Starting a bookstore in Belgium
can be a lovely and lucrative business idea. Brussels and other Belgian cities all have bookshops of all sizes that cater to the needs of local and foreign customers. Typically, these bookstores will have an English book section and include newspapers, magazines, CDs, DVDs and other items in foreign languages.
In order to open a bookstore in Belgium, entrepreneurs will need a business plan (ideally based on their target customer’s profiles and the services offered by other similar establishments in the area) and a favorable location to base their new business.
How to open a bookstore in Belgium
Bookstores are found in all major Belgian cities and most of them offer additional services or events to their customers. Poetry nights or children’s activities, offering loyalty cards and special discount process are just some ideas to keep book lovers coming back to your library.
Buying a property in Belgium or renting suitable premises for the new bookstore is an important step. Investors will need to consider the available/needed space for their new business as well as any logistical and storage issues.
Full foreign ownership is possible in Belgium and foreign investors
enjoy the same rights (and have the same duties and responsibilities) as nationals.
How to open a company in Belgium
There are several types of companies
available in Belgium suited to business types of all sizes. Investors who share the same business goals may form a partnership, however, the most popular business form for bookstores is the private limited company or the NV.
This business structure allows its founders to have limited liability for the debts of the company and needs to be registered with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises. At least two founders are needed to form this type of company but there are no requirements regarding nationality.
Those investors who open a company in Belgium will also need to pay attention to the applicable tax laws, the accounting, filing and auditing requirements. A reduced VAT rate applies to books.
Are you planning on opening a bookstore or another type of company? You should know that part of the company’s obligations consists of registering for value-added tax. This is done electronically, and VAT registration in Belgium
takes place once the company is registered with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (and it will have its assigned number activated as a VAT number).