Contracting in Belgium
Are you planning to be contracting in Belgium? These pages will give you an overview about Belgium as a country, what’s required of you to be contracting in Belgium. Learn more about how to apply for Visa and Work Permit if necessary, the percentage of the Belgian Income Tax and how the Belgian Social Security works. For more practical information not just about contracting, download our guide Start Contracting in Belgium or our International Contracting Guide.
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country of north western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and the North Sea. It is one of the smallest and most densely populated European countries, which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres (11,787 sq mi). Belgium has a population of about 11 million people. The capital of Belgium is Brussels.
It is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The country is divided into three regions and three communities that exist next to each other.
- Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north,
- French-speaking southern region of Wallonia, and
- the Brussels-Capital Regionis an officially bilingual (French and Dutch) enclave within the Flemish Region.
- A German-speaking Community also exists in eastern Wallonia.
It is obvious, that Belgium’s linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, which is made up of six different governments.
Due to the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, there are two main linguistic groups: the Dutch-speaking, mostly Flemish community, which constitutes about 59% of the population, and the French-speaking, mostly Walloon population, which comprises 41% of all Belgians. In addition, there is a small group of German-speakers. They live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area, and bordering Germany.
Belgium is one of the six countries founding European Union. It also hosts the official seats of the European Commission, Council of the European Union, and European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country’s capital, Brussels. Belgium is also a part of the Schengen Area.
Belgium is also a founding member of the Eurozone, OECD, NATO and WTO. It is also a part of the trilateral Benelux Union. Its capital, Brussels, apart from hosting several of the EU’s official seats, there are also headquarters of many major international organisations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It is categorised as “very high” in the Human Development Index.
How to start contracting in Belgium?
Work Requirements in Belgium
In order to legally live and start contracting in Belgium, there is a work permit and residence permit (depending on the length of your stay) which is required for certain nationalities. Citizens from the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA – EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland can enjoy the freedom to work freely in Belgium without a Belgian work permit. A Belgian work permit is required for any non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals going to work in Belgium.
Read more about Work Requirements in Belgium.
There are different types of visas depending on the purpose of your travel to Belgium. If you are planning to visit, study or work and reside permanently in Belgium you will have to apply for a different Belgium Schengen Visa since Belgium as an EU Member State also became a member state of the Schengen Area.
Read more about general required documents for a Belgian Schengen Visa Application.
Belgian Work Permit
There are three basic types of work permits (A, B, C including Blue Card) in Belgium. It depends on your situation as to which Belgian work permit is required. In general, there exists Belgian work permit A, Belgian work permit B, Belgian work permit C, Professional Card and European Blue Card.
Learn more about Belgian Work Permit.
Belgian Income Tax
In Belgium, as in most countries there are specific rules for the calculation of the net income for each of these categories. Income taxes are levied on the worldwide income of Belgian residents and also the Belgian-source income of non-residents.
Learn more about Belgian Income Tax.
Belgian Social Security
Since Belgium has a very extensive social security system, foreigners are also entitled to certain allowances and to social services. However, such benefits applied to foreigners are strictly dependent on the conditions under which you are resident of Belgium. As in most countries, the Belgian social security system is based on the payment of social contributions on your income from work. Such social contributions serve to finance the social security system.
Read more about Belgian Social Security.