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Step 5: Permits and grants for starters



There are lots of facilities available to support you as you start out as a self-employed worker or which you will require because they are compulsory by law. For instance, the Regions provide various grants to starters. However, please be aware that you will need a specific permit for some activities.

Grants for starters

A wide variety of start-up grants is provided by the Federal Government and the Regions. These grants make it a little easier to set up a business and offer a little more breathing space.

Permits to get started

Some self-employed activities require a specific permit. Below please find a rundown:

  • Itinerant traders (travelling self-employed workers whose place of work constantly varies) – an itinerant trader's card is compulsory, and should obligatorily be applied for at your business counter.
  • Funfair (ride) operators
  • Professional Card for foreigners who are not nationals of the European Economic Space and who wish to set up a business in Belgium.
  • Butchers – fine meats butchers –need a permit for the sale, making available for sale, storage for the purpose of sale and the cutting of fresh, prepared or preserved slaughter meat
  • The sale of comestibles – permit required if you manufacture, import, trade, pack or transport foodstuffs
  • Contractors of public construction works – contractors who carry out public procurement assignments must be recognised by the Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure
  • The sale of tobacco products
  • The sale, manufacture, processing and analysis of alcoholic beverages
  • Trade premises with a square surface area in excess of 400m² are required to apply for a permit with the municipal executive of the town where the trade activities are to be carried out
  • Playing music – you will need to pay for a permit with the Belgian royalty association Sabam as well as actual royalties. Both were created to protect copyrights.
  • Activities as part of the food chain – for which you need permission from the Federal Agency for Food Chain Safety (FAVV).


More information:

To find out more about which kind of permits you need, click here for a rundown of the permits set up by the Belgian authorities. To apply for these permits, please contact any of the Securex Business Desks.