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flag Belgium Belgium: Operating a Business

In this page: Setting Up a Company | The Active Population in Figures | Working Conditions | Cost of Labor | Social Partners

 

Setting Up a Company

Besloten vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid (BVBA) is a Private Limited Company.
Number of partners: At least one shareholder
Capital (max/min): EUR 18,550 entirely subscribed and released up to minimum EUR 6,200. EUR 12,400 in case of one shareholder.
Shareholders and liability: Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed.
Naamloze vennootschap (NV) is a Public Limited Company.
Number of partners: Minimum 2 shareholders.
Capital (max/min): 61,500 € totally subscribed and released.
Shareholders and liability: Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed.
Vennootschap Onder Firma (VO) is a general partnership.
Number of partners: Minimum 2 partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital required.
Shareholders and liability: Partners' liability is joint and several.
Commanditaire Vernootschap (CV) is a limited partnership.
Number of partners: Two types of partners: active partners and sleeping partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital required.
Shareholders and liability: Active partners' liability is joint and several, while the sleeping partners are liable for debts until the amount of the sum contributed.
The co-operative company (SC) with unlimited and joint liability (SCRIS) or gathers a group of companies.
Number of partners: Maximum 3 partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital required.
Shareholders and liability: Partners' liability is joint and unlimited on their whole personal assets.
The co-operative company with limited liability (SCRL) is similar to the BVBA / SPRL.
Number of partners: Maximum 3 partners.
Capital (max/min): EUR 18,550 released up to EUR 6,200.
Shareholders and liability: Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed.
The Competent Organization
The bank, the notary and the business one-stop shop.
Search a Company or a Financial Report
BCC
 
Setting Up a Company Belgium OECD
Procedures (number) 3.0 5.0
Time (days) 4.0 12.0

Source: Doing Business.

 
Business Setup Procedures
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Belgium.
COFACE, Belgian companies register.

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The Active Population in Figures

201120122013
Labor force 5,168,0005,055,0005,150,000

Source: CIA - The world factbook

 
200920102011
Total activity rate -53.50%54.00%
Men activity rate 60.80%60.80%60.60%
Women activity rate 46.70%47.60%47.70%

Source: UN - United Nations

 
Employed Persons, by Occupation (% of Total Labor Force) 2008
Manufacturing 16.4%
Health and Social Work 12.7%
Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities 9.4%
Education 8.4%
Transport and Storage 7.5%
Construction 7.2%
Hotels and Restaurants 3.2%
Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry 1.8%
Households with Employed Persons 0.9%
Electricity, Gas and Water Supply 0.9%
Mining and Quarrying 0.1%

Source: International Labor Organization (ILO)

 
For Further Statistics
government web site in statistics

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
35, 38 or 39 hours
Retirement Age
65
Working Contracts
There are several types of employment contract commonly used in Belgium. There are different contracts for manual workers and white-collar workers. In addition, separate contracts exist for domestic workers, student workers, professional sports people and home workers. More info on Angloinfo.
Labor Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labor regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labor

Minimum Wage
EUR 1,443 per month (source: ILO, 2011).
Average Wage
Gross average monthly wage of men: EUR 2,999 (source: ILO, 2009);
Gross average monthly wage of women: EUR 2,343 (source: ILO, 2009).
Social contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: The social security system is financed by contributions from employees and employers and subsidies from the state. The amounts are calculated based on the gross salary (basic salary plus bonuses, benefits in kind and so forth) and are paid to the National Office of Social Security (ONSS/RSZ). Employees' contributions finance approximately 13% of the social security system. Employers' contributions account for 35%.
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: Employees' contributions finance approximately 13% of the social security system.

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
A national bargaining process covers inter-professional agreements that the trade union confederations negotiate biennially with the government and the employers' associations. Belgian workers are highly unionized.
Unions
Syndicat Liberal
Algemeen Christelijk Vakverbond / Confédération des Syndicats Chrétiens -
Nationale Bondsstaat van de Kaders / Confédération Nationale des Cadres -
Algemeen Belgisch Vakverbond / Fédération Générale du Travail de Belgique
Unionization Rate
60%
Labor Regulation Bodies
Federal Public Service Employment, Labor and Social Dialogue
Federation of Belgian companies

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Learn more about Operating a Business in Belgium on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014