Belgium is a key member of the EU. The headquarters of the European Commission, the European Parliament, NATO—all are located in the Belgian capital, Brussels. In fact, the country is strategically located next to some of the most influential EU countries and serves as a major European traffic hub. Around 20% of European freight and traffic is conducted by Belgian companies!
But Belgium isn’t just a major transit zone with a well-developed road network. The country boasts high-tech, world-class research and development (R&D) facilities and possesses considerable economic strengths in the coal mining, textile, and engineering sectors. The pharmaceutical industry, plastic industry, and food sector are some other profitable investment opportunities in the country.
The Belgian government, as well as the numerous regions of the country, provides various incentives to attract foreign investors. These incentives and grants are available in the fields of renewable energy, green investment, energy saving, and environmental investment.
It’s no surprise that many American-based start-ups and established businesses are shifting their companies to the lucrative and dynamic Western European country!
If you’ve been considering establishing your business in Belgium, we’re equipped with the expertise and experience to help you kick things off.
Forms Of Companies In Belgium
- BVBA / SPRL – “besloten vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid / société privée à responsabilité limitée” – Private Limited Company
- NV / SA – “Naamloze vennootschap / societé anonyme” – Public Limited Liability Company
- Comm. V / SCS – “gewone commanditaire vennootschap / société en commandite simple” – Limited Partnership
- VOF / SNC – “vennootschap onder firma / société en nom collectif” – General Partnership
- “eenmanszaak/ entreprise individuelle” – Sole Proprietorship
What is the difference between BVBA and NV?
In Belgium, most foreign investors opt for one of the two limited company types.
Most entrepreneurs choose to set up a BVBA in Belgium, or a private limited company. Customarily, a BVBA is founded by two shareholders, who can also be a married couple. If a single shareholder starts the business, it gets denoted as a ‘one-person limited liability company.’
The minimum deposit required to set up a NV in Belgium is 61,500 EUR, which must be paid in full. At least 2 founding shareholders and 3 directors need to be appointed.
Fundamentals Of A Limited Liability Company
Corporate Tax in Belgium
VAT in Belgium
Fundamentals of limited liability companies in Belgium
|Limited liability company||S.P.R.L./B.V.B.A.|
|Minimum Share capital||18600 EUR. Min to pay is 6200 EUR|
|Registered office required||No|
|Physical office required||Yes|
|Min. number of Shareholders||1|
|Min. number of Directors||1|
|Local Director required||No|
|Other requirements||A business plan is needed for forming a company. A local bank account is mandatory.|
|Bank signatory must travel||Yes, in most cases|
|Timescale for company formation||21 days|
|Timescale for bank account opening||7 day|
|Timescale for obtaining VAT number||7 days|
|Statutory audit requirements||Yes|
|Shelf companies available||No|
How can I register my company in Belgium?
Setting up a company in Belgium takes around 3 weeks.
Apart from the usual steps required to start a company (e.g. delivering due diligence documentation, choosing a company name, setting up a business bank account, appointing members), there are specific requirements that need to be observed in Belgium:
- The financial plan needs to be deposited with the notary
- The high school diploma must be shown to at least one director
- Incorporation needs to be notarized
- Articles of association must be published in the Belgian Official Gazette
- All official documents must be written in Dutch or French
- A preliminary financial plan is mandatory
In some cases, you can register a Belgium company remotely with PoA (Power of Attorney) given to a lawyer, and using an online bank account. Online bank account opening will depend on the residency of the directors and shareholders.
However, in case you wish to have a business bank account in a reputable high street bank, a visit will be mandatory. This will determine the whole process.
From handling company registration and tax registration to dealing with extensive paperwork, opening a business in Belgium may pose to be a challenge at first. However, if you’re equipped with the right resources, the process will be a breeze.
At CompyCo, we strive to make things as effortless as possible. Our team of international experts has extensive experience in managing international tax planning and negotiations. We’re also equipped with a social, political, and economic understanding of Belgium, so you receive all the required information to facilitate the process.
Our full-service solutions will help your business hit the ground running without major hurdles along the way. Over the years, we’ve assisted numerous start-ups, small businesses, and established companies make the most of the lucrative corporate landscape in Belgium. Whether you require corporate assistance, legal help, or financial expertise, we’re a one-stop-shop for all your concerns and needs.
Leverage our cost-effective solutions to steer your business toward success without feeling stressed about the plethora of complex procedures that lie ahead.
Bank Account Opening
Delaying the process of opening a bank account could hurt your newly-launched business in the long run. Efficiently manage your funds while facilitating timely payroll generation by selecting a reputable and established bank. We suggest opting for one of the following trusted options:
- BNP Paribas
- Banca Monte Paschi
Once you’ve finalized the right bank based on your company’s requirements, gather the following documents:
- Proof of residence
At CompyCo, we help facilitate the process by lending expertise and assisting with the complex proceedings. You can consult our experts for insights and advice regarding the procedure. Learn more about opening a bank account here.
Accounting & Taxation
- The tax year is the calendar year in Belgium, and taxable profits are trading profits, investments and selling assets for more than their original cost.
- All businesses have to keep accounting books.
- In Belgium, the corporate tax rate is 25%, but small and medium sized companies are subject to 20% of corporate tax in cases certain conditions are met.
- Belgian companies are issued VAT numbers with the format of the country code BE followed by a 9-digit number which ends with a letter.
- The current VAT rate is 21% on most goods and services. Exceptions apply.
How can you employ staff in Belgium?
CompyCo provides complete employment and payroll-related services in Belgium.
If you run a foreign business and specifically want to employ individuals who can work from home, we’ll set your non-resident company as employer instead of opting for local company registration.
In addition, we’ll provide an employment agreement and all the HR-related services you may require with payroll services.
We’re committed to offering cost-effective solutions so you can establish your business in Belgium without incurring unnecessary expenses.
Have any questions? Take a look at our HR services page for more information about our International HR services!