With a population of 10.3 million people, Belgium has one of the fastest growing economies. According to World Bank estimates, Belgium's gross domestic product as of 2009 was $381.4 billion. It was among the first countries to adopt the Euro as its currency. The country's main exports include machinery, equipment, diamonds and chemicals. The country is a member of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, making it a major stakeholder in global economy and politics. The country also boasts a highly literate workforce, due to its compulsory education policy.
Things You Will NeedBusiness plan
Step 1Apply for a professional card. Non-EU members wanting to start a business in Belgium must apply for a professional card from the Belgian embassy or consulate in their home country. To do this, you require a completed registration form, photocopy of passport, medical certificate and CV. Get the form from the Belgian embassy. Then send the application to the Federal Public Service for approval. Contact the Federal Public Service at Federal Public Service for The Economy; WTC III, Boulevard Simon Bolivar 30, 1000 Brussels; or call 02 277 74 01.
Step 2Open a bank account. This bank account should be strictly for the business you want to start in Belgium. This takes only one day. The account number must appear on all the business documents.
Step 3Register your business at the Public Business Coordination Center. With this registration, your company gains an entry into the Belgian companies register. You then will be issued with a company number for your business.
Step 4Register for Value Added Tax (VAT) at the local VAT inspectorate in the relevant public district. You also could do the registration at the public business coordination center. The standard VAT rate is 21 percent, although under certain circumstances rates of 0 percent (newspapers), 6 percent (basic necessity products), and 12 percent (pharmaceuticals) apply. Array
Tips & Warnings
- Belgium is a bilingual country. The North is the Flemish speaking Flanders region while the south has the French speaking Wallona. The official language of business in both regions however is English.
- There is a public fund set up to aid small businesses. They offer different types of loans, such as Starteo loan, the Optimeo loan, the start-up loan and the joint loan for Belgians and EU citizens.