Setting up a company in Belgium is so much more difficult than it would be in the UK. Whereas in England I could purchase a ready-made company on-line for €50 and be up and running in 4 hours (!), in Belgium I have to follow a set procedure, that takes days if not weeks, costs around €2000 and ending with a notaire (solicitor). The founder has to have certain qualifications (to run a business), to have a prepared business plan. Fortunately (or not) I have already contacted an accountant who has been advising me and they will help with the process – for a fee of course.
Firstly I have to have a business plan; no problem it is written and for this business is not too complicated.
Secondly, I must open a bank account and deposit the capital for the company. This is regulated and for a small business is €18,600. As I shall be a sole director, I need to deposit €12,400 but the whole capital is at risk. I need proof from the bank in order to go to the notary.
The notary will then check my business plan, my company statutes and of course that the capital has been deposited. If all is in order, he signs it off and my company is registered with the Belgian authorities. Of course the notary fee is not small and altogether I am counting on around €2500 for this step! I think the minimum cost would be about €1800 but the financial advice pushes up the cost. From experiences and stories heard I have decided it is worth paying for a good accountant to avoid a lot of potential problems later.