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Employing in Belgium

At a glance

Employment in Belgium

Foreign companies that employ workers in Belgium face several challenges and must adhere to the legal and regulatory framework that is in place.  Most notably, there are differences in how permanent and contract workers are treated. In some cases, using an outsourced employer will make the process smoother, and it is recommended to use professional legal services as well.  Our guide explains Belgian policies on leave, termination and payment of benefits.

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Payroll & Tax in Belgium

Complying with local payroll and tax requirements is essential for a company doing business in Belgium.  If the company has employees in Belgium, it must register with the Belgian social security administration for salaried workers (ONSS/RSZ) and comply with all applicable Belgian employment regulations.  Issues such as tax rates and withholding and social security will depend on the type of business entity used.  Many companies will consider outsourcing these administrative tasks to a GEO (Global Employment Organization).

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Immigration / Work Permits in Belgium

Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Belgium, as established by immigration laws.  For non-EU nationals a “Professional Card” will be required, which is tied to visas and residency status.  The application will be reviewed within 5 days, but may take several weeks for approval.

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There are several business structures available for incorporation in Belgium, and each has advantages and disadvantages.  There are four primary business types available including Foreign Branch Office and three different variations of Limited Liability Companies.  The distinctions and registration steps can be found in our guide to setting up a company in Belgium.

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GEO Solutions or DIY Employment in Belgium?

Companies entering Belgium must make a decision whether to use their own resources for a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach, or to use a Global Employment Organization to handle payroll and employment responsibilities.  A GEO or Belgium Employer of Record solution makes it faster, easier and cheaper to deploy staff and comply with the local payroll and withholding regulations.  Typically, a DIY approach will take as long as 2 weeks to set up the company and be prepared to employ staff, while a GEO solution takes less than 3 days to have the employees onboard and working compliantly.

 Shield GEO

Shield GEO provides a fully outsourced employment service in Belgium. Companies expanding into Belgium can contract with Shield GEO to employ and payroll their staff on their behalf in Belgium.  Shield GEO then assumes the legal responsibility for these employees, becoming the Employer of Record, sponsoring them on work permits (if required for non-EU nationals), complying with local employment law and running their monthly payroll.

Using Shield GEO Employer of Record Services in Belgium

Payroll Belgium
Management Fee for Employer of Record Services / Monthly Payroll Costs

Please contact us for a quote


Shield GEO pays the employee on a monthly basis, social security and income tax (which ranges from 25-55%) is taken at source and paid to the Belgium tax authorities. Belgium has very high rates of payroll tax or employer social security contributions totaling 24-35% of gross salary. The World Bank estimates it costs Belgian employers 40 man days per year to ensure compliance with payroll and labour taxes.

Grossed income Tax Rate (%)
€0 – 8,710 25
€8,710 – 12,400 30
€12,400 – 20,660 40
€20,660 – 37,870 45
€37,870+ 50
Tax Returns Supplied


Employers Social Security and statutory contributions

Between 24-35% depends on a range of factors; marital status, children, age, additional deductibles. e.g. at 24.77% it is made up of the child benefit 7%, unemployment benefit 1.46%, medical care in the case of sickness and incapacity 3.8%, sickness and incapacity benefits 2.35%, occupational illnesses 1%, industrial accidents 0.3% and pension (superannuation) 8.86%.

Employees Social Security and statutory contributions

13.07% uncapped. This comprises unemployment benefit 0.87%, medical care in the case of sickness and incapacity 3.55%, sickness and incapacity benefits 1.15%, pension (superannuation) 7.5%.

Insurance requirements

Medical not required but advised.

Corporate Income Tax Rate

33.99% (CIT rate of 33% + a 3% crisis “surtax”)

Payroll Tax


Sales Tax


Withholding Tax


Work Permits
Can Sponsor Work

Yes, Shield GEO is able to sponsor non-EU workers on Belgian B Work Permits which allow them to work in Belgium. As the employer of record, Shield GEO handles all of the formalities and employment requirements in Belgium. The client maintains responsibility for day to day employee management.

EU nationals to not require work permits to work in Belgium.

Work Permit cost

€3,000 EURO

Work Permit processing time

8-10 weeks

Work Permit process

The local Employer (Shield’s local entity) must apply for an employment permit to employ the candidate, then a type B work permit. Once the type – B permit has been issued the candidate must contact the Belgian Embassy in their home country to apply for the visa to enter Belgium to commence their role

Documentation required : employment contract, CV, passport photos, copy of the candidates CV and degree/diploma certificates.

Can Work Permit be processed in country


Switch Business Visa to Work Permit?


Can Spouse work on dependent visa?


Business Visas
Can do Business Visa


Business Visa Cost

$500 USD

Business Visa processing time

7 days

Can supply private health care


Can assist opening bank accounts


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