Setting up a company in Belgium

The cost of setting up a company in Belgium starts from €2950 + VAT.

What do you need to know before opening a company in Belgium?

To set up a business in Belgium, it is important to know the four main types of business. These are branch, subsidiary, partnership or sole trader. The majority of foreign companies investing in Belgium opt for a branch or set up a subsidiary. The most popular legal form is the equivalent of the Estonian OÜ - BV / SRL (Besloten vennootschap / Société à responsabilité limitée). It is a standard corporate form with flexible articles of association for financing, profit distribution and management.

The tax system is an important topic for those thinking of setting up a business in Belgium. The country has put in place an attractive tax regime that allows company shareholders to repatriate profits without paying withholding tax on dividends. This condition applies if the shareholder is resident in one of the 80 Belgian tax treaties. The company is liable to pay tax if it has its registered office, head office or place of management in Belgium. The VAT rate in this country is 21%. If the company's profits do not exceed €100 000, a lower tax rate would apply. There are also other tax advantages that a company can take advantage of under certain conditions. The tax year starts on 1 January and ends on 31 December with a compulsory annual tax return.

Why start a business in Belgium?

Belgium is slowly becoming one of the most important centres of attraction for foreign investors and entrepreneurs. Its unique location at the heart of the European market, with direct access to an EU customer base and its large population of more than 140 million users within a 480 km radius are just some of the advantages of setting up a business in Belgium.

Belgium is seen as a kind of European crossroads, where major decisions of the European Union and several other international organisations are taken. The country is divided into two cultural regions: the Dutch-speaking Flemish region and the Walloon region, dominated by the French. Its capital, Brussels, is an exceptionally unique multi-lingual city, with many different cultures and businesses.

Setting up a business in Belgium can be relatively easy

The creation of a BV / SRL does not require a minimum share capital. This is no longer considered an effective mechanism to protect third parties (creditors of the company) under local law. Legislators have abandoned the notion of “authorised capital” but have introduced other safeguards. One of these is the financial plan, which aims to ensure that shareholders have sufficient funds to run the company.

It is designed to encourage founders to think carefully about their future company and its financing. This plan can also be used to assess the founders’ liability if the company goes bankrupt within three years of incorporation. However, you can leave the legal issues and risk assessment to our specialists, who will give you all the information you need and help you find the best solution.


The most popular form of entrepreneurship is:

– BV / SRL (Besloten vennootschap / Limited liability company)

To set up a company in Belgium, it is important to know that a BV/SRl company allows only one shareholder. Additional persons can be listed as directors. They can act individually or as a board of directors. If a legal person is appointed as a director, it needs a permanent representative who is not a shareholder, manager, director or other employee of the company. We understand that these details can seem confusing, but our specialists can help you fully understand all the risks and requirements.

How is a company set up in Belgium?

Registering a company in Belgium is more convenient than ever – once selected, we offer our services to clients remotely, with professionals sending all the documents. The registration itself usually takes 2-4 weeks.

The prospective entrepreneur will receive a questionnaire and a list of documents to fill in. We will liaise with the notary and, if necessary, ask you for further details.

BV / SRL (Besloten vennootschap / Société à responsabilité limitée) minimum capital is at least €0,01, but the recommended amount is at least 100-1000€.

Setting up a company in Belgium involves several types of taxes:


Belgian VAT system – 21%


The standard dividend tax rate is 15%. A company is considered to be resident for tax purposes if it has its registered office, head office or place of management in Belgium.

The major Belgian banks are KBC/CBC, Belfius, BNP Paribas and ING Belgium. Some banks may require you to visit them in person as required. To obtain a letter of credit service (letter of credit), you will need to contact the larger banks. ING Bank does not allow the opening of an account if the shareholder is a legal person. However, KBC bank does.


Openness to international trade, with many companies specialising in the supply of intermediate and semi-finished goods and a strong infrastructure.

BV / SRL profit:

BV/SRL profits are subject to corporate income tax at the standard rate of 25%. The normal dividend tax rate is 15%. Companies are allowed to pay dividends at any time. However, all distributed amounts are subject to a “double test” to protect third parties. This test is made up of two elements: a net worth test and a liquidity test. The first prohibits a distribution if the company’s net assets are or may become negative as a result of the distribution. The liquidity test requires the board of directors to verify that the company will be able to pay its debts for at least 12 months after the distribution.

Belgium is a good place to start a business. It has a strong entrepreneurial culture, especially in Brussels and some of the larger cities. If you are thinking of starting a business in Belgium, research the local market and make sure you have a viable business idea.

LCPC aims to provide you and your business with high quality assistance. Setting up a company is one of the first steps in building your business, and we will help you along the way!

Looking for an advisor?

Make an appointment