Becoming a Freelancer in Belgium

Going Freelance, or “independent” or becoming a “contractor”, might initially seem intimidating to
those who don’t know exactly what it involves. There are obviously a variety of both personal and
professional factors one must take into account before making the change, but many Belgian IT
professionals have found it a very rewarding way to apply their hard earned skills.
Here are some of the many positives Freelancers feel about their professional lives:
Being you own boss: Becoming a Freelancer does require one to be organized, confident and
even a little brave, but Freelancers are recruited for the immediate contribution they can make
and generally enjoy a high level of autonomy. Consequently it can be professionally satisfying
and extremely enjoyable. And of course, no line manager is forever!
Freedom: Although the number of opportunities vary, Freelancers can choose when and where to
work and what projects sound interesting to them. They can also decide exactly when it is right
for them to take a holiday.
Financial: Part of being a Freelancer means occasionally having to look for a new for a new
mission, but once in a mission you will usually be paid substantially more than an equivalent
permanent member of staff. And, Freelancers who take professional advice can generally be
more tax efficient than employees.
Variety and skills development: Freelancers do have to spend some of their own time keeping
their skills up to date. But by moving from contract to contract and company to company, they
often develop very varied experience and an impressive CV which means that it becomes easier
to gain the next contract.
The Process to Follow
Inevitably there are some steps to follow that will ensure that you have the right paperwork in
place and the authorities are kept happy.
We suggest that you read the following then go and see an accountant or a representative of the
Guichet D'Entreprise and ask for their advice, this should be free of charge.
This information is offered with the best intentions, but this is a complex area and we cannot accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions.

OPTION 1:To open a BVBA/SPRL(limited liability except for the founders during the first three years in some cases)

Step 1.
Go to the bank and open a professional account(called a blocked account). You will need to deposit a minimum of €12.400 if you are the sole shareholder or a minimum of €6.200 if there are two or more shareholders. You will receive a document confirming your deposit.
Step 2.
Take the document and go and see an accountant, together you will decide the 'statutes' of your
future company. This states the main activity of your company. http://www.notaire.be/
You also have to prepare a business plan over a minimum of two years.
The document confirming the deposit and the business plan will remain attached to the deed.
Step 3.
You have to contact a notary and send the draft of the statutes. When they are accepted by both parties you organize a meeting with the notary for the signature(it’s a notarized deed).When the deed is signed the notary publishes it and then sends you a stamped copy.
After about two weeks the statutes are published in the “Moniteur Belge”(Official Gazette).

Step 4.
When the 'statutes' are officially published by the authorities, you must go the Guichet D'Entreprises to
complete your registration. In the mean time you should apply for a VAT number.
http://economie.fgov.be/enterprises/crossroads_bank/bce_kbo_fr_006.htm

Step 5.
You then have to register to the social security for independents and to a 'mutuelle', to get access to health care.
Chrétiennes : www.mc.be
Libérales : www.mut400.be
Libres : www.mloz.be
Neutres : www.mutualité-neutre.be
Socialistes: www.mutsoc.be


Step 6.
You then need to choose a payroll agency (secretariat social),the agency will issue your payslips.
More information @ www.securex.eu/be
And that is it. You can now apply and accept Freelance positions and enjoy the benefits of an
Independent career.
For more in depth information please see:
http://mineco.fgov.be/SME/Starters/ZichVestigen_nl.htm
http://mineco.fgov.be/SME/Starters/ZichVestigen_fr.htm

OPTION 2:To open a mixed liability company (SCS-société en commandite simple).
The steps are very much the same as in Option 1.
The principle differences are:
-unlimited liability for the director(s) called the active partner(s)
-limited liability for the silent partner(s).
-No minimum capital
-No notarized deed.
-Two partners minimum.



 

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