The Professional Card for self-employed workers
If you are looking into setting up a business as a self-employed worker in Belgium but you are neither a Belgian national nor a national of any of the Member States of the European Economic Area (European Union + Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) or if you are a Swiss national, you are required to hold a Professional Card.
The Professional Card allows you to trade on a self-employed basis. A number of categories are exempt from the Professional Card obligation.
The Professional Card is a mandatory requirement for anyone looking to start his/her own business on a self-employed basis and who:
- is not a Belgian national
- is not a national of any of the Member States of the European Economic Space (the EU countries + Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein)
- is not a Swiss national
- is not exempt from this formality for other reasons
If you are a foreign self-employed worker and you would like to obtain a Professional Card you will need to submit your application with one of two bodies:
- The Belgian diplomatic or consular post in your country of residence, if you are living abroad
- A recognised Securex Business Desk of your choice if you already have a valid title of residence in Belgium
The validity duration of the Professional Card is linked to your right of residence in Belgium. If you forfeit this right, the card becomes invalid and must be returned to the Business Desk.
Even though the card is linked to your right of residence, the maximum duration for which it is granted is 5 years. Once this length of time has expired, the card may be extended by a Business Desk. Needless to say you still need to comply with the legal, fiscal and social law obligations and the requirements specified above at the time the card is to be extended.
The Professional Card application costs € 140.00. Upon delivery, an extra € 90.00 fee is charged for each year the Professional Card is valid for.
Even though applying for a Professional Card is the first step, it is not enough to set yourself up as a self-employed worker. You will also need to comply with the standard basic requirements in order to start out as a self-employed business owner