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Your status as a self-employed worker

Before you actually get the ball rolling, you will first need to decide which legal status you will be going for. You can choose to set up as a self-employed worker as your primary or as your secondary occupation, as a self-employed worker's assistant or as an assisting partner.

Primary or secondary occupation

As a self-employed worker you can register under one of two work regimes: as primary occupation or as secondary occupation. The decision to start your own business as primary or as secondary occupation comes with quite a few differences. First of all, there are considerable differences in terms of earnings, social security contributions and welfare protection.

You can get started on a primary occupation basis only if you are planning on working exclusively as a self-employed worker.  This will give you the full benefits of working in self-employed status. You are free to set up as a self-employed worker as a primary occupation if:

  • You only carry out a self-employed activity without engaging in any other occupational activities.
  • You carry out another activity alongside your occupation as a self-employed worker, whereby the former activity cannot be seen as a main or primary occupation and which does not entitle you to welfare benefits, a retirement pension or child benefits.
  • You have yet to reach retirement age or have not taken early retirement yet.

Your activities as a self-employed worker are considered as a secondary occupation if you simultaneously, habitually and principally carry out another occupational activity.

  • Simultaneously: the occupational activity on a self-employed basis is to be carried out during the same period as your main activity.
  • Your main occupation is considered as habitual and principal if:
    • You work at least part-time in the private sector.
    • You work as a teacher on a part-time basis of at least 6/10ths (of a full-time regime).
    • You work as a civil servant under the terms of what - at a minimum - is a part-time contract/appointment and you are already working at least 8 months or 200 days a year.
    • You are on an income replacement benefit whereby you get to keep your retirement pension entitlements.

Non-working periods during your main occupation may also qualify as time during which you are allowed to work as a self-employed worker as a secondary occupation. These specific situations are reviewed and assessed on an individual basis.

More information:

If you have any questions about deciding which status to go for, make an appointment with your nearest Securex Business Desk.