The future is close. Brussels is yours.


Outperforming expectations. That’s just one way to describe the life sciences sector in Brussels. Steady growth. That’s another. Fully supported by business-friendly regional policies. And, that’s a third. Put them together and it sounds as if Brussels is the best place for your life sciences business.

How can productive Brussels help you to get the job done?

What to expect

Congratulations, you’ve decided to come and work in Brussels. You’ll quickly find that your local colleagues are generally extremely pragmatic and flexible, and enjoy collaborating with others, often in new and exciting ways. And your new office could be anything from a brand-new office block in the city centre to a co-working space in one of the life sciences clusters in Brussels.

Looking at the bigger picture

The economic outlook for Brussels is positive The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per inhabitant in the Brussels Capital Region is more than double the European average (207%). This makes Brussels the third wealthiest region in terms of GDP per capita. Part of this success is due to the favourable tax conditions in the capital for expatriate managers, scientific researchers and specialised staff. This includes tax benefits, an 80% deduction on patent income, an 80% wage tax exemption for researchers, flexible rewarding, stock options and R&D incentives that can equal a third of the salary of a PhD researcher.

“On four indicators for innovation and industrial development, Belgium is by far the best performing country” OECD Study

And the smaller details

As well as the bigger picture, there are few smaller, practical details that you need to know. First of all, the working week is 38 hours long, usually spread over 5 days. Many international and European companies use English as a working language, even though Brussels is officially bilingual (French and Flemish). And if your educational qualifications are valid in another EU country, they’ll also be recognised in Brussels, thanks to the Bologna process. Lastly, work permits are required for all non-EU citizens, but they can usually be obtained within 15 days.

What does Brussels mean for your company? Contact us.

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.


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.

In Brussels, your company will be within easy reach of the European Institutions, many regional and international, commercial, political and diplomatic representations. Many public affairs consultancies provide the link between the business and European policy communities to help you better understand how the European Institutions function, and to inform and influence decision makers. is the Economic development agency of the Brussels-Capital Region and the welcome desk for the foreign investors. Its team “Invest” is fully dedicated to help you assess your needs and make the right choices for setting up your business in the Brussels region. Once you have decided on the approach, you have a choice of many business services, accountants and tax specialists who can help constitute the company, and provide payroll and related support.

The future is close. Brussels is yours.

What does this mean for you?

The future is close. Brussels is yours.