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Costs of starting your own business

How much does it cost to start your business?

Starting your own business costs money. How much exactly? That depends on the type of business you are starting and your further growth plans. However, many of the business costs you will incur are easy to calculate. This overview will provide you with all the expenses you need to take into account as a brand new entrepreneur.

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Start-up costs of your own business

The costs of setting up your own business depend on your specific plans and the scope of your business plans. When starting your own business, you should consider the following three crucial pillars:

  • Start-up costs
  • Operating costs of your business
  • Customer acquisition costs

What exactly do the different costs consist of? You will find out here.

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Setting up your business

Registration with CBE and VAT number activation

Setting up your company formally? You do this by registering with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE). You can take care of this registration yourself, or you can simply ask at the Securex enterprise counter. Registration costs €105,50 and is VAT exempt.

Tip: immediately add all possible relevant NACEBEL codes to your CBE registration. These codes indicate the activities you will carry out. You can also have the NACEBEL codes changed later, but this will cost €105,50 per establishment unit or address.

Your VAT number activation then costs €60 (excluding VAT).  For this, too, you can count on Securex. We will check straight away whether you need any additional legally required permits and, if you do, we will help you apply for them.

Are you setting up a company instead of a sole proprietorship? Then, for most company forms, you need to consult a notary to have a formal deed of incorporation drawn up. This is then published in the Official Gazette. All in all, the paperwork costs between €1,000 and €1,500 - in addition to the start-up capital.

Tip: did you know that you can also easily set up your business online?

Arranging social security

As a self-employed person, you are responsible for your own social security, which is why you pay social security contributions. In exchange, you receive a lot of social rights and protection, such as family benefits and allowances

To make sure your social contributions run smoothly, join a recognised social insurance fund such as Securex. There, you pay your social contributions monthly or quarterly and they put everything in order for you. You can also go there for advice if you have questions about your social protection. 

All about social security contributions

Accountant and bookkeeping

When you start your own business, you decide what kind of bookkeeping you will use, and what support you expect from your accountant.

It is, in any case, worthwhile to be assisted by an accountant who understands your business plans and with whom you can build a relationship of trust. A competent accountant thinks with you and saves you a lot of money in the long run. He or she will also be able to assist you with the further growth of your business.

Depending on the size of your business plans, you can choose an independent accounting firm or a larger accounting specialist. Feel free to compare different accountants and weigh their offers against each other.

Tip: When setting up your business, also draw up a financial plan together with your accountant.

How to choose your type of bookkeeping

Well-insured as a self-employed person starting out

Which insurances are mandatory depends on what you are going to do and what risks are involved:

  • For example, do you start out as a freelance photographer or do you sell jewellery as a secondary activity via a web shop? In that case, there are no mandatory insurances, but there are many options that protect yourself against misfortune.
  • If you start with staff, with a physical shop or if there are major risks associated with your profession, there are mandatory insurances.
Discover the insurances for entrepreneurs

Financial plan for smart budget management

Starting your business goes beyond mere set-up costs. Your initial budget should also allow you to cover operating costs and customer acquisition costs during your start-up phase. Just think of the expenses for staff, your insurances and business premises, or marketing expenditure.

As a self-employed person, these costs are rather low and you can easily start with a modest starting capital. If you are starting a larger business, it's most advisable to draw up a realistic financial plan that will guide you through the first few months.

Draw up a well thought-out financial plan

Your place of work

Not every company needs to move into a huge office building right away. Yet, sooner or later, business premises appear on the radar of many companies - especially if you decide to hire employees.

Having your own shop or office space costs money, of course. Take into account all factors and additional cost items. After all, renting a building is only half the picture. Costs for energy, furniture and decoration, maintenance and additional municipal and provincial taxes should be included in your financial plan.

Are you going to work alone? Then you can work from home or use a co-working space. In the first case, the installation and decoration of your home office is the biggest expense. In a co-working space, you will have to pay a monthly rent.

Tip: Looking for a great co-working space in Brussels? Check out Securex's co-working space: Hive5.

Additional investments

Some start-up costs are not always strictly necessary, but they are useful. For example, a business bank account is indispensable in practice. Incidentally, this is obligatory for companies. However, even self-employed persons with a sole proprietorship benefit from having a separate professional account. It makes it easier to keep a financial overview. Virtually every major bank in our country offers business accounts.

These days, having your own website from day one is also essential. As a business card, for customer acquisition or with a fully-fledged webshop: how you go about it depends on your plans, but a digital presence is a must for almost every entrepreneur.

Starting your business

Form the choice of your business type to your social status and your social security contributions, we help you make the right choice.

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