Over a million people in Belgium are self-employed, and a growing number of them, particularly in Brussels are foreigners. Like its European neighbours, Belgium also has an open economy and a rather formal business culture.
In Belgium, there are more than 620,00 operating firms, according to EU figures. Small and medium-sized businesses (SME) account for the majority of these and provide about 62.4% of the value to the Belgian economy.
Foreigners own a large number of enterprises in Belgium and these companies account for about 28% of the value of the private sector. Organizationally, businesses are often flat, with fewer levels of middle management.
Bernard de Laguiche is one well-known business having his business in Brazil and Switzerland that helps aspiring business people by writing blogs related to various businesses.
Belgium is a good spot to launch any business. It has a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, particularly in larger cities like Brussels.
If you are considering opening a business in Belgium, make sure your idea is sound and that you conduct your homework on the local market. If you believe you have a business idea that should be developed further, you can obtain assistance from the various Networks.
There are several industries in which foreigners can try to launch a business in Belgium. The major industry in the country is services, which includes:
- Tourism services.
With manufacturing making up about one-sixth of the GDP, it is also a significant sector. The main sectors of Belgian manufacturing include:
- Food and drinks
- Scientific equipment.
Who can start any business in Belgium?
Anyone who is a resident and is at least 18 years old can start a business in Belgium pretty easily. Although EFTA/non-EU nationals may require a visa to enter the country along with a Belgian residence authorization, foreigners can open businesses in Belgium.
You may need to offer proof that you possess specific skills, such as entrepreneurial and managerial skills, depending on the field you are entering.
Legal structures for conducting business in Belgium
You can set up your status as self-employed in any of the following ways:
Natural person/sole proprietorship
In this situation, there is no separation formed between you and your company an illustration of this would be independent contractors. You are personally responsible for any debts and subject to higher personal income tax than corporate tax.
A business agreement between two or more people in which all partners are personally liable for the company’s debts, obligations, and assets and pay personal income taxes on their profit from the firm
Legal person/limited company
A legal entity with rights and obligations, the company has its own capital, but its directors are only accountable for the cash it invested when the business was created.
A minimum of 2 shareholders forms a limited liability business, with responsibility only up to the amount of money invested in exchange for shares.
These can be established with a minimum of 3 participants and can have either limited or unlimited liability.
In Belgium, there is a wealth of assistance and guidance accessible to start-up enterprises. Almost all Belgian banks provide business consulting.