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.

Payroll and Tax Considerations

  • The current minimum wage is EUR 1,625.72 per month, paid by collective agreements
  • Overtime is paid at 50% of regular pay and 100% on a Sunday or holiday
  • The current income tax ranges from 25-50%

HR and Statutory Requirements

  • An employee is entitled to at least 20 days (24 days for a 6-day workweek) of annual paid leave
  • Employees are permitted to take sick leave as soon as they begin working. During the initial period of sick leave, sickness benefits are paid by the employer. After the first 7 days the amount and duration vary depending on the type of work
  • Women are entitled to 15 weeks of maternity leave including 6 weeks before the birth and 9 weeks after the birth
  • Full and part-time employees are entitled to 15 days of paternity leave within the first 4 months of the birth of a child
  • Belgium has a mandatory contribution-based retirement scheme for all employees. The retirement age is 65 years until 2025, gradually increasing to 67 years by 2030
  • The retirement pension is calculated as a percentage of the average monthly salary of the employee over the years of service. The pension is 60% of the average monthly salary
  • Employment contracts must be in French, Dutch or German
  • Once employees are hired the employer must register them with multiple government authorities. Penalties are high for non-compliance
  • 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

Holidays in Belgium

  • January 1 – New Year’s Day
  • April 17 – Easter Sunday
  • April 18 – Easter Monday
  • May 1 – Labor Day / May Day
  • May 26 – Ascension Day
  • June 5 – Whit Sunday
  • June 6 – Whit Monday
  • July 21 – Belgian National Day
  • August 15 – Assumption of Mary
  • November 1 – All Saints’ Day
  • November 11 – Armistice Day
  • December 25 – Christmas Day

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