Hoe word ik zelfstandige?

How do I become self-employed?

Planning to set up your own business? If so, you’re about to start out on a great adventure, one that’s full of challenges. If you’re to make your business venture a success, however, you have to get your preparations right. But what exactly do you need to consider?

Requirements for starting your own business

  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You possess your civil rights
  • You have legal capacity

If you’re a non-Belgian citizen, you also need a residence permit and a professional card.

Becoming self-employed in nine steps

1. Start with a plan

Start by taking a really close look at all aspects of your business. This will give you a good idea of the feasibility of your plans. What does the market and competition look like? How do you want to commercialise your idea? What are the costs involved and how are you going to finance them?

Tip: You might want to test the waters first by starting out in a secondary occupation. You can then find out in practice how successful your idea is without too many financial implications.

2. Choose between a sole-trader or company structure

Think carefully about the business structure that is best for you. The one you choose has implications for your income, bookkeeping, liability and so on.

If you opt for a sole-trader business structure, you have – for instance – fewer administrative obligations, but if you operate as a company, you benefit from more favourable tax rules.

3. Open your business account

In a company, you have to open an account in the name of your business. However, a separate account of this kind is also useful in a sole-trader business.

Not only does it enable you to distinguish between your work-related and personal expenses, it also comes with a business starter benefits package that will enable you to save up to almost 1 000 euros in start-up costs!

4. Choose a business one-stop shop

They will take care of registering your business with the ‘Crossroads Bank for Enterprises’ database, check that everything is legally in order and provide you with your company number.

5. Activate your VAT number

You can do this yourself by completing an online form or you can pay your business one-stop shop to activate it for you. Better still, open your business account at KBC Brussels and get your VAT number activated for free!

6. Join a social insurance fund

Being self-employed, you’re responsible for your own social security arrangements. You therefore have to join a social insurance fund and pay social security contributions every quarter.

7. Notify your health insurance fund

Another thing you mustn’t forget is your membership of a health insurance fund, so that you and your family are covered for GP visits, medicines, hospital admissions and other medical situations.

8. Get properly insured

Every business is different and so are the risks involved. Therefore, pay a to visit your insurance agent for advice on compulsory and optional insurance cover to ensure you’re properly insured from the outset.

9. Find a good accountant

A competent accountant is worth the investment and saves you a heap of paperwork. However, if you prefer to take care of things yourself, there are plenty of packages out there for doing your own bookkeeping.

Made up your mind about starting your own business?

Exciting times! Take the first step by opening your business account and getting a business starter benefits package for free:

  • Receive a personalised risk analysis
  • Get one years’ free use of the Billit invoicing tool
  • Get a professional website
  • Have your VAT number activated for free
  • ... and much more besides

Use this handy checklist as your guide

Sure you haven’t forgotten anything? Good luck!