Belgium provides many business opportunities for growth or expansion, with corporate tax incentives, a diversified economy, and a strong workforce. With 11 million people and 3 official languages, Belgium is a great stepping stone into the European market.
There are many options for companies looking to start or grow their business in Belgium. There are 4 common types of business entities to get started; Foreign Branch, Public Limited, Private Limited Liability, and Starter-Private Limited Liability. Belgian labor laws allow for different protections for workers depending on their level and type of work. Workers from outside the EU will need a work permit and visa to legally work in Belgium, and you must register employees with the social security administration and comply with employment regulations.
Employment contracts must be in French, Dutch or German and once employees are hired the employer must register them with multiple government authorities. Penalties are high for non-compliance.
Belgium has some unique employee benefits that are common for most employers to provide. Meal vouchers are given to employees to use for meals outside the office (typically lunch), while Eco vouchers support the green economy by promoting the purchase of sustainable and eco-friendly products. Both vouchers are strictly regulated by the Belgium government.
Social security filing is required each quarter based on income paid, and employers must pay withholding tax each quarter or on a monthly basis with changes each year to requirements.
Labor and Payroll Considerations in Belgium:
- Fixed-term employment contracts must be in writing
- Collective Bargaining Agreements are a key source of labor regulations, and can be negotiated at the national, industry, and company levels
- The National Minimum wage is €1,593 per month
- If a company has more than 50 employees, they must provide work regulations approved by the Ministry of Employment to new employees
- Employers with more than 100 employees must establish a Workers’ Council
- A new bereavement policy has been enacted as of July 2021 to increase leave time from 3 days to 10 days in the event of the death of a spouse or child
- Belgium implemented the Single Permit system for foreign nationals that are not from the EU or Switzerland, which simplifies the work and residence permit process
If you are just getting started in Belgium, or would like to simplify operations, Blue Marble can help. Our easy-to-use payroll platform with customized, aggregated reporting gives you real-time access to your payroll across all countries and currencies. We provide a unique hybrid service model giving you a US-based team and in-country experts to ensure compliance for your payroll in Belgium. Click here to learn more about our payroll solutions