Benefits of setting up a company in Belgium

For many reasons, Belgium is a magnet to foreign investors and entrepreneurs. Not least is that it benefits from a unique location, right at the heart of the European market, which offers direct access to a huge, wealthy EU customer base.

Belgium is the second most densely populated country in Europe with more than 140 million consumers within a 300 mile radius!
It’s often seen as the crossroads of Europe, and is home to powerful decision making institutions, including the European Union and more than 1400 governmental and non governmental international organisations.

So, a perfect location for investors to consider doing business, plus, with Belgium, comes a history and expectation of high quality products and highly educated and multilingual work forces. It has two distinct cultural regions, Flanders, which is Dutch speaking and Wallonia, which is French speaking. Brussels, the capital, is uniquely multilingual. Belgians do not have a strong connection to a national culture, but rather to the language or region they grew up in. It’s a popular destination for expatriates.

Belgium is most definitely a modern industrialised society that depends heavily on foreign trade, especially with its European neighbours. Their impressive transportation infrastructure provides state of the art networks linking it to the industrial centres of Europe.

Other benefits to setting up a company in Belgium, includes the attractive tax regime.  If properly structured, a Belgian subsidiary
Company allows corporate shareholders to repatriate profits, exempt from dividend withholding tax, provided the corporate shareholder is resident in one of Belgium’s 80 double taxation treaty partners.

Belgium does not offer  ‘citizenship by investment’ programs like other countries, preferring ‘residence by investment,’ which is available for investors and business entrepreneurs.

Provided you have housing in Belgium, there is no minimum amount of time you have to stay in the country.  This means investors can travel extensively for business without actually living in Belgium. It’s ideal for business owners looking for residence and citizenship in the European Union.

It is possible to apply for citizenship in Belgium after just three years of legal continuous residence with no limitation on minimum stay a year. The processing of this application can take another two years however, and you will qualify for citizenship by right in Belgium, after 7 years of residence.

With a residence permit issued, business owners can travel to EU countries without a visa, staying a maximum of 90 days in every 6-month period.

Foreign investors looking to form a company in Belgium are entitled to the same choices as Belgian entrepreneurs as the law makes no distinction.

There are four basic choices of business entities: branch, subsidiary, partnership, or as a sole proprietor. Most foreign companies investing in the country opt either for a branch office or establish a subsidiary.

For all the benefits, it is relatively easy to set up a company in Belgium but highly advisable to find a professional firm of financial experts, used to doing this role for foreigner investors in Belgium. They will know all the latest compliance and legal aspects of registering companies, smoothing the way so that you are doing business there as quickly and effortlessly as possible.