Your guide to doing business in Belgium
Foreign Direct Investment in Belgium
The government welcomes inward investment from foreign companies, providing an array of tax benefits and shelters to encourage inward investment in key growth areas for the country. Tax benefits vary according to government strategy, but generally the country is always open to investment opportunities.
Identification as an employer is carried out via the 'WIDE' application (Werkgever-IDentificatie/ion-Employer). Each employer must be identified with the Banque Carrefour des Entreprises (BCE) and have a unique company number. The identification of employers with public authorities is done based on this company number (BCE number). After processing the electronic application via 'WIDE', the employer will receive a notification from the ONSS containing:
The service provider receives a copy of this notification. Identification as an employer with the ONSS is not only included in the directory of employers but also the BCE. Only the employer listed in the directory of employers has access to online social security services and any change relating to the company (head office, address, activity, legal form, etc.) must be communicated to the ECB
Payments to the Belgian authorities and to employees in Belgium can be made from a bank account outside Belgium.
The regular working week in Belgium is Monday to Friday, however, in some sectors, including retail and hospitality, the working week can range from Monday to Sunday. Working hours must not surpass 8 hours per day or 38 hours per week.
Full name: Kingdom of Belgium
Population: 11.46 million (Eurostat, 2019)
Major Languages: Dutch, French, German
Monetary Unit: 1 euro = 100 cents
Main Exports: Machinery and electrical equipment, chemicals, vehicles, metals and diamonds
GNI per Capita: US $48,030 (MacroTrends, 2019)
Internet Domain: .be
International Dialling Code: +32
Good Morning Goedemorgen
Good Evening Goedenavond
Do you speak English? Spreek Je Engels?
Good Bye Tot Ziens
Thank You Dank u
See you Later Zie Je Later
Dates are usually written in the day, month and year sequence. For example, 1 July 2019 or 1/7/19.
Numbers are written with a period to denote thousands and a comma to denote fractions. For example, € 3.000,50 (three thousand Euro and fifty cents).
The tax year runs from 1 January to 31 December.
Employers are obliged to deduct Professional Withholding Tax (PWT or Precompte Professionel in French) from their employees' earnings per the issued tax withholding tables. The employing entity is responsible for withholding income taxes and any social security contributions payable from employment income and pensions, for making payment to the employee of any Belgian government allowances, and for making the required returns to the Belgian authorities. Manual workers must be paid at least every 16 days and white-collar workers must be paid at least once a month. A salary payment is due at the very latest four working days after the end of the period to which it relates. As an example, the April salary must be paid by the 4th working day in May.
Each month the employer pays a considerable amount on top of your salary into the social security fund. The employee also pays a proportion of their gross salary in social security contributions. This fund is then used to pay social security allowances:
Employers must submit a DIMONA IN Declaration to Déclaration IMmédiate/ONmiddellijke Aangifte (DIMONA) to register new employees with the National Social Security Office (NSSO) before their first day of work.
Employers must submit a DIMONA OUT Declaration to Déclaration IMmédiate/ONmiddellijke Aangifte (DIMONA) to register leaving employees with the National Social Security Office (NSSO). This must be submitted, at the latest, the next working day after the last day of employment.
Employers must give employees notice of their employment termination in writing. The employee must also be given paid time off during their notice period to look for other employment.