Belgium’s goal right now is to draw and keep more foreign investors, which, given its investor friendliness, can be successful. In the course of this action, Belgian government decided to modify the Companies Act and reduce the corporate income tax. For those who were thinking about registering a company in Belgium, the timing could not be better now.
FDI regulation in Belgium
Belgium is extremely popular among investors. The reasons for that are the convenience of geographical location, good transportation network and the city of Brussels itself with all international and EU institutions located there. Foreign investors typically choose to following industries:
- Space industry
- Agro-industrial sector
- Manufacture of advanced materials
- Finance sector.
When it comes to investment contracts with state-owned organizations, Belgium does not have any legal framework dedicated to those. That is why to all investment transactions are applied general provisions of contractual and sometimes administrative law. It is stated in Belgian law that state-owned companies can ask for arbitration in case of any issues with contracts concluded by them. Actually, it is quite popular to resolve disputes via arbitration in the Kingdom of Belgium.
As for the difference between domestic and foreign investors, Belgian legislation does not distinguish them. So, there is no need for non-domestic investors in Belgium to request a special permission. Nether there is any restriction for owning foreign investment. Once the investors, foreign or local, provide evidence of them being natural or legal person as well as their legal address in the country, they should not have any trouble with registering a company. Belgium is a signatory of multiple BIT and some of them demand the investors to have a registered office, some – the investors to be an entrepreneur and others to have permanent address in the country.
Investment dispute solving
As stated by law of Belgium, foreign courts do not have a right to seize or enforce their verdicts over assets in the belonging of the Kingdom of Belgium. Still, public institutions of Belgium in the case of an investment dispute resolution must provide information on the assets involved.
Assets can be replaced by other type of property if stated improperly under condition that it is located in Belgium and complies with all requirements. A public institution can appeal a seizure in Belgian courts if the institutions believes firmly that certain asset can be helpful for the public services.
Recently the Kingdom of Belgium amended their legislation for successful accommodation of decision handed down from foreign courts. According to the amendments, creditors will not have an opportunity to recover assets located in Belgium but in the ownership of foreign states. Yet, there are few exceptions from this directive:
- Property has been relocated or reserved for enforcement requirements
- There are no objections to the seizure of assets
- Assets are used for the economic or commercial activities. They are also connected to the institution against which the claim was filed regarding the property right.
Citizens of any country can open a company in Belgium according to its legislation. If investing in the Kingdom of Belgium seems interesting to you, COREDO and its specialists are happy to provide you with detailed information and legal advice on FDI legislation in Belgium.