose for investing: you still have to investigate the case and weigh up the risks,’ says Koen Schrever, CEO of Bolero Crowdfunding.
Since launching the Bolero Crowdfunding platform at the beginning of 2015, we have funded no fewer than 12 projects.
‘This tax break will certainly give crowdfunding in Belgium a boost. We’re already looking forward to promoting the success of these crowdfunding projects under the new tax shelter.’
About Dagvers CVBA
Dagvers represents healthy, child-friendly, organic ready meals created using organic ingredients, produced in short runs and delivered in an easily sustainable manner. In addition, Dagvers is keen to offer a place of work to the vulnerable in the jobs market and generate a positive impact on people and the environment. An online crowdsourcing survey in October 2016 produced a clear response from over 500 respondents that there is heavy demand for this range of products. The reward-based crowdfunding raised in December 2016 confirmed market demand. This was followed in March 2017 by incorporation of the limited cooperative.
Following many years’ experience in the art sector, there grew the idea of getting together with a strong IT team to build an online art platform that places the collector at its centre. On ArtAssistant, all art lovers can inventory their works and gain transparency in the market. They can gauge how much their works are worth. They can find out what galleries and auction houses are actively dealing in their favourite artists’ works. They know where to find the exhibitions they don’t want to miss.
For antique dealers and gallery owners, the platform is more than a stock-taking tool. They have full control over their website, can issue mail shots and manage clientèle, all on a single platform.
Museums can loan collectors art works without them having to put their privacy at stake.
And, for young artists, there is ArtInMySpace, a platform where their works are presented in the interior space of a collector who’s avid to buy.
About KBC Bolero Crowdfunding
KBC was the first bank and online broker in the world to start up its very own crowdfunding initiative. KBC facilitates contact between enterprising Belgian investors as fully as possible in a bid to create more innovation and new business. In 2013, KBC was the first to start its own incubator (Start it @kbc) and, since then, more than a thousand applications have come in. Together with its partners, KBC has already given guidance to over 400 start-up businesses. Alongside this, KBC provides an online securities platform in the shape of Bolero, where experienced investors are on the look-out for good opportunities for placing their assets. With the launch of www.bolero-crowdfunding.be, KBC bridges the gap between investors and young people venturing into business.