Commercial activities

Any commercial business must be registered with the Central Enterprise Databank (KBO/BCE). Accreditation or authorisation is also required for certain activities.

In order to perform an activity on a self-employed basis, every entrepreneur must:
  • satisfy certain prerequisites (age, civil rights...) and
  • fulfil various legal formalities:
    • register with the Central Enterprise Databank
    • register for VAT
    • join a social insurance fund for self-employed persons, ...
Certain categories of self-employed persons must fulfil specific formalities.
The links are not available in English. Please refer to the French or Dutch version.

Registering the company with the Central Enterprise Databank

The company can be registered with the Central Enterprise Databank at an accredited enterprise counter. When registering, the manager of any commercial or artisan company must prove their entrepreneurial abilities.
To demonstrate these abilities, the trader or craftsman must:
  • present a valid qualification or
  • demonstrate adequate professional experience or
  • pass an exam before the Central Examining Board.
In addition, non-European self-employed workers must have a professional card for foreigners.
Based on the documents presented, the enterprise counter approves or rejects the commercial or artisan company's application to register with the Central Enterprise Databank.
In the event of a refusal, the entrepreneur may lodge an appeal with the Economic Investigation Council.

To perform certain activities

An accreditation or additional authorisation is needed for performing certain activities in the Brussels-Capital Region. This concerns the following sectors:
Depending on the case, the application must be submitted at an accredited enterprise counter or with Brussels Economy and Employment.

To establish a retail business of more than 400 m2

If you are planning to establish a retail business with a sales area greater than 400 m² you must have a social-economic permit.
To apply for a commercial permit in the Brussels-Capital Region, please contact Brussels Urban Development.