Becoming a contractor, freelancer or consultant

The Ntrinsic Essential Guide to Freelance, Contracting & Consulting

We’ve successfully helped many people to overcome the issues associated with moving from a permanent job to developing a freelance career. Our team have a reputation for working with integrity and professionalism, and they’d be happy to discuss your choices and the opportunities with you.

Becoming a freelancer in Belgium

Going Freelance, or “independent” or becoming a “contractor”, might seem intimidating. There are a variety of both personal and professional factors to be considered, but, as many Belgian IT professionals have found, it’s also a rewarding way to apply their hard-earned skills.

We know that working freelance has many benefits:

Be Your Own Boss

Becoming a Freelancer does require one to be organised, confident and even a little brave, but Freelancers generally enjoy a high level of autonomy. Consequently, it can be professionally satisfying and extremely enjoyable. And of course, no line manager is forever!

Freedom and Flexibility

Although the number of opportunities vary, Freelancers can choose when and where to work and what projects sound interesting to them. They can also decide exactly when it is right for them to take a holiday.

Financial Rewards

Freelance talent is usually paid substantially more than an equivalent permanent member of staff. Plus, Freelancers who take professional advice can generally be more tax efficient than employees.

Enjoy Variety and Develop Your Skills

While you may have to spend some of your own time keeping your skills up to date, moving from contract to contract and company to company often offers the opportunity to develop very varied experience and an impressive CV - which also makes it easier to gain the next contract.

The Path to Freelance: Getting the Paperwork Right

Making sure you have the right paperwork in place is key to ensuring compliance with the authorities. Begin by using our guide to make sure you follow the right steps, and then ask the advice of an accountant or a representative of the Guichet D'Entreprise. This should be free of charge.

Our guide is for advice only and, in what can be a complex area, we cannot accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions.

We would advise following one of two options: Option 1 is to open a BVBA/SPRL, and Option 2 is to open a mixed liability company.

  • Option 1 - Open a BVBA/SPRL

    Open a BVBA/SPRL (limited liability except for the founders during the first three years in some cases).

    Step 1

    Go to the bank and open a professional account (called a blocked account). You must deposit a minimum of €12.400 if you are the sole shareholder, or a minimum of €6.200 if there are two or more shareholders. You will receive a document confirming your deposit.

    Step 2

    Take the document to your accountant, and together you will decide the 'statutes' of your future company. This states the main activity of your company http://www.notaire.be/

    You must also prepare a business plan over at least two years. The document confirming the deposit and the business plan will remain attached to the deed.

    Step 3

    Contact a notary and send the draft of the statutes. When they are accepted by both parties you organise a meeting with the notary for the signature (it’s a notarised deed). When the deed is signed the notary publishes it and then sends you a stamped copy.

    After about two weeks the statutes are published in the “Moniteur Belge”(Official Gazette).

    Step 4

    When the 'statutes' are officially published by the authorities, you must go the Guichet D'Entreprises to complete your registration. In the mean time you should apply for a VAT number.

    https://economie.fgov.be/fr/themes/entreprises/creer-une-entreprise

    Step 5

    You then register with the social security for independents and to a 'mutuelle', to get access to health care.

    Chrétiennes : www.mc.be

    Libérales : http://www.lm.be

    Libres : www.mloz.be

    Neutres : https://www.mut226.be/

    Socialistes: www.mutsoc.be

    Step 6

    Choose a payroll agency (secretariat social), who will issue your pay slips.

    More information www.securex.eu/be

    And that’s it! You can now apply and accept Freelance positions and enjoy the benefits of an independent career.

    For more in depth information please see:

    https://www.belgium.be/fr/economie/entreprise/creation/independants

    https://www.jelancemaboite.be/fr/devenir-independant

  • Option 2 - Open a mixed liability company

    Open a mixed liability company (SCS-société en commandite simple).

    While the steps are very much the same as in Option 1, the principle differences are:

    • Unlimited liability for the director(s) called the active partner(s)
    • Limited liability for the silent partner(s)
    • No minimum capital
    • No notarised deed
    • Two partners minimum