Become self employed in belgium

BrusselsLife Team.

05 Jul 2012, 05:07 Last Updated: 10 Jul 2017, 15:07

As each situation is different, our aim is to draw your attention to the rules.

EU citizens do not need a professional card in order to be self-employed in Belgium. The law regulates the access to several professions where you must obtain a certificate from the Chambre des Métiers et Négoces before being entered in the trade register. To do so, any future self-employed person must show that they possess the required professional and management skills. Details on regulated professions can be obtained from the "Ministère des Classes Moyennes » or the relevant Administration. Before being included in the trade or craft register, the independent must open a bank account. Following this, the person must be put in the trade register (commercial activity) or craft register (mainly manual work). The registration takes place in the office of the clerk of the commercial court covering the area where the headquarters of the activity are situated. A private individual will pay around 50 EUR to be placed on the trade register. Any person whose activity involves delivering goods or providing services must also register for VAT. The registration takes place in the VAT Office for the area where the activity is based and is free of charge. You need to fill in a declaration to let the VAT Office know the VAT invoiced and to be paid. This declaration can either be done monthly or quarterly according to the volume of sales. Any newly self-employed person must sign up to a « caisse d'assurances sociales" (social insurance office). Any insurance office will do. Membership can start six months before the activity and occur at latest 90 days after starting the activity. To benefit from health insurance benefits, he/she must also join a mutual insurance group. An independent must fulfil their obligations in terms of accounting and VAT, which vary according to the size of the activity. Depending on the nature of the work, it is best either to keep simplified accounts, or double entry bookkeeping according to the minimum standard accounting system, and also keep a financial journal for purchases and sales as well as a stock list.