Doing business in Belgium

Business presence

There are a lot of different entities to start doing business in Belgium.The NV/SA and the BVBA/SPRL are the most widely used forms in Belgium.

Limited liability companies

 

 

Unlimited liability Companies

With legal Personality

 

 Without legal personality

 

Branch

Foreign companies may carry on business and engage in transactions in Belgium by setting up a local branch. Taxation is very simmilar to that of the Belgian company.

Setting up acompany

Limited liability companies must be constituded by notarial deed wich means that the founders must sign the articles of incorporation before a notary. The founders must give the notary evidence that the minimal capital has been paid into a special account. Also a financial plan must be submitted to the notary at the time of the incorporation.

An excerpt of the articles of association must be filed with the registry of the Commercial Court (dienst akten van vennootschappen/service des actes de société).

The excerpt of the deed must also be published in the Belgian Official Journal (Belgisch Staatsblad/Monituer Belge) within 15 days of incorporation.

Finally the company has to be registered with the registry of the Central Businesses Data Register (Kruispuntbank voor ondernemeningen/Banque-carrefour des entreprises) via the intermediary services of a business registration agency (ondernemingsloket/guichet d’entreprise) and, if applicable,  with the VAT administration.

Investment policies

Belgian authorities are favorable towards foreign investment. Various attractive tax regimes and investment incentives exist tot facilitaite and draw foreingd investment to Belgium. (http://invest.belgium.be)

Exchange Control

There is total freedom of capital movements. Capital, dividends, profits and any kind of incomes can be repatriated by foreign investors without restrictions.

Money Transfers/Laundering

Exchange rates are determined by the Europen Central Bank. Cash entry over 10.000 euros must be declared at the Customs.

Labour law framework

Regulation
The labour legislation governing employment and labour relations is large. First at national level through statutes, royal decrees or ministerial orders. Second at regional level by regional orders and third through self-regulation by collective labor agreements between trade unions and employer organizations.

Employment contract
While the parties are generally free to fix the terms of their employment contracts, they are in fact limited by mandatory provisions and requirements of public policy. The employment contracts acts of july 3, 1978, governs the majority of employment contracts and covers the most important matters adressed in such contracts.

Social Security
Registration with the Social Security is compulsory. The social security contribution is paid partly by the company and partily by the employee.

Minimum wage
Minimum wages are regulated in detail and are often agreed in collective bargaining agreements at sector level. These minimum wages generally vary according to seniority.

Taxation

Corporate income tax: Corporate tax is levied on Belgian-resident companies. The taxable income of a company results from the gross income derived from its business operations, less the business expenses and the increase or decrease in the net value of its assets over a given taxable period.

Indirect Taxes : The standard VAT rate in Belgium is 21% and applies unless a reduced rate of 6% is charged on certain listed goods and services.

 

Publisher: Lexetera – Advocatenkantoor


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