Agricultural associations

Last update 29.04.2022

Agricultural associations are governed by the amended Grand-Ducal decree of 17 September 1945 revising the law of 27 March 1900 on the organisation of agricultural associations (arrêté grand-ducal modifié du 17 septembre 1945 portant révision de la loi du 27 mars 1900 sur l’organisation des associations agricoles).

Agricultural associations must pursue one, several or all of the following objectives:

  • the joint purchase of all items for their members' agricultural or winegrowing holdings, such as fertilisers, fungicides, fodder, concentrated foods, seeds, livestock, tools and machinery;
  • the purchase of machinery and tools for shared use by the members;
  • the processing of animal or plant products from the partners' holdings at shared facilities;
  • the joint sale of all products from their members' agricultural or winegrowing holdings, and the establishment of bodies to facilitate these sales;
  • the joint cultivation of agricultural, winegrowing and forest land, and the organisation of any type of mutual assistance;
  • the joint breeding of large and small livestock, including poultry breeding and beekeeping, and the improvement of animal breedstock;
  • the development of horticulture.

Who is concerned

An agricultural association must consist of at least 5 persons, the majority of whom are farmers.

How to proceed

Drafting and signing the articles of association

Each agricultural association is free to draft its articles of association as it sees fit, but they must set out the following items on pain of being deemed null and void:

  • the association's registered name and registered office;
  • its purpose;
  • the exact names of the partners;
  • the intention to form the association in accordance with the aforementioned Grand Ducal decree of 17 September 1945;
  • the make-up of the partnership fund and the proportion of each partner's contribution to it.

The articles of association also govern the following:

  • the duration of the association, which may be unlimited;
  • the administration and oversight of the association's affairs and, if necessary, the procedure for appointing and dismissing members of the committee, supervisory board, directors, managers and auditors, the scope of their powers and their terms of office;
  • the terms and conditions governing the admission, resignation or expulsion of partners;
  • the partners' rights and obligations;
  • the procedure for issuing notices of general meetings, the majority required for decisions to be valid, and voting procedures, with no partner permitted to have fewer than one or more than 3 votes;
  • the terms and conditions governing the amendment of the articles of association and dissolution of the association, subject to compliance with the minimum conditions set by the Grand Ducal decree, and liquidation procedures;
  • the extent of the partners' liability.

Associations are established by notarial deed or private document issued in 2 original copies and duly registered, failing which they shall be invalid.

Registering and filing with the Trade and Companies Register (Registre de commerce et des sociétés – RCS) and publishing in the Electronic Compendium of Companies and Associations

The registration with the Trade and Companies Register can be made:

  • electronically through their website: www.lbr.lu; or
  • by making an appointment with the 'Filing assistance desk':

The association acquires legal personality on the day its announcement is published in the Electronic Compendium of Companies and Associations (recueil électronique des sociétés et associations – RESA).

Within 15 days of the date of formation, the following documents must be filed with the RCS and published in the RESA:

  • one of the duplicates of the private document or one exemplified copy of the notarial deed;
  • a list that states:
    • the names and addresses of the committee members;
    • the persons endowed with signing authority through a decision by the committee;
    • the members of the supervisory board.

Registration with the RCS does not carry an assumption of business activity.

Register of Beneficial Owners

Agricultural associations must declare their beneficial owners with the Register of Beneficial Owners (Registre des bénéficiaires effectifs – RBE) within one month of registering with the RCS.

Duration

An agricultural association may be formed for a limited or unlimited duration.

Unless stipulated otherwise in the articles of association, the duration of the association is limited to 30 years.

Committee

Unless stipulated otherwise in the articles of association:

  • the association is managed by a committee comprising one chair and at least 2 members appointed by the general meeting for a 3-year term;
  • the committee may convene a general meeting at any time. It must convene it in response to a written request signed by one fifth of the partners, and provide the agenda.

Supervisory board

In associations that have more than 50 members, a supervisory board with 3 or more members – who may or may not be partners – must be appointed by the general meeting for a 3-year term.

Liability

In accordance with common law, the association is liable for misconduct attributable either to its agents or to the bodies through which it acts.

As such, committee members do not contract any personal obligation in their capacity as committee members with regard to the association's commitments. Their liability is limited to performance of the mandate entrusted to them and to any mistakes committed in their management.

The partners' liability is limited to the amount of their contribution.

General meeting of members

Unless stipulated otherwise in the articles of association:

  • The notices convening general meetings must be written and addressed personally, but they may also be sent based on the current association lists put into circulation and signed by each partner.

There must be at least 8 clear days between the date of the notice convening a general meeting and the meeting itself. The agenda must be attached to the notice of a meeting. Any proposal signed by one fifth of the partners must be placed on the agenda;

  • the general meeting may hold valid discussions only on topics that appear on the agenda.

Partners may grant written power of attorney to another partner to represent them at the general meeting. A single partner may not represent more than 2 other partners.

Unless it is being asked to vote on amendments to the articles of association, the general meeting is deemed to be valid no matter how many people are present.

All partners have equal voting rights, and resolutions are passed with a majority of votes of the members who are present or represented.

Amendments to the articles of association

The general meeting may not hold a valid discussion on amendments to the articles of association unless:

  • the purpose of these amendments is stated specifically in the notice of the meeting; and
  • at least two thirds of the members are present at the general meeting.

If these criteria are not met, a second meeting may be called. This second meeting may deliberate, no matter how many members are present.

Each partner personally has a number of votes equal to the number of partners' shares they hold.

Amendments may be adopted only with a two-thirds majority of votes.

Partners' shares

The partners' shares held by each partner are non-transferable except by inheritance.

Death

In the event that a partner dies, their heirs may notify the committee of the name of the heir who will replace the deceased.

If this notification is not provided, the heirs shall not belong to the association, subject to settlement of the deceased's share.

Obligations

All legal instruments, invoices, announcements, disclosures and other documents issued by the association must contain:

  • the association's registered name;
  • the wording 'association agricole', legibly and in full, immediately before or after the name;
  • the exact address of the registered office;
  • the wording 'Registre de commerce et des sociétés, Luxembourg' (Trade and Companies Register, Luxembourg) or the initials 'R.C.S. Luxembourg' followed by the registration number.

The association must keep a register that lists:

  • each partner's name, occupation and address;
  • the dates of admission, resignation or expulsion of the partners;
  • the statement of the sums paid by each member or that have been credited to them to be deducted from their partner's shares;
  • the dates of the audits and the auditors' names.

In addition, the association must keep the following books:

  • a logbook;
  • a record of minutes in which all resolutions are recorded, with the signatures of the chair and secretary;
  • a general ledger.

Resignation

Partners are always entitled to resign from the association.

The articles of association may stipulate a minimum time commitment that cannot exceed 5 years.

Conversion and alliance

Even if its members vote unanimously to do so, the association may not convert into a commercial company or another corporate form unless with prior authorisation from the Minister of Justice and Minister of Agriculture.

Agricultural associations may come together to form an alliance.

Dissolution

At the end of the association's fixed duration, it is liquidated by the members of the current committee unless the general meeting appoints liquidators.

The dissolution of the association must be declared by the justice of the peace, upon request of any relevant party 6 months after the number of partners has fallen to less than 5.

Forms / Online services

Dépôt électronique auprès du RCS

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