Setting up a bv: a step-by-step plan
A bv is a limited liability company. That way, you are better protected against potential creditors, but it also means that stricter conditions apply to setting up a bv.
Let’s go over the five steps:
- Consult a notary
- Draw up your financial plan
- Have an auditor draw up a report
- Arrange your company and VAT number via a Securex business counter
- Join the Securex social insurance fund
Do you want a tailored step-by-step plan? Put together your personal step-by-step plan.
Draw up your financial plan
Most entrepreneurs have their financial plan drawn up by an accountant. As a guideline price, you might want to keep €800 in mind, although that depends entirely on your accountant, the complexity of your business and your own contribution.
In the financial plan, you set out your company's financial viability and what financial sources you need to achieve this. As mentioned before, you will have to prove that your company is viable during the first two years. You then provide this to the notary at the time of drafting your deed of incorporation.
The content of the financial plan is laid down by law. It must contain:
- all sources of financing
- a description of your activities
- the opening balance
- a projected balance sheet and income statement after 12 and 24 months
- a budget of expected income and expenditure for at least two years
- a description of the methods used to estimate expected turnover and profitability
Note: The notary will verify that all legal requirements are met, but will not carry out a substantive check.
Limit the risk of founder's liability in the event of bankruptcy and work with an accountant. You are, in any case, obliged to hire an accountant for your double-entry bookkeeping.
Consult a notary
A notarial deed is required for incorporation. For this, you will pay approximately €1,000 in notarial costs (excluding VAT). These costs already include registration duties and the deed drafting tax.
An excerpt of your deed of incorporation must also be published in the Belgian Official Gazette, for which you pay around €220 to the registry. In most cases, however, your notary will arrange this for you.
Audit by a company auditor
The contribution from the partners is not always purely financial: a partner can also contribute other things to the company, such as business premises or knowledge. If this is your case, then an independent auditor must verify that and report on it.
The costs of the audit and the auditor's report depend on the scope and level of difficulty.
Arrange for a business number and a VAT number
The government determines how much you pay for applying for your company number , which is done by registering in the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE). You do this via a Securex business counter and the cost is currently €89.50 (no VAT applicable) per business entity, for both a sole proprietorship and a company.
This registration must be done before your first - official - working day as a self-employed person.
The following documents are required for registration:
- identity card
- business bank account number
- any special permits you may need to carry out the relevant economic activity – the enterprise counter can, in some cases, also arranged for this
- in the case of a bv, you must also bring a copy of your articles of association
The Enterprise counter will activate your VAT number, which will cost you approximately €60 (excl. VAT).
Joining a social insurance fund and paying company contributions
As you are starting out as a self-employed person, you must join a social insurance fund such as that of Securex . As a shareholder of a company, you pay an annual company contribution, which, among other things, finances child allowances for the self-employed, or increases the minimum pension for the self-employed.