Apply for a Belgian VAT-number
The regime of direct registration
As a foreign company (legal entity or sole proprietorship) established in the European Union, you can obtain a Belgian VAT-number without having a permanent establishment in Belgium under the 'direct registration' regime.
Please note that as of July 1, 2021, foreign companies and web shops will be able to file VAT returns (without a Belgian VAT number) in their own Member State using the OSS system. However, the OSS system is an optional scheme; i.e. you must make the choice to either register in the EU member states or under the OSS scheme.
The 'direct registration' regime has the following features:
- Only possible for companies registred in the EU
- Proof of activity in Belgium is required
- Non-VAT (= private) customers are required
- Revenues are not subject to Belgian corporate tax
- Bookkeeping limited to VAT-transactions in Belgium
- You may not have a permanent establishment in Belgium
- Belgian communication address for VAT-audits
- Relatively lengthy application procedure (4 weeks)
In order to obtain a Belgian VAT-number directly in the name of your (foreign) company, your company must also have private (or other non-VAT liable) customers. If your company only has Belgian (VAT liable) companies as customers, the VAT-office dealing with foreign taxpayers will not assign a Belgian VAT-number.
You may also not have a real and effective establishment in Belgium or employ staff who can make decisions or make buying or selling commitments.
For the allocation of a Belgian VAT-number under the 'direct registration' regime, you must take into account a lead time of approximately 4 weeks from the moment the application is submitted.
Belgian VAT-number details
Click on the tabs below and learn more about the application formalities,
and the obligations arising from Belgian VAT legislation
Proof of activity
The 'directe registration' regime is only possible for companies established in the European Union.
Before the Belgian VAT-Administration assigns a Belgian VAT-identification number, your company must provide unambiguous proof that it will carry out transactions in Belgium in the near future that require a Belgian VAT-identification. Without proof of activity, a Belgian VAT-number will not be assigned to foreign companies without a permanent establishment in Belgium. Proof of activity can be furnished by, for example, a copy of a contract, an order form, shipping documents, invoices, etc.
In addition, your company must have private customers (without VAT-number) in Belgium. If your company not established in Belgium has transactions only with customers who pay Belgian VAT pursuant to Article 51 §2, 5° of the VAT Code, your company will not receive a Belgian VAT-number either.
Certificate & extract
In order to obtain a Belgian VAT-identification number, a company that is not established in Belgium must provide an extract from the company register of the country of establishment. This extract may need to be translated (freely) into Dutch, French, German or English if this has not been drawn up in any of these languages.
A certificate of tax liability from the country of establishment must also be added to the application. This document may also need to be translated (freely) into Dutch, French, German or English if this has not been drawn up in any of these languages.
A certificate of tax liability is not required if your company established in European Union is registered with its data (VAT identification number, company name and address) in the VIES system. The VIES system is a system for the exchange of VAT information. You can check the validation of a VAT-number on the following link:
If your company established in the EU opts for an individual VAT-number under the 'direct registration' regime, approval is required from a contact person at a Belgian office address where the accounting records for the Belgian VAT-identification number will be presented in the event of a VAT audit.
In addition to its corporate consultancy activities, Coventis is also operating a business center based in Temse, and offers foreign companies registered in the EU a solution for the books and documents to be kept with regard to their Belgian VAT number, which shall be presented at its offices upon request of the Belgian VAT-Administration.
A company not established in Belgium which has a Belgian VAT-number must keep separate accounts for its Belgian VAT-number. The accounting must be adjusted to the extent of its activities in Belgium in order to be able to apply and control Belgian VAT.
The accounting must contain the following books:
- A book of purchase invoices
- A book of sales invoices
The book of purchase invoices and the book of sales invoices must at minimum contain the following entries: invoice number, invoice data, name of the supplier/customer, and per invoice a breakdown of the amounts excl. VAT and the VAT rate, as well as the total amounts per tax return period.
If the annual turnover of your company exceeds 2.500.000 euros (excl. VAT), you must file a VAT-return each month and, if applicable, pay the resulting VAT due no later than the 20th of the month following the month of the activities. If you file monthly VAT returns, you must also pay an advance on the tax for th the transactions oof December of the same year.
If your company's annual turnover does not exceed 2.500.000 euros (excl. VAT), you can opt for quarterly VAT-returns and, if applicable, pay the balance of the VAT due at the lastest on the 20th of the month following the quarter of the activities.
You must file monthly VAT-returns if your company's turnover exceeds 250.000 euros (excl. VAT) for all deliveries of:
- energy products (mineral oils or other products intended to be used as fuel);
- mobile telephony devices, computers and their peripherals, accessories and components;
- land vehicles with an engine that are subject to registration regulations.
If you already have to file monthly VAT-returns for your intra-community transactions because the quarterly amount of the deliveries of those goods was higher than 50.000 euros in the quarter in question or in one of the four previous quarters, you must also submit monthly VAT-returns and, where appropriate, pay the balance of the resulting VAT due no later than the 20th of the month following the month of the activities in question.
In addition to the VAT-returns, an annual list of customers liable for VAT must be filed no later than 31 March of the year following the calendar year to which the list relates.
If your company files quarterly returns, you may have to pay an advance in the month of December, just like the monthly declarants are required to do so.
The December advance is:
- equal to the VAT due for the period from 1 October to 20 December
(for monthly declarants this is 1 December to 20 December);
- or the VAT that your company has to pay based on the VAT return for the third quarter (or the month of November for the monthly declarants).
You can choose which system you use. If you pay the advance after December 22, you will have to pay interest for late payment.
If your company must file monthly VAT-returns, it must pay an advance on the tax due on the transactons of December of the same year by 22 December at the lastest.
Some spontaneous testimonials
from our many satisfied customers
"As a Dutch company, we have received excellent support throughout the entire process. Coventis offers good advice, is very correct, customer-oriented and cost-effective. We are ambassadors for Coventis."
"We are very satisfied with the service and assistance you have provided us. Everything went according to plan and we are very positive about your approach. Thanks again for all your efforts."
"Being a Dutchman, I am completely unfamiliar with Belgian regulations. The help from Coventis can only be described as accurate, smooth, efficient, professional and friendly. I heartily recommend Coventis."
Paul C.de Bilt
"In Belgium, Coventis offeres the best service. We are also very satisfied with all the administrative work that you have completely taken over and the excellent service that you have offered. Thanks again."
Step-by-step plan for a Belgian VAT-number
Collecting of data & documents
In order to prepare the application for a direct VAT-identification, we need a number of details and documents regarding your company and its Belgian activities. You will receive a checklist from us and, if desired, your accountant can guide you through this. The suppporting documents are very important because if it is not possible to provide adeqate proof of activitiy in Belgium,
a Belgian VAT-number will not be assigned.
Concluding a service agreement
To apply for a Belgian VAT-number, you must specify a Belgian address where the accounting documents concerning the Belgian activities will be presented in case of a VAT-audit. For this purpose, you can use the office address of Coventis Business Center, which can also help your company to develop its business in Belgium. Your Belgian presence shows your dedication to the Belgian market and undoubtedly will create more confidence with your Belgian customers. Our service agreement also includes the use of our address as a commercial postal address and your post will be forwarded to you weekly.
Application for a
After we have collected all the necessary data and documents, and the service agreement has been concluded, all forms will be completed and the application for a Belgian VAT-identification
with all the necessary supporting documents
will be submitted immediately.
Confirmation by the
The processing of the VAT-application by the Belgian VAT-Administration takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks. During this time, Coventis will regularly contact the VAT-Administration to inquire about the status of the application and will keep you informed. The VAT-Administration will confirm your VAT-number in writing.
Required data and documents
- Description of the activities in Belgium
- Estimated annual turnover in Belgium, excl. VAT
- Estimated annual purchases in Belgium, excl. VAT
- Explanation about the origin and destination of the goods delivered in Belgium
- Explanation about any services provided in Belgium
- Any storage location of goods in Belgium
- Tax certificate (or a copy of the validation of your
VAT-number from the European VIES system)
- Company extract from the trade register
- Copy of the deed of incorporation (not for sole
- Written proof of activities in Belgium (invoices, order
forms, contracts, shipping documents, ...)
Application for a Belgian
Coventis guides you through the entire process for obtaining a Belgian VAT-identification number.
A first consulttation without any obligations is always free.
Coventis offers you a total package in which almost all costs are included in the price.
- Assistance with opening a Belgian bank account
- VAT communication and audit address
Rate€ 350 excl. VAT OFFER
- Discussion and preparation of file, and collection of the required data and documents
- Preparation of the application for a direct VAT-identification (RBI)
- Preparation of form 604A
(= application at the start of an economic activity in Belgium)
- Power of attorney
- Declaration for the Belgian address where the VAT accounting documents will be presented in case of a VAT-audit
- Filing the application forms and all supporting documents with the Belgian VAT-Administration
Need a Belgian business address?
For only 95 euros per month, you have a virtual office and a commercial postal address in Belgium with weekly mail handling included. Moreover, you may use our meeting room free of charge whenever the Belgian VAT-administration must conduct an audit of your Belgian VAT accounting.