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Establish a Branch in Belgium

Updated on Thursday 17th September 2015

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Characteristics of a Belgian branch office

A branch established in Belgium must carry the same name as the parent company and it’s not considered a legal entity. The commercial name of the branch may differ from the registered name and can be or not reported at registration. The parent company is carrying full responsibility for the branch’s actions.
 

Procedure of starting a branch in Belgium

Only in specific area of activity, a business permit is requested before starting the operations (anything related to insurance, banking, pharmaceuticals, etc).

The documents related to the branch must be drafted in one of the official languages of Belgium (Dutch, French or German) depending on the area of registration.

The legal representative of a branch opened in Belgium doesn’t need to have Belgium’s nationality but is recommended to be based here (as all the branch’s activities take place here).

A branch opened in Belgium has certain advantages, as there is no minimal share capital requested at registration. Also there are no taxes on the capital gains.

The process of registering a branch in Belgium was simplified by introducing the one stop desk for companies, a centralized organism for applying for company registration, VAT registration and for the specific taxes.

Documentation required for opening a branch in Belgium

The following documents must be legalized by a notary from the foreign country and then translated into one of the official languages by an authorized Belgian translator:

  • a copy of the foreign company’s registration certificate,
  • the articles of incorporation
  • the decision of opening a branch.

The previous year’s balance sheet must also be translated and published it into the Belgian Official Journal and register it in the National Bank of Belgium.

Besides the above, the foreign company must also provide the decision of appointing the branch’s representative and his personal details.

The above documents must be submitted to the Registrar office of the Commercial Court and then in the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises. The registration in the Crossroads bank is possible by submitting the documentation to a one stop desk for companies.

The Crossroads will issue a registration number, a VAT number and the connection with a payroll agency.

The new branch may begin its commercial activities as soon as it receives the registration number and the incorporation of it must be published in the Annex to the Belgian Official Gazette.

The whole process doesn’t take longer than a few weeks if all the requested documents are delivered in time and properly.

 

For step-by-step assistance in opening a branch in Belgium, our company formation experts remain at your disposal.

 

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