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File : The articles of association of a company

Part 1

The articles of association of a company

The articles of association of a company

The articles of association constitute the company's founding charter. They give the company its individual character and materialise its main characteristics, especially its objectives and general operation with regard to partners, shareholders and the parties. They are mandatorily set in writing.


  • The company exists as soon as the articles drawn out by its partners or shareholders have been signed.
  • When they are filed with the commercial court registry, they give rise to registration of the company, and confer upon it what is known as legal entity status.
  • The articles of association of a company can be adapted by partners or shareholders to the varying circumstances encountered by the company throughout its life-cycle.


Who draws up the articles of association?

By articles of association and company contract is meant:

  • the rules to which the partners and shareholders are subject, between themselves, and between themselves and the company;
  • as well as the main characteristics and rules of company operation.

Forms of articles of association of a company

Articles of association of companies must be drawn up in writing, either under private signature (drawn up by a private person and signed by the parties) or through a notarised deed (also known as an authenticated deed, drawn up by a notary, a public officer, whose declarations serve as proof). The partners or shareholders are free to adopt either of these forms for presenting the articles of association.

Good to know: in certain cases, the form of the articles may not be freely selected, mainly where there are contributions of fixed assets and leasing rights in excess of twelve years, in these cases the notarised form is obligatory.