Guidance

Belgium: providing services and travelling for business

Guidance for UK businesses on rules for selling services to Belgium.

Read this page in combination with the general guidance for EU,Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The authoritative source for Belgian market regulations is the Belgian government. This guidance links to official Belgian sources wherever possible.

Belgian trade and services regulations

If you’re a UK business providing services in Belgium, you need to follow Belgian regulations about:

  • getting authorisations or licences to provide a service
  • complying with specific local business regulations
  • EEA nationality requirements which could prevent you from providing services in some sectors

The Belgian e-government portal for service providers can help you to:

  • find out what you need to know about providing services in Belgium
  • understand local regulations
  • complete the relevant administrative procedures online

Consider appointing an English-speaking lawyer in Belgium to help you comply with specific regulations.

Belgium may have regulated sectors where European Economic Area (EEA) nationality requirements could prevent you from providing services. The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

To find out if this applies to you, contact the appropriate competent authority.

VAT on sales of digital services

To use the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to declare sales of digital services to EU consumers, businesses need to register for MOSS in an EU member state.

Find out more about paying VAT on sales of digital services.

Ownership of companies registered in Belgium

If you have a UK business, you might face restrictions on your ability to own, manage or direct a registered company in Belgium or any other EEA country.

Read more about this in our guidance relating to the EEA and Switzerland.

If you’re a UK legal professional who has investments in law firms in Belgium, you should contact the relevant regional Bar association for advice on the implications for your investment.

Find information and contacts on the sites of:

Travel and entry requirements

See the latest information on all travel to Europe.

The Federal Public Service for Foreign Affairs website has more information about:

  • visas including intra-corporate transfers
  • work and residence permits
  • supporting documentation
  • other conditions

Social security payments for employees

Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Belgium.

Recognition of professional qualifications

To check what you need to do in Belgium, read our guidance on professional qualifications in the EEA and Switzerland.

If you need to take action to secure the recognition of your academic or professional qualification in Belgium, visit the Business Belgium website.

These sources can also help you:

UK statutory auditors working in Belgium

For UK statutory auditors, the Belgian Audit Oversight College (site in French) should be able to provide further information.

UK lawyers working in Belgium

If you’re a UK-qualified lawyer working in Belgium, using either a Belgian or UK professional title, you should contact the relevant regional Bar association for specific advice.

Find information and contacts on the sites of:

Data transfer and GDPR

As part of the wider UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the free flow of personal data from the EEA to the UK will continue after 1 January 2021 for no longer than 6 months, until adequacy decisions come into effect.

As a sensible precaution during this 6 month period, it is recommended that you work with EEA organisations who transfer personal data to you to put in place alternative transfer mechanisms to safeguard against any interruption to the free flow of EU to UK personal data.

Read guidance on using personal data in your business or other organisation.

Published 6 March 2019
Last updated 28 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated the following sections to reflect the changes created by the UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement: overview, trade regulations, VAT on sales of digital services, business travel and entry requirements, social security payments for employees, recognition of professional qualifications, and data transfer and GDPR.

  2. Guidance for ‘Recognition of professional qualifications’ and ‘Social security payments for employees’ updated.

  3. Change to title to include travelling for business

  4. Update to 'Business travel and entry requirements' section

  5. First published.