The FWO is a Public Utility Foundation which was granted legal personality by the Royal Decree of 20 January 2006.
The Decree of 30 April 2009 on the organisation and financing of the scientific and innovation policy (BOG (Belgian Official Gazette) 6/7/2009) recognises the FWO as an External Independent Agency operating under private law.
The enterprise number of the FWO is 0880.212.840.
The original statutes of the National Fund for Scientific Research were approved by the Royal Decree of 2/6/1928 (BOG 20/6/1928), the most recent statutes were approved by the Royal Decree of 5/3/1992 (BOG 28/3/1992 and ABOG (Annex to BOG) 2/7/1992). Amendments were approved by the Royal Decree of 20/6/1997 (BOG 17/7/1997 and ABOG 13/11/1997, errata ABOG 11/12/1997).
The three Boards of Trustees of the NFWO/FNRS - the Flemish, the French-speaking and the Federal - are the forerunners of the three current Public Utility Foundations.
The Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), together with the Fund for Scientific Research-FNRS (FRS - FNRS) and the Federal Fund for Scientific Research (FFWO/FFRS) is the legal successor by universal title to the former National Fund for Scientific Research (NFWO/FNRS).