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FAQ Frequently asked questions

Before chosing the corporate form you have to decide whether you create a Branch office or a subsidiary of the parent company.

Branch office

An extension of a parent company located in another country. It is wholly-owned by the parent company, that is liable for all the debts and obligations of the Belgian branch office. A branch office does not have stocks, shares, a board of directors, or minimum capital requirements.

Subsidiary

A company created and capitalized in Belgium by the parent company. It has its own board of directors, is liable for its assets and subject to Belgian law, even if controlled from outside Belgium. A subsidiary can be established as a public stock corporation, limited liability company (LLC), a cooperative, general partnership, sole proprietorship or joint venture. A subsidiary and parent company are considered as separate legal entities.

The most largely used corporate forms are the following ones:

Stock Corporation

The ‘NV/SA’ format is most often chosen for larger enterprises. This is an anonymous partnership, share company, or joint-stock company, equivalent to public limited company in common law jurisdictions.

Limited Liability company

A ‘bvba/sprl’ structure is attractive for small companies. This is a privately owned company with a limited liability and legal persona.

Cooperative company

A cooperative company structure is a flexible corporate form that can be structured for unlimited or limited liability.

A Stock Corporation, known as ‘NV/SA’ requires a minimum capital of €61,500, to be paid in by the founders at the time of incorporation.

A Limited Liability company, known as bvba/sprl requires minimum capital of €18,550, of which €6,200 must be fully paid in at the time of incorporation.

A Cooperative, known as cvoha/scris or CV/SC requires €18,550 or €6,200, depending on the company type.

In addition to capital injection, fees for the services of an accountant, and company registration fees (through a notary) may be required depending on the kind of entity to be created.

Once you decide which structure is best for your activity, you will need to constitute and register the company. The legal steps required when establishing a company are similar for a corporate legal forms and consists of the following steps:

  • Opening a bank account to deposit the minimum capital required
  • Notarizing and registering the deed of incorporation of the company
  • Register the company to the “Crossroads Bank for Enterprises”

An accountant specialized in company creation can advise you on the documents and registration process for creating a specific type of company in Brussels – including corporate statutes, tax and social security registration, health insurance payroll and employment obligations and other formalities.

EU Citizens:

All European Union citizens and citizens of the European Economic Area can live and work in Belgium without formalities and a work permit. EEA includes Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Non-EU citizens:

Non-EU citizens wishing to be employed in Belgium need to apply for a work permit and be legally resident in Belgium to work here (See the Invest in Brussels Guidelines for details).

Non-EU citizens wishing to be self-employed in Belgium need a professional card to practice their profession.

Work permit types

Belgium issues three types of work permits: AC Permit - valid for one year for multiple employers (typically for migrant agricultural or domestic workers); G Permit - not renewable; A/B Permit - valid for one employer for one year; renewable, typically by the same employer for the same position.

Unlimited duration contracts – An open contract. Employer or employee can terminate the agreement subject to a notice period.

Fixed-term employment contract – Employer and employee agree that the contract will automatically end at a specific date.

Contracts for clearly defined tasks – A contract that expires when a specific task is completed.

Temporary employment contracts – To replace a permanent worker, or to respond to an increase work and labor needs.

The future is close. Brussels is yours.

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