Contractor Payroll in Belgium

Positioning a candidate internationally means navigating unfamiliar tax and payroll systems. Not only does this generally mean more work for you, but even small missteps can have serious financial or even legal consequences.

If you want to successfully place a contractor, you should first familiarize yourself with the contractor payroll process in Belgium, as well as how you can make the situation simpler.

Contractor Payroll in Belgium

Payroll options in Belgium

There are several different options for payroll in Belgium:

  • The client can provide payroll for the contractor, but not all clients offer this for temporary workers.  
  • The contractor can do it on their own, but this creates serious risk for the end client and possibly your agency, as well. Like most people, many contractors do not specialise in Belgium’s tax system, nor do they always have the time or means to pore over complex tax returns.
  • Your contractor can use a local payroll company.

The third option is the simplest and quickest. An even simpler and quicker option is to use an Umbrella Company, as they offer the same services as a local payroll provider in addition to other services that simplify international assignments (such as Work Permit sponsorship).

Check out our FAQ for specific quotes on payroll providers and Umbrella Companies. 

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Questions and Answers about Payroll in Belgium

Q: How does payroll work in Belgium?

A: 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.

Q: What is the monthly cost to outsource payroll in Belgium?

A: €100

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

A: If set up through a Managed Self Employed structure and depending on your level of expenses you could retain around 60-65%.

Q: What is the minimum salary required per month in Belgium when a candidate is sponsored on an Work Permit? 

A: €3,500

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