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Register as self-employed
in Belgium

Do you want to register as self-employed in Belgium?
Answer a few short questions and get started in less than 15 minutes.

1
Fill in the form
2
Liantis will get in touch
with you
3
Receive your VAT
number
Start your registration

Get access to exclusive content and benefits

Starting out as self-employed can be stressful. Get the peace of mind you deserve as a starter.
With our Starter Pack, you get access to the following exclusive benefits:

CLAIM YOUR STARTER PACK FOR FREE

Get your starter pack and kickstart your self-employment journey

€105.50 voucher equivalent to your Crossroads Bank registration fee

Group Coaching by experienced Tax Coaches

Exclusive Invites to Networking Events and Premium Content

What fellow freelancers say

Hear it straight from our users

Loïc

I’ve been using Accountable since the beginning and I couldn’t do without anymore. Step-by-step I moved more and more of my accounting process into it and know I’m even using it with my accountant. The new features usually make a lot of sense for me. They don’t neglect what is important for me so they spend time on bug fixing and improvement of what has been there since the beginning.

Michaela

Honestly, Accountable saved my life. I’m completely new in Belgium and the local tax & administrative system is super confusing. Accountable made it easy for me to do my administration. I was also able to ask them many questions related specifically to my business and they were always very helpful. If you are a freelancer or run a business in Belgium, I can definitely recommend this.

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Tena
Content writer & strategist
No need to know about accounting and taxes

Everything you need to know before
starting as self-employed

Have you been thinking of becoming self-employed but unsure where to get started? We have got you covered! In this video, Arnaud tells you which steps you need to take to become self-employed, a freelancer, in Belgium.

How can I register as self-employed with Accountable?

Applying for your VAT number with Accountable is done in 3 easy steps:

 

1. Fill in the online form

Do you want to become self-employed? Then you must first apply for an enterprise number, which can later be turned into a VAT number. Click the button below and easily fill in the registration form online. Do you have any questions while filling in the form? Then simply send us a message via the chat at the bottom right or via e-mail at [email protected].

 

2. Liantis will contact you

Accountable works together with the enterprise counter Liantis to facilitate your registration as self-employed. Once you have submitted your form, Liantis will contact you within 3-5 business days to verify all information and answer any questions you may have.

In addition, Liantis will send you an invoice for your registration to the the Crossroads Bank of Enterprises (CBE) (€105.5) and (if necessary) the activation of your VAT number (€64). With Accountable’s Starter Pack, you will also receive a voucher worth your registration in the CBE to use with one of our subscriptions. You can read more about that here.

 

3. You will receive your enterprise number

About 5 working days after Liantis has contacted you, you will receive your VAT number via email. From then on, you can start invoicing!

Do you have questions about the registration process or would you like to do this together with someone from our team? Simply send an email to [email protected].

Register as self-employed

Where should I apply for a VAT number?

After completing our online form, Liantis will contact you within 3-5 working days.
You will then receive your enterprise number and a payment request for your registration with the CBE. If you so wish, Liantis will also apply for your VAT number.

 

Your VAT number is simply your enterprise number with ‘BE’ in front of it. Once your enterprise number is active, Liantis can activate it at the VAT office as a VAT number. The activation of your VAT number costs €64 and is 100% tax deductible.

How much does it cost to become self-employed in Belgium?

In order to become self-employed in Belgium, you must apply for a enterprise number by registering with the Crossroads Bank of Enterprises (CBE).
The cost of this registration is fixed by law and amounts to €105.5 in 2024.

 

With Accountable’s Starter Pack, you will receive a voucher worth your registration in the CBE to use with one of our subscriptions. You can read more about that here.

 

Most self-employed people need a VAT number in addition to an enterprise number. Only if you perform services that are exempt from VAT, such as (para)medical services, education, coaching, you do not need a VAT number.

 

The cost of applying for your VAT number depends on the enterprise counter you choose. At Liantis, it costs €64 in 2024.

 

Becoming self-employed with Accountable and Liantis will cost you a total of €169.50. This cost is 100% tax deductible. That is, you can deduct this cost from your taxable income, which means you pay less taxes. Moreover, as a self-employed person starting out on your own with Accountable, you can get the CBE’s registration fee back in the form of a voucher via the Starter Pack. Discover our Starter Pack here.

Can I also register as a complementary self-employed with your tool?

The status of complementary self-employe is perfect for trying out self-employment without too much risk. As a freelancer in a secondary occupation, you pay social contributions based on your additional income, but these are often lower than those of a freelancer in a main occupation. Moreover, you do not lose the social security you get from your main job when you start a side gig.

 

Even if you want to start a complementary activity, you can do so via this tool. In the “Your status” section, you can indicate whether you want to become self-employed in a main occupation, self-employed in a secondary occupation, student self-employed or retired self-employed. You can then submit your application and Liantis will take care of the rest.

How long does it take to apply for my VAT number?

The entire process of applying for a VAT number takes around 8-10 working days. After you fill in the online form on our website, it takes 3-5 working days for Liantis to contact you. After you have been in touch with Liantis, it may take another 5 days before you receive your enterprise number and VAT number via email.

Can I also set up a company with this tool?

A company is an enterprise structure that you can either create by yourself or with one or more partners. Companies are their own legal entity. This means that the partners, or managers in the company, are in no case personally liable for the profits and losses of the company.

 

There are different types of companies, each with their specific advantages and disadvantages. The most common partnerships are a limited liability company (BV/SRL), public limited company (NV/SA), limited partnership (CS) and management company.

 

Our online tool is only available for people who want to start as self-employed as a natural person. If you would like to start a company, we recommend you contact Bizantium, an online platform where you can set up your company quickly and online.

How can Accountable help me after registering as self-employed?

For many people starting out as self-employed, it is difficult to keep an overview of all the obligations you suddenly face as a self-employed professional. “When was that VAT deadline supposed to be again?”, “How do I draw up an invoice?”. It’s not surprising if you sometimes feel lost.

 

This is precisely why it is important have a good system to keep track of your expenses and revenues from the moment you become self-employed. After all, if you organise your documents well, you will have a better grip on your figures and will never be in for a nasty surprise.

 

By using Accountable, you can manage your accounts and taxes in complete peace of mind. Simply add your professional expenses and invoices and the app will give you tax tips, tell you how much profit you will have left after taxes ánd it will also prepare those taxes for you, ready to submit.

 

But Accountable is more than just a software. Alongside our app is a team of tax coaches always ready to answer your questions about accounting, taxes or your self-employed status. So you are – literally – never alone. Simply send us an email at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) if you would like to know more.

How do I apply for Accountable's Starter Pack?

As a new self-employed professional in Belgium, you are entitled to Accountable’s Starter Pack. This Starter Pack gives you access to the following 3 benefits:

– A voucher to the value of your registration cost with the CBE (€105.50)
– Group coaching by our experienced Tax Coaches
– Access to exclusive networking events and premium content

 

To take advantage of the Starter Pack, simply register as self-employed via our online tool, after which you can create an account in Accountable. You will then receive all the information you need to claim your benefits.

What is the Crossroads Bank of Enterprises?

The Crossroads Bank of Enterprises, or CBE for short, is a database of the Federal Public Service of Economy in which all fundamental data of Belgian companies and their establishment units are collected.

 

Do you want to start as a sole proprietor? Then you need to register yourself as self-employed and apply to the CBE for an enterprise number. Once your registration is complete, your company details are published in the CBE and are publicly available to everyone.

What is the difference between a VAT number and an enterprise number?

If you want to start a sole proprietorship, whether as a self-employed professional in a secondary occupation or in a main occupation, you need an enterprise number. In addition, in most cases, you will also need a VAT number.

 

The main difference is that the enterprise number is a general identification of your business, while the VAT number is used specifically for transactions covered by VAT regulations. In detail:

 

What is an enterprise number?

Your enterprise number is a unique identification number assigned to every self-employed person after registration with the CBE. The enterprise number consists of 10 digits and is used in all official documents and in communication with government agencies. You can apply for your enterprise number with Accountable and Liantis using the tool at the top of this page.

 

What is a VAT number?

Simply put, the VAT number is the same as the company number, but with the country code ‘BE’ in front of it. You use the VAT number for all activities covered by VAT legislation, such as invoicing and VAT returns. After receiving your company number, you can also apply for the VAT number. This can again be done via Liantis.

Who has to apply for a VAT number?

In theory, all Belgian self-employed professionals are subject to VAT, and since you need a VAT number for transactions covered by VAT regulations, every self-employed person needs a VAT number. Even if you opt for the VAT exemption scheme for small businesses, you need to have your VAT number activated. This is because you need your VAT number to submit the annual client list, for example.

 

Certain liberal professions are exempt from VAT due to the nature of the profession (e.g. doctor, psychologist, dentist). These self-employed professionals do not need to apply for a VAT number.

How to start a sole proprietorship in Belgium?

Do you want to become self-employed in a sole proprietorship? Whether you choose a secondary or main profession, you need to apply for an enterprise number to become self-employed. Accountable has made it very easy for you to do so. You can use our tool at the top of this page to complete your registration in less than 15 minutes. In collaboration with Liantis, we will apply for your enterprise number.

 

💡 Accountable tip: We recommend that you open a bank account for your business before registering with the CBE. This is because during your registration as a self-employed, you will be asked for a bank account number. To avoid any administrative costs afterwards, it is a good idea to already have your bank account number at the time of registration. A separate bank account is not compulsory for sole traders, but it will make your accounting a lot easier.

 

After submitting the form, you will be contacted by Liantis within 3-5 days. You will then receive the payment request for applying for your company number. If necessary, Liantis will also take care of activating your VAT number.

 

And before you know it, you will officially be self-employed in a sole proprietorship. Congratulations!

How can I become self-employed in a secondary occupation?

Want to start a side job? Starting a sole proprietorship in a secondary occupation follows the same procedure as becoming self-employed in a main occupation. Simply fill in the form at the top of this page to set up your side activity. After submitting the form, you will be contacted by Liantis within 3-5 days to finalise your registration.

When can I become self-employed in a secondary occupation?

Self-employed in a secondary occupation is a status for people who are self-employed in addition to their main occupation (often as an employee). To become self-employed in a secondary occupation, you have to have at least a half-time job as an employee.

 

Technically, you can become self-employed in a secondary occupation if you:

 

– Work at least half-time as an employee;
– Work at least 6/10ths of a full hourly schedule as permanently appointed teacher or at least 5/10ths as not (yet) permanently appointed teacher;
– Are legally on pension;
Job seeker and the National Employment Office (RVA) gives you permission to carry out an additional activity. For example, the Springboard to self-employment scheme allows you to retain your unemployment benefits for 12 months while performing a secondary self-employment activity;
Receive a benefit from the health insurance fund (you receive this allowance based on an activity in paid employment before you became unfit for work).

In all other cases – unpaid leave, for example – you become self-employed in main occupation.

 

As a full-time self-employed professional, you build up social security through your self-employed status. As a self-employed professional in a secondary occupation, you build up social security through your status as an employee, pension, unemployment or any benefit from the health insurance fund. In short, through one of these other statuses, but not through your status as a self-employed professional.

 

However, this does not mean that you are exempt from paying social security contributions. Just like a full-time self-employed, you pay 20.5% of your net taxable income in social contributions. However, the minimum amount per quarter is a lot lower: €98.52 per quarter.

Just like a full-time self-employed professional, you can carry out almost all activities in secondary occupation. If you have sufficient talent, expertise and entrepreneurial spirit, you can start whatever side activity you want.

 

If you want to become self-employed in a secondary occupation in Flanders, you do not need a specific diploma or certificate. Until a few years ago, you still needed a business management diploma and for certain professions in the construction sector a certificate of professional competence, but fortunately this is no longer the case

 

If you live in Brussels or Wallonia, things are a little different:

– In Brussels you also no longer need a business management diploma since 2024, but for some professions you still have to present a proof of professional competence.
– In Wallonia, you must be able to present both a diploma in business management and (for certain professions) a proof of professional competence.

 

You can become self-employed at any time, but we advise you to start as self-employed at the beginning of a new quarter (January, April, July, October). That way, you avoid having to pay social contributions for an entire quarter, even if you only worked a part of it.