Fraud Blocker How to register your company in Belgium in 14 steps
Step-by-step guide

Register your company in Belgium

Get started in Belgium

Belgium, a hub of international business with its prime location in the heart of Europe, presents a wealth of opportunities for companies looking to expand globally. Registering a company in Belgium involves a series of steps that are integral to establishing a successful business. Here, we outline a detailed guide to help you navigate the process smoothly.

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14 steps to register a company in Belgium

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Step 1: Deciding on the business structure

The first critical step is choosing the appropriate legal structure for your company. Belgium offers various structures, including a private limited liability company (BV/SRL), public limited company (NV/SA), and different forms of partnerships. Each structure has its unique characteristics, such as liability, tax implications, and capital requirements.

For instance, a BV/SRL is suitable for small to medium-sized businesses due to its flexible structure and no minimum capital requirement. On the other hand, an NV/SA, which requires a minimum capital of €61,500, is ideal for larger enterprises.

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Step 2: Developing a comprehensive business plan

A well-crafted business plan is a cornerstone for any successful venture. It should encompass your business idea, market analysis, financial planning, and growth strategies.

In Belgium, a business plan is often a prerequisite for obtaining financing and attracting investors. It should demonstrate the viability and potential of your business, detailing how you plan to generate revenue and achieve profitability.

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Step 3: Establishing a legal business address

A legal address in Belgium is mandatory for company registration. You have the option to choose a physical location, a virtual office, or use the address of a business center.

The address should reflect your company’s needs and image, and be situated in a location that’s accessible to your target market.

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Step 4: Opening a corporate bank account

Before registering your company, you must open a corporate bank account and deposit your initial capital. The amount of capital varies depending on your chosen legal structure. For a BV/SRL, while there’s no minimum capital requirement, the adequacy of your capital will be evaluated.

This step is crucial as it demonstrates your company’s financial readiness.

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Step 5: Notarizing incorporation documents

Incorporation documents, including the articles of association, must be drafted and notarized. This requires the services of a Belgian notary and is a critical legal step in ensuring that your company’s foundational documents are in order.

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Step 6: Registering with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE)

Following notarization, your next step is to register with the CBE. This registration gives you a unique business identification number, which is vital for all your business activities in Belgium. It’s a regulatory requirement and serves as your company’s official identity.

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Step 7: VAT registration

Registering for VAT is essential for most businesses. This process can typically be completed alongside your CBE registration. Having a VAT number is imperative for tax purposes and is required for conducting business both within Belgium and across the EU.

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Step 8: Affiliating with the social insurance fund

As a company director, you must join a social insurance fund within 90 days of registering your business. This ensures your coverage for social security benefits, an important aspect of doing business in Belgium.

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Step 9: Acquiring necessary business licenses and permits

Certain types of businesses require specific licenses or permits. For example, if you’re opening a restaurant, you’ll need health and safety permits. It’s crucial to research and obtain all necessary permits relevant to your business to ensure compliance with Belgian laws.

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Step 10: Recruiting employees and setting up payroll

If you’re planning to hire employees, it’s essential to understand Belgian employment laws. Setting up a compliant payroll system is key. This includes adhering to wage laws, tax withholdings, and social security contributions.

Belgium has specific regulations regarding employment contracts, working hours, and employee benefits, which must be meticulously followed.

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Step 11: Understanding ongoing compliance and reporting obligations

Running a business in Belgium requires adherence to ongoing legal, tax, and reporting requirements. This includes annual financial statements, tax filings, and corporate governance compliance. Staying informed about these obligations is crucial to maintain good standing and avoid penalties.

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Step 12: Navigating the language barrier

Belgium’s multilingual environment, with Dutch, French, and German as official languages, can pose a challenge. Ensuring that your legal documents, contracts, and communication are accurately translated and conform to local language requirements is vital.

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Step 13: Leveraging professional assistance

Navigating the complexities of company registration in Belgium can be daunting. Leveraging professional assistance from firms like Parakar can be invaluable. They offer expertise in legal compliance, HR solutions, and local business practices, ensuring a seamless setup process.

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Step 14: Embracing the Belgian market

Belgium offers a strategic advantage due to its location, skilled workforce, and strong infrastructure. Understanding the local market, consumer behavior, and competition is key to tailoring your business approach to the Belgian context.

The correct way

How Parakar can help you register your company in Belgium

Registering a company in Belgium is a structured but rewarding process. It opens doors to the European market and provides a stable environment for business growth. With careful planning, adherence to legal requirements, and professional guidance, your venture into the Belgian market can be a resounding success.

Trust in experts like Parakar to guide you through each step, ensuring that your transition into the Belgian business landscape is smooth and successful.

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Floortje Gomes International Sales Consultant

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