Belgium

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DOING BUSINESS

 


Local business incentives - Legal forms of companies - Registration and licensing procedures - Legal framework - Foreign exchange control - Regulations concerning equity investment - FDI inflows - Expertise of the political risk

Local business incentives

Belgium is divided into three regions, Brussels, Flemish and Wallonia. Granted aids depend and vary according to the company, the sector and the chosen region. To find out about these aids, the Service of Foreign Investors of the Ministry of Economics should be contacted.
Investment incentives are also described by the OFI (Office for foreign investors) in Wallonia and the FFIO in Flanders.

 

Legal forms of companies

Form Number of partners/shareholders Minimum and/or maximum capital Liability Registration fee Release of financial documents
Besloten vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid (BVBA) is a Private Limited Company. Minimum 2 partners
: 1 person for the sole proprietorship.
18,550 € entirely subscribed and released up to minimum 6,200 €. Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed. 0.5% of the subscribed capital. No
Naamloze vennootschap (NV) is a Public Limited Company. Minimum 2 shareholders. 61,500 € totally subscribed and released. Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed. 0.5% of the subscribed capital. Yes
Vennootschap Onder Firma (VO) is a general partnership. Minimum 2 partners. No minimum capital. Partners' liability is joint and several. No
Commanditaire Vernootschap (CV) is a limited partnership. Two types of partners: active partners and sleeping partners. No minimum capital. Active partners' liability is joint and several, while the sleeping partners are liable for debts until the amount of the sum contributed. No
The co-operative company (SC) with unlimited and joint liability (SCRIS) or gathers a group of companies. Maximum 3 partners. No minimum capital. Partners' liability is joint and unlimited on their whole personal assets. 0.5% of the subscribed capital. No
The co-operative company with limited liability (SCRL) is similar to the BVBA / SPRL. Maximum 3 partners. 18,550 € released up to BEF 6,200 €. Partners' liability is limited to the amount contributed. 0.5 % of the subscribed capital. No

Registration and licensing procedures
Signature and drawing up of status are made with a notary for the BVBA and NV. For the SCRL, they are private deed. Status must be drawn up in Dutch in Flanders and in French in Wallonia.

Legal framework
Direct foreign investments are not submitted to a preliminary authorisation, but in some activity sectors, the investor has to ask for an authorisation from the government: banks, insurances, food products production or sale, retail trade.

Foreign exchange control
No.

Regulations concerning equity investment
Legal.  


Foreign Direct Investment inflows in Belgium

FDI inflows 2003 2004 2005 World rank (*)
2005
FDI inflows (USD million) 33 375 42 044 23 691 11/141
Source : UNCTAD - World Investment Report
Note : (*) World Rank = UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index. It is a measure of the extend to which a host country receives inward FDI relative to its economic size. It is calculated as a ratio of the country's share in global FDI inflows to its share in global GDP.

 

Last modified in 2006 - ongoing update
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