Belgium, a country situated in the heart of Europe and is the home of various European organisations. Incidentally, NATO, the European Commission and European Council have established their headquarters there. For reasons such as this, Brussels has been thought of as the capital of Europe in some respects. Having been ranked 17th on the 2005 HDI (human development index), it's evident that this small yet economically thriving country is undoubtedly advanced in a number of ways. Although Belgium nurtures a very competitive economic market, there are various advantageous opportunities to be had, especially with regards to small and medium-sized businesses. In addition to economic advantages, the country has an abundance of culture, quaint architecture and plenty of stunning greenery. Belgium has high-income taxation relative to the rest of Europe. However, in principle, capital gains from financial investments generated by a foreign fund are not subject to Belgium taxation. A domestic regulated fund is subject to income tax but on a reduced basis and a Belgian SICAV, in general, doesn't pay income tax at all. For reasons such as these, Belgium is a hotspot for the birth and expansion of Asset management companies, investment funds and others alike.
Why choose Belgium
We can appreciate that Belgium has an excellent standard of living due to their 0.946 HDI result. Subsequently, this influences individuals or bodies to establish new businesses or investment opportunities in the country. Another of Belgium's attractive attributes is their highly subsidised health care system which is top-notch. For every 1,000 habitats, there are 4 doctors. Furthermore, Belgium has a developed and highly efficient transport system. Belgium is a multilingual and multicultural country home to various associations and language school that deal with an impressive array of different languages. Especially in Brussels, Belgium hosts a variety of different schools that teach in a diverse number of different European languages.
Requirements to set up a company
As Belgium is part of the EU, hence, employees from the EU wishing to reside and work in Belgium can enjoy the flexibility of rules that don't apply to non-EU citizens. In addition, "free movement" applies to citizens from the European Economic Area (EEA). If you are a foreign national that wishes to stay longer than the standard 3-month visa allows, one has to go to a municipality within 8 days of arrival to sort out necessary documentation. Furthermore, one must actually have a place of residence ready in the municipality. They must also possess visas if they are not part of the EU. There are three different types of work visas in Belgium (A, B and C). A enables the individual to a work permit, valid for all salaried professions with all employers and for an unlimited period. B enables the individual to work in Belgium with a single employer and limited to 1 year. C is a permit which is valid for all salaried professionals with all employers for a limited period of one year which is renewable.
Requirements for employees wishing to relocate
New legislation has been put into effect recently in Belgium which allows for the administrative formalities of setting up a company cut from 56 days to just 3. These three days consist of, firstly, to open a bank account and deposit the minimum required start-up capital. Secondly, the notary utilises "e-deposit" to formulate a deed consisting of incorporation and articles of association. With this, one will be given a "unique enterprise number" registered with the Crossroads Bank of Enterprises in either French or Dutch with the clerk of the commercial court. Finally, on day three, the unique enterprise number is activated. After this, all that's left to do is chose a company type which is dependent on the type of business itself (i.e. SA, SPRL etc.