Corporate Housekeeping: Digital Legal Entity Management

Legal Entity Management: Structuring Corporate Data

│ Software review for data-driven legal & business teams in collaboration with Corporify │ 

Corporate housekeeping has traditionally been the task of legal professionals – for a good reason. Providing risk management support to business clients, lawyers are expected to set up and safeguard the corporate foundations, watch over periods of growth and expansion, and mitigate risks in times of uncertainty. Yet navigating complex corporate structures may easily get challenging even for the best legal teams – especially in a digital environment where data accuracy and system security have become top priorities.

While legal entity management is to a certain extent doable with spreadsheets, keeping track of corporate data can quickly become messy in a growing organization or during times of rapid change. Modern corporate governance requires transitioning from manually updated charts and tables to data-driven entity management that empowers agile, adaptive and effective legal teams. 


Editor’s note: Belgian legaltech provider Corporify recently asked InvestCEE to prepare a detailed overview of their cloud-based legal entity management and corporate housekeeping solution. This article is Part 1 of the Corporify software review series and focuses on capturing corporate legal data in a single source of truth for all stakeholders. Stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3 of this article series that will be dedicated to driving corporate efficiency with workflow automation, reporting, IT integration capabilities and system security. InvestCEE software reviews focus only on legal technology vendors and products that we believe demonstrate quality, thoughtfulness, responsiveness, and legal innovation. 


 

Legal Data Structuring: Burden on Legal Professionals 

The emergence of data-driven systems and digital solutions available to business leaders puts significant pressure on legal teams to access and structure corporate information in zero time. Lawyers, irrespective of the size of their support teams, are required to accurately track and continuously update key corporate data, such as:

  • Group entities’ legal name, address, VAT number, etc.
  • Shareholders’ registers and accurate percentage interests with underlying documentation
  • Directors’ address, date of birth, passport number, etc.

Relying solely on a spreadsheet as a repository for sensitive company information is an inadequate choice in terms of organizing and safeguarding corporate data. The professional team behind Corporify (former lawyers, academics and software engineers) hit the nail on the head when developing a digital tool capable of answering questions such as:

  • How can legal teams effectively gather corporate data and control access to key company information?
  • What internal procedures and guidelines are required to manage a corporate housekeeping database effectively? 
  • What benefits does an automated digital share register offer to stakeholders?
  • How to best support legal teams in making accurate revisions of corporate data and digitally storing it in a secure and encrypted way

To perform at their best on legal data structuring tasks while minimizing risks and reducing the burden on the legal department, lawyers are best advised to transition from a collection of static spreadsheets to a digitally secure, automated and collaborative legal entity management solution. 

InvestCEE insight #1: In addition to better compliance and accurate data-driven reporting, a reliable corporate housekeeping platform also allows for real-time collaboration with stakeholders and among legal team members.


Single Source of Truth: Safeguarded by Lawyers

Operating as corporate data managers with a digital tool at hand, legal teams can be far more proactive in tracking and keeping all sorts of legal entity data under control – especially compared to peers working in traditional settings, manually updating spreadsheets and drawing corporate diagrams line by line. 

Equipped with the right technology and a data-driven mindset, lawyers gain a more effective grip on all aspects of corporate housekeeping: constitutional and share transfer documents, shareholder registers, as well as underlying personal and business information. Such a secure digital storage essentially operates as the “single source of truth” for the entire organization – directing all stakeholders to a database maintained by the legal team.

Corporate Housekeeping_Corporify Screenshot

Based on this “single source of truth” concept, the Corporify platform has been purposefully designed to operate as the go-to database for all aspects of legal entity management, such as:

  • ‘Legal CRM’: all important information with respect to group entities and stakeholders are efficiently and accurately managed and kept up to date here;
  • Directors: the platform maintains an overview (digital register) of all the mandates of the group both as per legal entity (entity view) and as per director (director’s view). Note: users also have the possibility to enter and extract history of all mandates.
  • Digital share registers: the digital registers on Corporify track capital increases and distributions, share transfers, stock splits, subscription rights, warrants, profit shares, etc. Note: users can download full PDF/Excel extracts and share certificates from the digital database (including historical data).
  • Legal document management: with Corporify, all documents relating to entities and directors are stored in a structured way in a proper and flexible folder structure (e.g., categorized by business unit, country, activity, etc) and immediately accessible with a few clicks. Documents can be linked to persons, entities and transactions. Note: users can also add custom properties and metadata to improve the search and filtering of relevant documents. 

When it comes to communicating with stakeholders, they may have different objectives when reaching out to the legal department and seeking access to specific corporate data. In addition to a legal entity overview offering a quick glance over the corporate structure at a given time, stakeholders may need various types of information. For example, a CFO might want to understand the capital structure, while a compliance manager might need to check on the names of directors. With data-driven corporate housekeeping and identifying the stakeholders’ objectives, the legal team can have all data requests under control and enable quick access to the information needed in a given context. 

InvestCEE insight #2: In an increasingly digital business environment, the value of legal work largely results from core human expertise multiplied by the ability to efficiently “package” legal data into meaningful reports for stakeholders. 


Corporate Housekeeping Use Cases for Legal & Business Teams

Implementing technology to streamline workflow and capture data is immediately relevant for legal teams of any size and industry focus. Whether working for a corporation or a law firm, with a large support network or a small team, technology is available to simplify data-driven tasks and digitize routine or manual processes. 

02 Corporate Housekeeping_Corporify Screenshot

Here are a few practical examples of how legal teams from law firms and corporations, but also business stakeholders are making the most of the Corporify platform:

 

  • The Corporate and M&A team at Agio Legal has integrated the Corporify software into their legal service environment to serve as a reliable source of information for business clients. According to Nicole Van Ranst, Corporate M&A Partner at Agio Legal: 

Corporify allows you to provide a customer with an overview of exactly what their organisation looks like at any time. An organisational chart, an overview of the shareholders or a list of the UBOs (ultimate beneficial owners) can really be downloaded in a flash.

> Read the full case study with Agio Legal <


  • As a European venture capital investor, Smartfin has a significant number of shareholders who require a lot of follow-up and sound management. The Corporify platform helps the team partly with fund reporting but mainly with intensive investor contact management. According to Sébastien Thiel, partner and CFO at Smartfin:

‘Corporify is the place of truth for us to look up and validate relevant data’

> Read the full case study with Smartfin < 


  • Aedifica was founded nearly twenty years ago as a Belgian investor in apartments and hotels. In 2024, its focus shifted entirely to healthcare real estate. Corporify’s solutions help this publicly listed company manage its share register on a daily basis. According to Thomas Moerman, corporate secretary & compliance officer at Aedifica:

‘All information is now in one location. This guarantees us a clear overview of the current situation and allows us to look back at our data.’

 > Read full case study with Aedifica < 


  • With a group structure of around 130 companies, Rebel Group advises and invests in projects related to sustainability, transport, urban development, and healthcare. Since 2022, it has used Corporify to manage its holdings and subsidiaries. According to Barend van Lieshout, Partner at Rebel Group:

‘Overview and correctness are crucial advantages. The worth of a single source of truth is invaluable.’ 

> Read full case study with Rebel Group <


Legal and business teams operating in complex legal organizations acknowledge that implementing a corporate housekeeping system is a top priority in their day-to-day work (some say they should have done it several years ago already). A proactive approach to making the most of legal entity management is critical to mitigating the risks of business interruption created by missing data or lack of up-to-date corporate information. 

InvestCEE insight #3: Smart legal and business leaders use this momentum to turn legal entity management into a data-driven, strategic operational function in their organizations.


Getting Started with Digital Corporate Housekeeping: Methodology

Once a business venture reaches a certain level of organizational complexity, or is undergoing transformative change in the corporate structure or perhaps experiences a period of rapid growth and expansion, capturing and maintaining legal entity data becomes highly challenging. At that point, the necessity to transition from manually updated spreadsheets to a digital data register gains momentum. Yet integrating a new tool in corporate operations may put legal, business and IT teams under pressure – unless a smooth transition is carefully designed and rolled out. 

The change management methodology of the Corporify team provides custom support at all stages of onboarding. Here’s a quick overview of how they envision working closely with new users of their platform:  

  • Set-up assistance & account configuration
    • Hands-on workshops – to discuss current ways of working, challenges, change management and implementation roadmap
    • Set-up step plan – step by step grid to achieve a seamless onboarding experience
    • Data import – assistance with legal data mapping, migration strategy and actual data import support
  • Tailored training program
    • On site – dedicated training workshops with key users
    • Remote – detailed user manual, instruction videos, online training via webinars
  • Template building – offered for specific legal documents that are repetitive in nature and fit for automation purposes. For example: meeting minutes, proxies, letters, reports, or contracts. The Corporify team assists users with ‘coding’ templates into their document generation engine.
  • Customer success management
    • Monthly check in calls – to evaluate usage, track functionality issues, address ad hoc questions and prepare for upcoming releases
    • Yearly meeting – for overall project updates and quality assurance purposes

Conclusion

In today’s crowded legaltech market many vendors have learned the value of simplicity and integrations, yet few solution providers differentiate themselves with the relevance of their offering for a broad range of stakeholders and holistic user support. The Corporify team has developed a solid, reliable legal entity management solution aimed at legal and business teams from a variety of backgrounds (law firms, corporations, private equity and investment houses), to streamline corporate housekeeping. 

And remember, when evaluating any system or provider, you need to ask the right questions and have an advocate on your side to help you evaluate the answers so you can find the right solution for your needs. InvestCEE LegalTech Consultancy is nurturing an ecosystem of curated tools and services, we advise and assist from vendor selection to implementation. Opt in for a product tour of Corporify to test key features or get in touch for a free brainstorming to get started. You can also just leave us a note below and we’ll get back to you:





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