Is Belgium a Good Place to Start a Business?

Is Belgium the right foreign destination to establish your start-up? What is the business environment like in Belgium?

Belgium is popular for its tourism opportunities, food, drink, and diamonds. It’s one of the most well-known countries in the European Union. Belgium’s strategic location on the map is always attracting foreign interest. 

As a start-up wanting to open a foreign business, you would have already considered Belgium as a potential location. 

If not, read on to know if Belgium is a good place to start a business. 

What’s the Business environment like?

As with any country where people belonging to multiple nationalities and ethnicities live, work, and do business, the business culture in Belgium also runs on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship like negotiation, trust, and informed decision making. 

Business relationships in Belgium are fostered on trust. First contacts with potential business partners usually takes place at restaurants, cafes, or pubs. Punctuality is expected during meetings which are often conducted in the working hours of a typical business day. 

July and August are vacation months in Belgium during which time generally no business meetings are scheduled.


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Are you qualified to start a business in Belgium?

European Nationals, Expats, citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechenstein, spouses of EU Nationzals, legal residents, and most importantly foreigners are free to start a business in Belgium with proper documentation. It is an open country with a market that’s welcoming to foreign investors. The country supports foreign investors by providing dedicated opportunities to do business in the country. 

Legal speak:

As a start-up founder in the Kingdom of Belgium, you need to register yourself as well as your company first. There are two ways to go about it:

  • Self-employment:

    Registering as a self-employed individual comes under the purview of single ownership. This kind of business set-up does not recognize you as a legal entity but simply as a personally liable individual with sole proprietorship. Freelancing and freelance businesses come under self-employment. 

  • Company:

    If you want to setup a company, your organisation is recognised as a legal entity. There are different types of companies your start-up can register as in Belgium; NV – public limited company, BV – private limited company, CV – cooperative society, VOF – general partnership, CommV – limited partnership company, VZW – non-profit association, and IVZW – international non-profit association. 

Financial support for MSME’s in Belgium:

As a start-up founder, you can avail financing depending on the nature of your enterprise. MSME’s, social enterprises can avail loans and micro-loans from financial intermediaries. 

If you have a solid business plan to show, Belgian banks offer business credit to start-ups when funds are most needed. 

What’s in it for me?

Belgium is the right foreign location to start your business or to open a subsidiary as a foreign company. Being the unofficial capital of Europe, Belgium’s environment is very conducive for business establishment and growth. 

The task of finding office space is simplified in Belgium since there are tons of co-working spaces that support small businesses and start-up entrepreneurs. The typical cost of a co-working space in Belgium is anywhere between Euro 15-20. 

MSME’s and start-ups in Belgium at the grassroot levels of their business can avail Tax Shelter. Through Tax Shelter, you can invite Belgium taxpayers to invest in your start-up.

In all the ways, Belgium is a good choice to start your foreign business or to take your homegrown start-up to the international level. There is ample support for foreign entrepreneurs by the Government and the business environment is very amicable. 

Anju Nambiar
Anju Nambiar
Anju has 5 years of experience covering business. She writes on startups, business life cycle and startup ecosystem. Her stints include Amazon and Adjetter Media Network.



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