Reasons to Invest in Belgium
There are convincing reasons to consider investing in Belgium for foreign nationals and business people:
Belgium is strategically located in the heart of Europe. It is an international hub for economic and political institutions, including European Union and NATO, and a number of European business centers, such as Paris, Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt are located only within a 300 km radius.
Belgium presents highly developed infrastructure of airports, seaports, roads and railways that make the country an unbeatable location for international trades and business people. High speed trains to London, Paris, Amsterdam and Cologne, 6 major seaports for global freight transport, extensive inland waterway network connections to other European countries and international airports offer high convenience for any business.
In Belgium, there are various tax incentives for individuals and companies. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a taxable profit not exceeding €322,500, the tax rate is 24.98%. Many industries and businesses benefit from different kinds of taxation advantages in the form of tax deductions, tax shelters, tax exemptions, tax incentives or reduced wage costs as well as enjoy an extensive tax treaty network.
Investors will have access to highly skilled employees in Belgium. According to International Labor Organization and the OECD, well educated work force, knowledge of several languages widely spoken in the country and peaceful industrial relations makes Belgian employees some of the most productive in the world.
Belgium has been placed in second place, behind Hong Kong, in the Global Foreign Direct Investment Attraction Index, published by the United Nations in 2012. One of the reasons for this ranking is definitely the investor friendly authorities in Belgium.
Both federal and regional, the various Belgian authorities will support foreign companies with free advice, based on a flexible, un-bureaucratic and investor-centered approach.
Investors do not need to sacrifice the quality of their lives when living in Belgium for their businesses. Efficient healthcare system, multilingual communities, education opportunities and a highly developed transport network helps foreigners to live a high quality life in Belgium.
All applications for residency and citizenship in Belgium are decided on a case-by-case basis by the authorities. The main two options for non-EU citizens are:
To apply for residency, certain ties to Belgium in personal, business or professional nature have to be proven. Setting up a company, investing in an existing Belgian company, or working for a Belgian company is a good way to establish business ties with Belgium.
There are some important points to consider when establishing a company in Belgium and applying for a residency permit: