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The top 3 things you need to know about being self-employed

Belgium is notorious for red tape, high taxes and social security charges, which can be rather off-putting for those expats looking to become self-employed. But it is possible, and there are over 600,000 people living here that have done it (1 in 10 of which are non-Belgians), and you can too.

What category do you fit into?

There are a number of options to choose from which all come under the self-employed:

  • Is the activity part- or full-time?
  • Are you planning on working as a freelancer?
  • Will this be a complementary activity in addition to a salaried one?
  • Do you intend on setting up a company?
  • Are you an assisted spouse?

The beginning can be expensive

It is vital that you have enough capital in order to comfortably begin your new venture as you will be expected to pay your own social security costs (quarterly). Additionally, it is certainly advisable that you get in touch with a reputable accounted, who can help iron out any queries. But remember, this will also cost money.

You need to have a professional qualification

There is one rule, which is the cause of irritation for both Belgians and expats and it is this: you need to have a professional qualification in order to run a business. Years of relevant work experience will not count, without formal proof. However an academic degree in any field would be valid.

The way around this is to use the degree of a spouse or associate, even if they are to only have a silent, non-acitive role in the enterprise.

(image © Unsplash)

RB

Categories:   Administration

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