company formation belgium

  (+32) (0)3 2373426


(+32) (0)3 2373426
Company Formation Belgium



Liaison Office in Belgium

Updated on Thursday 24th August 2023

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Liaison Office in Belgium

As a foreign investor interested in the Belgian business environment, it is recommended that you set up a liaison office in the country that would give you a better insight on the commercial potential of the market. Also, it can offer the possibility of a better representation of your company’s interests. A liaison office in Belgium acts as a connection between the parent company, situated elsewhere, and the business industries, competitors and partners on the Belgian market. 
 Quick Facts  
Characteristics of a liaison office in Belgium A representative office in Belgium serves as a non-trading, non-commercial entity that represents the interests of the parent company in the Belgian market

Permitted activities

- providing information to potential clients or partners,

- coordinating activities on behalf of the parent company,

- market research,

- advertising,

- lobbying for the parent company,

- organizing travel arrangements, etc.

Interdicted activities

- impose service fees,

- sign contracts (under the name of the parent company),

- import goods,

- purchase properties, etc.

Procedure of opening a representative office in Belgium

In the case of permanent liaison offices, registration is required;

Please contact our Belgian company formation specialists for details.

Representative required (YES/NO)

YES, each office must select an individual to act as its representative

Laws governing representative offices in Belgium

Belgium Corporation Law

Differences from a branch office

Branch offices can engage in commercial activities, and can use a different "commercial name" if desired

 Corporate income tax

 There is no corporate income tax for liaison offices because they do not engage in commercial activities and do not have any income


VAT registration in Belgium for representative offices is only mandatory when the office is a permanent establishment in the country

 Additional costs

- rental space (if applicable),

- employees' salaries,

- utilities,

- maintenance costs, etc.


Must provide tax filings and the audited financial statements of its parent company


The parent company holds complete legal responsibility for the actions, obligations, and liabilities of the representative office

Incorporation time (approx.)

 3 weeks


 - establishing a presence in the Belgian market,

- brand visibility and awareness, 

- apoint of contact for negotiating and finalizing business partnerships,

- easy registration,

- no taxes

 Assistance Our team can help you in the process of opening a liaison office or company in Belgium

Main functions of a liaison office in Belgium 

Opening a liaison office in Belgium can offer many advantages to the investors, as it gives the parent company a presence on the market and it also offers the possibility to promote the main activity undertaken by the company and to establish contracts with Belgian companies. If you want to open a representative office, our company formation specialists can help you throughout the process, but you should know that the office doesn’t need a registration in Belgium. 
Also, because a representative office is not a separate legal entity, it doesn't need to follow the same publication or accounting rules that might apply to other legal entities like branches or subsidiaries. These entities often have specific reporting and financial disclosure requirements. Our Belgian company formation specialists can help you in these cases. 
It is also worth mentioning that unlike a branch office, which might have its own legal representative, a liaison office in Belgium is not represented by a legal entity. 
If the office needs to conduct activities like opening a bank account, entering contracts, hiring employees, or renting office space, it can only do so using the name of the parent company abroad or the names of individuals associated with the representative office.
As for liability, the parent company remains fully responsible and liable for any operations, actions, or consequences arising from the activities of the representative office in Belgium. 
If you wish to open a liaison office or a company in Belgium, you can rely on our team for support.

The activities of a Belgian liaison office 

The liaison office is supposed to act on behalf of the parent company to determine market opportunities in the Belgian business environment. As such, only the following activities are regulated by the Belgian law:
offering information to the potential clients or partners;
providing promotion materials;
lobbying for the parent company with local and foreign companies;
coordinating the activities imposed by the parent company;
surveying the Belgian market;
organizing travel arrangement, when needed, for representative of the parent company or for its clients. 
The liaison office is not allowed to engage in the following activities:
imposing fees on various services;
signing contracts on behalf of the parent company, 
buying property;
importing goods; 
Also, the office can’t develop commercial activities, as the Belgian law states that only non-profit activities, such as market research and lobby are permitted.

Differences between a branch and a representative office in Belgium

Branches and representative offices in Belgium are different entities, with a specific scope of activities, legal representation, taxation, registration requirements, and level of business involvement. Our specialists in company formation in Belgium can explain the differences between the two.
A branch is a legally dependent part of the foreign parent company, but it is not a separate legal entity on its own. It operates as an extension of the parent company and conducts business activities, including profit-generating operations. Opening a liaison office in Belgium does not allow you to conduct any sales or sign contracts, it is only a temporary administrative arrangement to facilitate preparatory and auxiliary activities on behalf of the parent company. 
Registration for branches is also different. The branch is required to provide certain documentation, including the company's Articles of Association, and potentially obtain a special business permit for specific sectors. It might need to draft documents in one of Belgium's official languages. The temporary representative office in Belgium does not require any registration. 
Taxation is also different. A branch may be subject to various taxation requirements in Belgium, including taxes on profits and capital gains. It is likely to have more extensive accounting and reporting obligations.
Lastly, a branch requires a legal representative who is typically responsible for its operations and acts as the local point of contact.
If you want to open a branch, our specialists in company registration in Belgium can assist you. 

Accounting and taxation

Since the representative office is not involved in conducting any business activities for profit within Belgium, is exempt from certain requirements.
It does not need to maintain accounting records, register in a commercial register, or submit tax declarations for non-residents in Belgium. It also does not need to pay any corporate taxes and no minimum share capital is required to open a liaison office in Belgium.
In the situation in which the office has a permanent establishment in Belgium, it should register for the payment of the Value Added Tax. Our company formation agents can provide you with further details on the registration procedure.  If you need company formation services in other counries, such as Cayman IslandsKazakhstanBahrainwe can put you in contact with our partners. 
A representative office is a great way for businesses to enter a new market and conduct research, before extending or opening a company in Belgium. The country has great investment potential, considering these statistics:
  • Belgium’s GDP was over 594 billion dollars in 2021;
  • The industrial sector, which encompasses production-related activities, contributed approximately 20.85 percent to Belgium's GDP in 2021;
  • The services sector, which includes a wide range of activities such as retail, finance, healthcare, education, and more, made up the largest portion of Belgium's GDP in 2021, about 67.77 percent of the GDP.
If you need further information on opening a liaison office in Belgium, please contact our company registration consultants, who can offer you customized services and representation. 

Meet us in Antwerp

Karel Mul.jpg


Karel Mul is a Doctor of Laws and Master of Roman Notarial Law (Ghent University). He is an experienced corporate lawyer and an active member of numerous international organizations. He will help you establish your company in Belgium and assist you in all business related issues you may encounter.

Call us now at (+32) (0)3 2373426 to set up an appointment with our consultants in Antwerp , Belgium. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Belgium.

As our client, you will beneficiate from the joint expertize of local lawyers and international consultants. Together we will be able to offer you the specialized help you require for your business start-up in Belgium.

Contact us




A personalized approach, according to the needs of the client. They follow through every step of the company formation process and will also provide pre-incorporation advice, as needed. Their offer will also include post-incorporation services.

Mihai Cuc, Partner of MHC Law Firm

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