Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Self-Employment in Belgium: Know the Rules

Bruges, Belgium
If you’re moving to a new country for the sake of a lifestyle change rather than because your employer is sending you elsewhere, self-employment can be one of the best ways to ensure you still make enough to pay the mortgage whilst maintaining a level of control over what you’re doing and when. A huge number of expats choose this route, and there are countless websites devoted to helping people who want to live a freelance life. The benefits are obvious: getting up when you want to, dictating your own working hours, choosing which clients you can work with and perhaps pursuing something that has always been a dream job but never felt within reach. It’s not an easy route, though, and with more and more people wanting the flexibility to choose their own working lifestyles, competition is hotter than ever.

Beyond the usual difficulties, of course, there is also the added issue of trying to work out how to go self-employed in a new country. Many places have different tax laws for people who work for themselves, and as anyone who has done it in their home country will know, this can be confusing even when you speak the language and understand the culture.

Recently, Belgium reinstated the LIMOSA registration system, which was relaxed somewhat during the first part of 2013. The system aims to ensure that all workers in Belgium have social security numbers and are legally allowed to work there. However, understanding exactly what you need to prove can be difficult. We’ve put together a quick guide to setting up your own business in Belgium...


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