Applying for a VAT number
As a rule, every business operating in Belgium is liable for VAT. When applying for your company number with the Crossroads Database for Businesses, you can also apply for a VAT number. Doing so automatically activates your company number as your VAT number.
If you are liable for VAT you are required to submit VAT returns. To do so, various options are open to you:
- Quarterly returns
If your turnover is less than 2,500,000 euros/year (excl. VAT) in turnover, you can opt for quarterly returns.
- Monthly returns
If you generate an annual turnover in excess of 2,500,000 euros (excl. VAT), you are required to submit monthly returns.
- Flat rate returns
Provided you comply with certain requirements, you may also qualify for a flat rate scheme:
- You are a natural person, a bvba/sprl, a commandite company or a vof/snc.
- At least 75% of your turnover is effected through activities for which no invoices need to be raised
- Your annual turnover does not exceed 750,000 euros (excl. VAT)
- Your activities come under any one of the following lists. Click here.
- Exemption for small businesses
If your business generates an annual turnover of less than 25,000 euros (excl. VAT), in some cases you may opt for an exemption from VAT. This is mainly seen among people who are self-employed as a secondary occupation.
For further details on the various VAT schemes, please check out the site of the Ministry (Federal Public Service of) Finance.
You can submit your application for a company number and a VAT number with any of the Securex Business Desks at a fee of € 60.00 (excl. VAT).
Some businesses are not liable for VAT. For instance, small businesses (max. € 25,000 in annual turnover) are exempt from VAT and are not required to charge VAT to their customers. This concerns mostly people who are working in self-employed status as a secondary occupation.
What exactly does this exemption entail?
- Your business is able to trade and effect turnover without VAT
- As a business you cannot deduct the VAT you have paid yourself over your purchases
- No periodic returns need to be submitted
Obviously there are a number of obligations you need to comply with as a business if you wish to call on the exemption rule:
- Your invoices must carry the mention "Special exemption regime for small businesses" (“Bijzondere vrijstellingsregeling kleine ondernemingen/Régime de franchise de la taxe pour les petites entreprises”).
- A customer listing must be submitted before 31 March of each year.
Please note there are certain activities that are excluded from the exemption rule such as tobacco manufacturers and traders, fish auction markets, building contractors, sellers of new-build buildings, …