Doing Business in Luxembourg

Luxembourg lies at the heart of Western Europe, sharing land borders with Germany, France and Belgium. Although one of the smallest countries in Europe by population and size, Luxembourg is nonetheless one of the world’s most advanced economies and a member of the OECD, the United Nations, and Benelux. Natural iron-ore deposits fuelled Luxembourg’s industrialisation throughout the 20th century but more recently, the country has become a global financial centre boasting one of the world’s highest GDPs per capita. Today, Luxembourg’s economy has diversified: beyond the industrial sector, Luxembourg’s service sector has grown in significance with international banking and finance, technology, and communications becoming particularly important. Stable and consistent, Luxembourg’s democratic political system pushes a free-trade policy, with low regulation of, and a positive attitude towards, foreign investment.

Why invest in Luxembourg?

Investors targeting Luxembourg will find a variety of reasons to do business in the country:

  • Economic options: Luxembourg’s iron and steel industries remain important to the economy but there are range of thriving developing sectors to explore, including communications, biotechnology, energy, shipping, and logistics. The financial services sector is a particularly exciting investment area, with Luxembourg developing a reputation as a global hub for banking.
  • Government support: Luxembourg’s government promotes a low-regulation, free trade environment for businesses. The government also provides long and medium-term loans to businesses in Luxembourg, along with a range of financial support schemes for investment in research and innovation, which focuses on new products, services or processes.
  • European gateway: With Germany to the east, and Belgium and France to the north and west, Luxembourg enjoys a highly advantageous geographic location. Transport infrastructure is also an advantage to businesses in Luxembourg: a network of roads and railways connects to the rest of the continent, while an international airport links to global destinations.
  • Favourable tax: With a corporate rate of 29.22% various tax incentives are available for businesses in Luxembourg including a 12% tax credit, and double taxation agreements with a range of countries. The government has announced on-going plans to reduce corporate tax to 18% by 2018.
  • Skilled workforce: Luxembourg’s labour force is one of the most well educated and skilled in Europe, and offers businesses a range of skillsets to draw from. The majority of Luxembourg’s citizens speak three languages, representing useful versatility for exploiting European markets.     

Foreign Direct Investment in Luxembourg

The Government welcomes foreign investors in Luxembourg. The Government can provide capital grants for the funding of specific projects in order to complement Government policy, including small and medium-sized companies; companies located in development areas and research and development for new products, services or processes. Furthermore medium and long-term loans are available from the National Credit and Investment Corporation (SNCI).

Registering A Company and Establishing an Entity in Luxembourg

An employer may be a legal entity or a private person, established in Luxembourg or abroad, and must register for Social Security. When registering a company, it is worth noting that there may be a requirement for to obtain a business license. If a business license is required and all substantiating documents are available it can take less than two weeks to get all registrations in place.

Business Banking in Luxembourg

It is not mandatory in Luxembourg to make payments to either employees or authorities from an in-country bank account but it is mandatory if you wish to proceed with automatic payment. Both salary and 3rd party payments can be made on behalf of the client. Only bank transfers are used for making payments to both employees and local authorities. Usually bank transfers can be made within 72 hours.

Working Days And Working Hours in Luxembourg

The working week in Luxembourg is Monday to Friday. There are no specific rules concerning the daily hours in Luxembourg. Office hours are typically 0800 – 1700 (one hour lunch time included) or 0900 – 1800 (one hour lunchtime included).

Basic Facts about Luxembourg

General Information

Luxembourg is officially known as The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and was historically a Roman settlement, which consolidated in 963 AD. By the Middle Ages, the Counts of Luxembourg had expanded their territory considerably and, in the mid-14th century, established the Duchy of Luxembourg, ruling from the city-fortress of Luxembourg itself. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was formalised in the early 19th century as the country began to integrate with its continental neighbours. Modern Luxembourg is a prominent presence on the European political landscape: a parliamentary democracy, it is also a founding member of NATO, the European Union and the United Nations. At the heart of Europe, Luxembourg is landlocked and dominated by hills, mountains and forests, with a temperate, oceanic climate of warm summers and cool winters. A range of historic attractions and landmarks, and centuries of fascinating heritage attract millions of tourists to Luxembourg each year.

General Population: 582,972 (World Bank, 2016)

Capital: Luxembourg

Major Languages: French, German, Luxembourgish

Major Religion: Christianity

Monetary unit: 1 Euro = 100 cents

Main Exports: Steel products, chemicals, rubber products

Internet Domain: .lu

International Dialling Code: +352

Hello Bonjour

Good morning Bonjour

Good evening Bonsoir

Do you speak English? Parlez-vous anglais?

Good bye Au revoir

Thank you Merci

See you later À plus tard

Income Tax & Social Security in Luxembourg

The tax year runs from 1 January to 31 December.

Requirements of the employer:

  • To proceed with the affiliation of the company to the Luxembourg social security authorities
  • To proceed with the affiliation (or disaffiliation) of each employee to the Luxembourg social security authorities
  • To declare and to pay the Luxembourg social security contributions
  • To proceed to the calculation of the withholding tax based on the information mentioned on the employee tax card
  • To proceed to the declaration and the payment of the withholding tax to the Luxembourg tax authorities
  • To prepare an employment contract

Requirements of the employee:

  • To make the necessary formalities in order to obtain a Luxembourg tax card
  • To deposit his/her Luxembourg tax return at the end of the year (if mandatory)

Key legislative authorities in Luxembourg include:

  • Centre Commun de la la Sécurité Sociale 125, route d’Esch L-2975 Luxembourg
  • Caisse Nationale de Santé 125, route d’Esch L-1471 Luxembourg
  • Administration des Contributions 18, rue du Fort Wedell L-2982 Luxembourg
  • Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Pension 1A, Boulevard Prince Henri L-2096 Luxembourg

Income Tax in Luxembourg

Monthly income tax contributions are paid on the 10th of the following month. Late-payment interests related to Luxembourg tax invoices are 0.6 %.

In order to proceed with the registration of a company, a document called “Déclaration d’exploitation” must be forwarded to the Luxembourg social security authorities within 24 hours.

In order to make any tax filing on behalf of a client, the service provider must detail a “business license” delivered by the Ministry of Middle Classes on the basis of professional qualifications.

Social Security in Luxembourg

Monthly social security contributions are paid on the 20th of the following month. Late-payment interest related to Luxembourg social security invoices is 0.6%.

In order to make any social security filing on behalf of the client the service provider must detail a “business license” delivered by the Ministry of Middle Classes on the basis of professional qualifications.

In order to be eligible for a pension from the Luxembourg Pension Insurance scheme, you need to have contributed to the Pension Insurance for a period of at least one year in Luxembourg. Furthermore, you need to have contributed to a pension scheme in Luxembourg and/or another Member State of the EU (including Switzerland) for at least 120 months (or 10 years).

If retirement age is reached, and the minimum contribution period of 10 years is not met entitlement to a pension from Luxembourg is refused. Contributions made are reimbursed after adaptation to the Luxembourg cost of living index.

Normal retirement age in Luxembourg is 65. Early retirement is permitted at the age of 60 (57 if contributions were made for at least 480 months (in or out of Luxembourg).From the age of 60 onwards the years of university studies and military service are also included for the computation of the 40 years period.

For pension contributions paid during 40 years, monthly minimum pension is approx. €1,780 and the maximum pension €8,242

Reporting Tax In Luxembourg

Monthly

  • Luxembourg pay-slip
  • Monthly tax declaration
  • Monthly social security declaration (online formalities)

Pay-slip: name of the employee, social security number of employee, name of employer, social security number of employer, tax card information (tax class and deductions), monthly gross salary, social security contributions (employee part), withholding tax.

Monthly tax declaration: tax amount to be declared to the Luxembourg tax authorities. Monthly social security declaration: contribution to be declared to the Luxembourg social security authorities. All of the documents mentioned above are submitted by the payroll provider. The employer does not need to sign the forms.

New Starts in Luxembourg

New starts need to be registered to the Luxembourg social security authorities (CCSS) and need to ask for a Luxembourg tax card (Luxembourg tax card authorities or Municipality).

This is to be done within eight days of starting work. The procedure for expats is the same as for other Luxembourg employees if they are subjected to the Luxembourg social security regime within 8 days of starting work.

Leavers in Luxembourg

Payment for leavers must be closed before the end of employment. Notification of leaving must be made to Luxembourg social security authorities (“Déclaration de sortie”).

Payroll in Luxembourg

Luxembourg’s payroll system involves withholding obligations on the part of employers - towards their employees’ salaries. In more detail, those obligations require mandatory income tax and social security contributions:

  • Income tax: Tax brackets in Luxembourg range from 0% to 40% and are based on three classes - each of which reflect the taxpayer’s personal status as single, married, or supporting children.
  • Social security: employee contributions to social security vary from 12.72% to 14.89% depending on salary. Employer contributions are set a 11.05%

Employers in Luxembourg may choose to provide their employees with online payslips for each pay cycle, and must keep payroll reports for a minimum of 10 years. Given the complexity of Luxembourg’s tax system and its associated payroll regulations, international businesses setting up in the country often engage a global payroll provider to help them deliver compliance quickly and efficiently, and pay their employees accurately.

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