Recruitment in Belgium

Recruitment in Belgium: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the monthly cost of using an Umbrella Company in Belgium? 

€350 to €400

Yes you can either be sponsored on a Professional Card (for Self-Employed) or a D Permit (full employment).

What is the cost of a Work Permit in Belgium?


How long does it take to get a work permit in Belgium?

4 to 6 weeks.

What is the estimated net retention in Belgium for a contractor earning USD 500 per day?

*update pending

What is the estimated net retention in Belgium for a contractor earning USD 1000 per day?

Depends on your expenses but you could expect between 60-65% if you utilize the services of an Umbrella Company.

Read more about the work permit process.

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Recruitment in Belgium can be a challenge, but you don’t have to drown in time-consuming admin just to place a candidate. You can simplify complications by using an Umbrella Company (or “contractor management company”), as long as you pick the right one.

Skip ahead to find out how we can help you place candidates faster, or simply read on to find out more about the specific issues you’ll face.

Placing a new contractor in Belgium: what are the challenges?


Recruiting in Belgium generally requires a lot of complex admin duties, and contractors might end up paying too much in taxes or failing to comply with Belgium tax law. It’s important to know what kind of concerns you’ll be facing.

  • Double taxation: Contractors can incur a tax liability in both their home country and in Belgium. Many countries have agreements that mitigate this type of issue, but whether or not you can take advantage of them will depend on factors like the length of the contractor’s stay, or the laws of the contractor’s home country. You can learn more about double taxation here (note: this info was written with respect to the UK, but the general concepts will still apply).
  • Withholding tax: If a foreign company is used to provide services overseas, the payments made to that company by the Belgium client could be liable for withholding tax under Belgium tax law. Find out more about withholding tax.
  • Individual taxation and tax residency: A contractor’s tax liability will often be determined by his or her residency status in their home country and in Belgium. Figuring out their tax residency can be difficult and is often tied to the length of their stay in Belgium (or out of their home country). Read more about tax residency and individual tax liability here.
  • Permanent establishment: Most double taxation agreements limit the scope of taxation in the host country by providing that a business is only taxable in another state if it has a permanent establishment in that state. A permanent establishment is a fixed base such as a branch, office, factory, workshop, mine or oil well. To find out how to avoid permanent establishment and unnecessary tax liability, read more about the issue.

Work permits

Contractors will need to find a sponsored work permit, which can be difficult and may seriously slow the placement process. Additionally, they’ll need a new permit for each new contract, spawning even more paperwork.

See our FAQ to find out more about the cost and processing time of Belgium work permits.

Why use a contractor management company?

An efficient way to manage these problems is to outsource them to a contractor management company. They’ll act as the contractor’s “employer,” handling all of their invoicing, fees, and social security. As Belgium tax experts, they also help contractors comply with local tax law while maximising the amount they get to keep.

A quicker, better recruitment process: Working with an Umbrella Company means saving time, effort, and resources. Higher earnings and a smoother transition also make contracting a more attractive opportunity, helping you place candidates more quickly and successfully.

Still, you’ll need to find the right company for you and your candidate.

How to find the right Umbrella Company?

Making sense of the optionsFor free, we match contractors with Umbrella Companies and can help dramatically reduce waiting times. There are numerous Umbrella Companies in Belgium and each has its own specialties, services, and payment structures. Choosing the right one is crucial, but it can be difficult when you’re facing a bunch of unfamiliar options.

We’ve developed an extensive database of these companies. We can guide you through your options and help connect you with the best company for you and the contractor.

Get in touch: If you want straightforward, honest advice on recruitment in Belgium, we’re easy to contact. Call, e-mail, or chat with us online - for free.

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Work Permits & Payroll - Frequently Asked Questions

Yes you can either be sponsored on a Professional Card (for Self-Employed) or a D Permit (full employment)

What documentation is required for a Belgium work permit?

The following are required: passport, degree certificate, CV, police clearance certificate from the candidates home country, residence card from the candidates home country plus a copy of the contract.

What is the work permit process in Belgium?

Copies of: passport, degree certificate, CV, police clearance certificate from the candidates home country and residence card from the candidates home country are required plus a copy of the contract. The company sponsoring the visa then makes the application is lodged in Belgium once approved the candidate needs to be in their home country to have the visa ratified in the Belgian Consulate.

Can you transfer from a Business Visa to a Work Permit in Belgium?

No. You can enter Belgium on a Schengen Visa but must leave to have the work permit approved.
Common Questions and Answers about Business Visas in Belgium.

Can we organise Business Visas in Belgium?


How long does it take to process a Business Visa in Belgium?

10 days.

How much does a Work Permit cost in Belgium?


Can nationals of certain countries enter Belgium without a Business Visa (ex. on an entry visa or visa waiver)?


Yes but not to work..



What is the monthly cost to run a local payroll in Belgium?


€350 to €400

How does payroll work in Belgium?


Your employer pays the candidate on a monthly basis, social security and income tax (which ranges from 25-55%) is taken at source and paid to the Belgium tax authorities. Belgium has very high rates of payroll tax or employer social security contributions totaling 24.77% of gross salary. This is made up of the child benefit 7%, unemployment benefit 1.46%, medical care in the case of sickness and incapacity 3.8%, sickness and incapacity benefits 2.35%, occupational illnesses 1%, industrial accidents 0.3% and pension (superannuation) 8.86%. Candidates are able to offset part of their taxable income with relevant business expenses. Note that employees also have to make 13.07% contribution to social security as well. This comprises unemployment benefit 0.87%, medical care in the case of sickness and incapacity 3.55%, sickness and incapacity benefits 1.15%, pension (superannuation) 7.5%. The World Bank estimates it costs employers 40 man days per year to ensure compliance with payroll and labour taxes.