Capital issued when forming a private company with limited liability (B.V.) or a public company with limited liability (N.V.) can be reduced, by following the legal procedure for capital reduction, with its specific requirements and procedural rules. Capital reduction is only permitted for the minimum capital (€ 45,000 for N.V.s en € 18,000 for B.V.s). Capital can be reduced in two ways:
1. Cancellation of sharesShares are cancelled by shareholders making the decision to cancel shares of a certain type; the capital paid on the shares issued is then paid back to the shareholders by the company. Under certain conditions, an amendment to the articles of association is not required for the cancellation of shares. Once they have been cancelled, shares no longer exist.
2. Reduction of the nominal value of sharesOn reducing the nominal value of the shares, the difference between the old and new nominal value of the shares is issued to the shareholders, while the number of issued shares remains unchanged. Unlike for the cancellation of shares, a notarial deed for an amendment to the articles of association is required for reducing the nominal value of shares.