The total number of exports from Flanders increased by 5 percent last year compared to 2016. The region accounted for more than 80 percent of Belgium’s total exports in 2017, with those for Wallonia reaching a little more than 14 percent and 2.5 percent from the Brussels-Capital Region. Companies based in Flanders benefit from certain advantages and the region has a number of well-developed industries. All foreign investors interested in opening a company here can talk more about the opportunities with our team of lawyers in Belgium.
Business confidence regained momentum in October, mainly driven by an improvement in the manufacturing sector. This is the most significant growth in several months, according to data released by the National Bank of Belgium. One of the experts at our Belgian law firm can give you complete and detailed information for each business sector if you are interested in industry-specific information and investor confidence.
Wallonia’s Tourism Minister recently stated in an interview that the region is keen on developing its business tourism sector, which represents approximately 14 percent of the total tourism reservations. Tourism is among the top five investment sectors in Wallonia and Government officials believe that there is room for improvement in the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions Sector. One of the experts at our Belgian law firm can give you more details on the conditions for foreign investments in this field.
Belgium’s Government agreed to include a corporate tax cut in its 2018 Budget. According to the proposed change, the tax will be reduced in two steps: first in 2018 and then in 2020. The Budget for next year would also include a corporate income tax cut for small companies, which would have to pay a lower tax on their first 100,000 EUR. One of our lawyers in Belgium can help you with taxation matters if you are interested in investing in the country.
The regional economic perspectives for 2017-2022 are optimistic, as presented by the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau. It is anticipated that Flanders will remain the region with the highest growth during this time, however, Brussels and Wallonia will catch up. Our lawyers in Belgium are able to provide you with information about foreign investments, should you be interested in opening a company in the country.
What makes Belgium a good location to base a small business? To begin with, it’s the easy company set-up process and the limited restrictions for certain types of foreign investors. Moreover, the country has plenty of business opportunities, in various business fields. Entrepreneurs from neighboring countries, like France, for example, are looking towards starting their own small business in Belgium. Those who want to streamline the business formation process can request the help provided by a team of lawyers in Belgium.
According to the 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index, Belgium has the 13th most innovative economy in the world, an increase of 3 points from last year. The analysis is based on the country’s characteristics for research and development, productivity or high-tech innovation and density. When deciding to invest in Belgium entrepreneurs will look towards these characteristics. Our lawyers in Belgium detail the most important traits that have helped Belgium advance over the years.
The government of Wallonia, a Region of Belgium, together with mobile phone operators have agreed upon the mobile infrastructure taxes at the end of last year. In this article, our lawyers in Belgium make a brief summary of this agreement.
The National Bank of Belgium released a report that shows an increase in the business confidence in March, after two months of less positive results. Some business sectors, like manufacturing, saw a greater increase while in other eras like building the increase was marginal. Company owners in Belgium are more confident about their business performance in the coming months and about the possibility of hiring new employees.
The Belgian start-up sector is beginning to become more efficient. During the first two months in 2016, a number of 14 Belgian start-ups have managed to raise at least one million euros. This start is promising because it highlights the potential of small businesses and that of the local and foreign entrepreneurs in Belgium. This performance allows Belgium to enter the top 5 European countries with an excellent environment for start-ups.
The reforms undertaken by Belgium in order to reduce the tax burden on labor were welcomed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). These measures are important because they support the creation of new jobs in Belgium and are allowing for cuts in personal taxation. Foreign investors in Belgium who want to hire employees for their Belgium-based company can take advantage of these measures as the country is becoming more attractive for cross-border and foreign employees.
Business confidence in Belgium improved significantly in October thus registering the highest growth over the last four months. The data was released by the National Bank of Belgium and the improvement was reportedly more important in the business-related services area and in the manufacturing industry. This positive outlook is not only good for current companies in Belgium but it is also important for foreign investors who are considering setting up a business in Belgium.
The European Investment Bank is encouraging investment projects for transportation. The targeted area is the city of Antwerp and the surrounding areas that have problems caused by bad transport infrastructure. These investments are funded by the European Investment Bank under certain conditions but foreign investors in Belgium can also benefit from them.
Belgium is part of several other European countries that have agreed to impose a tax on financial transactions starting with 2017. Now, these states are looking towards solutions to reduce the impact of this measure on markets and their ability to fund the economy. Our attorneys in Belgium can tell you all about this measure, how it will be applied and how it will influence your business. We can also provide assistance with tax compliance in Belgium.
Belgian officials are negotiating the manner in which the 2015 budget will be adjusted as well as the 2016 budget and the planned tax shift. The latter is a combination of new taxes that are implemented to support a decrease in the social security contributions. The new provisions have already been announced by the Belgian government and further negotiations are taking place in order to balance the future budget. The experts at our law firm in Belgium can tell you more about how these changes can affect your business.
Pharmaceutical companies that are basing their operations in Belgium are some of the most important clinical studies performers in Europe. Belgian pharmaceutical companies are also known for their research and development activities. The country favors both the production and the required research activities for medicines, this is why international pharmaceutical companies base their laboratories and manufacturing units in the country. The consultants at our law firm in Belgium can help you open a pharmaceutical company.
The Belgian government reached an agreement earlier this week regarding the 2015-2016 budget and the “tax shift”: a number of new taxes. In short, the main principles announced by the Belgium authorities concern the employers social security contribution, the personal income taxes and new incentives for certain types of investments in Belgium. These measures have been agreed upon with the purpose to generate more income. Our attorneys in Belgium can help you understand how this new set of measures will impact your business and life in Belgium.
A newly issued judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is likely to have implications for the real estate sector in Belgium. The judgment concerned a supply in cost-price calculation of the fictitious taxable amount, to which value added tax would be added. The implications of the decision could influence the manner in which VAT applies to buildings in Belgium. If you are interested in purchasing property in Belgium, the experts at our Belgian law firm can help you know more about taxes for property.
Belgian employers can benefit from special tax incentives if they invest in Belgium in areas considered economic difficulty zones. The Flemish part of the country has a number of such areas and investors who hire employees in these areas can benefit from a 25% exemption from a withholding tax on wages for employees. Our Belgian law firm can help you with detailed information if you are looking to open a company in Flanders.
The changes to the 2015 budget also bring certain tax measures. The concern both businesses in Belgium as well as individuals, especially employees in Belgium. Our Belgian law firm can offer you counselling and personalized advice if you are interested in how these changes will specifically affect your company in Belgium.
A new decision issued by the Belgian VAT authorities targets the VAT liability for services provided within VAT groups. The new changes come as a consequence of a particular case judged at the end of 2014 and aim to clarify the conditions under which a legal entity can join and activate in a VAT group. The implications are important mainly for branches in Belgium and our Belgian law firm can offer you additional personalized counselling if you need clarifications regarding this matter.
Foreign investors in Belgium have concentrated on opening new branches or subsidiaries in 2014. A number of important companies, mostly from neighboring countries, have chosen to set up new headquarters in Belgian cities, from where they can coordinate their European activities. American companies have also made it clear that they prefer investing in Belgium. The country is not only attractive because of its geographic position, at the heart of Europe, but also because it offers many advantages to business owners.
The European Union opened an investigation that wants to identify if there are any tax deals for multinational firms in Belgium that could breach the existing European Union rules regarding illegal state aid. The investigation in Belgium is not the only one being conducted in Europe. Foreign investors in Belgium should observe the general legislation for investments in order to avoid illegal tax deals and other offences punishable in court.
Belgium is looking to attract more Indian investments and for this purpose the two countries will perform a series of visits and talks regarding the collaboration methods. The largest Belgian port and also the second largest in Europe, Antwerp, is looking to increase the total number of Indian cargo transported to and from Belgium and India. Last year, the port of Antwerp received a record amount of five million tonnes of cargo from Indian source shipments.