Business entities in Belgium

Business entities in Belgium

Healy Consultants will assist our Clients with setup of the optimal Belgium business entity for their business needs. There are several types of legal entities available for foreign investors willing to do business in Belgium, the most common being the limited liability company, locally known as an “SPRL” (société privée a responsabilitée limitee). Alternatively, our Clients interested to raise capital in Europe can also request us to incorporate a joint stock company, while foreign corporates can also register a branch in Belgium or a representative office.

The Belgium limited liability company (société privée à responsabilité limitée)

    different business structures in Belgium for foreign investors

  • A Belgium LLC (SPRL) can be established with only i) one shareholder and ii) one director, who both can be foreigners and do not need to be ordinarily residing in Belgium to complete incorporation procedures. The company must however have a minimum paid up capital of €18,550 and the government can decide to raise that requirement higher if it considers such amount is not enough to cover the business expenses;
  • At incorporation, all Belgium companies are also required to have i) a corporate bank account already opened in Belgium ii) a business plan and iii) real office space (a registered address is not sufficient). Healy Consultants can assist you to comply with these requirements, by opening the account on your behalf and by assisting you to draft the financial plan and find permanent premises for your Firm.

The Belgium joint-stock corporation (société anonyme)

  • Formation of a Belgium joint-stock corporation can be done with i) two shareholders ii) three directors and iii) a minimum share capital of €65,550. At incorporation, the company will also be required to appoint one statutory auditor, which Healy Consultants can assist you to hire if needed;
  • Belgium joint stock corporations can issue new shares and are also allowed to list on the Brussels stock exchange or another stock exchange in the European Union. This type of business entity is attractive to entrepreneurs willing to raise capital in Europe so as to fund expansion of their business.

The Belgium branch (succursale)

In accordance with Belgium Corporation Law, foreign companies can open a branch office in Belgium to do business in the country and/or run productive operations, provided they appoint a representative who however is not required to reside in the country. While registration for a branch and a limited liability follow similar procedures, branches are subject to higher compliance requirements, including the need to submit the audited financial statements of their parent company.

The Belgium representative office

Belgium Corporation Law does not differentiate between branches and representative offices. Consequently, a representative office in Belgium will be subject to the same requirements than a branch. The office will notably be required to submit tax filings and the audited financial statements of its “parent” company, although no corporate tax will be paid if the representative office does not pursue commercial operations.

Table of comparison between Belgium business entities

 LLCJSCBranchRep office
Also known as:SPRLSASuccursaleBureau de liaison
How long to set the company up?2 weeks2 weeks3 weeks3 weeks
How long to open company bank account?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Corporate bank account options?FortisDexiaING GroupKeytrade Bank
Belgium bank account mandatory?YesYesNoNo
Does our Client need to travel?NoNoNoNo
Legal liability?LimitedLimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Minimum shareholders?1211
Corporate shareholders allowed?YesYesYesYes
Individual shareholders allowed?YesYesNoNo
Wholly foreign owned?YesYesYesYes
Minimum share capital for foreigners?€18,550€65,550N/AN/A
Resident director/representative required?NoNoNoNo
Minimum directors/representative allowed?1311
Corporate directors allowed?NoYesYesYes
Belgium standard corporate tax rate?33%33%33%N/A
Reduced corporate tax rates for SME?YesYesYesN/A
Annual financial statements required?NoYesYesYes
Allowed to issue sales invoices in Belgium?YesYesYesNo
Allowed to sign contracts with Belgium entities?YesYesYesNo
Allowed to import and export goods?YesYesYesNo
Can rent an office in Belgium?YesYesYesYes
Can buy Belgium property?YesYesYesNo
Can own equity in other Belgium companies?YesYesYesNo
Total Belgium business setup costs in Yr. 1€13,550€18,550US$14,050US$14,050
Subsequent annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fees)€2,300€2,300US$2,550US$2,550
Sample engagement fee invoice

Contact us

For additional information on our business setup services in Belgium, please email us at Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Simon Guidecoq, directly:
brussels, belgium Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce belgian government portal belgium tourism National bank of Belgium