Activate your VAT number

Is your business subject to VAT obligations? If so, you need to activate your business number with the General Administration of Taxation.  

VAT obligation: for whom and why?

As a self-employed person, you are liable for VAT if you generate income from your activities. This means that you must charge VAT on your invoices and pay it to the state.

Some activities are exempt from VAT liability under Article 44 of the Belgian VAT Code. These activities include doctors, physiotherapists, dentists, nurses and midwives.

If you carry out both an exempt and a taxable activity, you are liable for mixed VAT. This means that you only have to charge and pay VAT on the work you carry out in your taxable activity.

What is a VAT number?   

The VAT number is your business’ identification number with the General Administration of Taxation, better known as the Federal Public Service Finance (FBS) or the Tax Department

Your VAT number consists of the same 10 numbers as your business number and is preceded by the letters BE. That means both numbers are quite similar, but not the same. Your business number is used to identify your business with other authorities and government agencies.  

Technically, you don’t pay VAT as a self-employed entrepreneur: you charge it to your customers. Then, you transfer the amount to the state by declaring it with your VAT number. For this very reason, you need to include your VAT number in all your invoices

Activating your VAT number: piece of cake!

Go to our one-stop shop for entrepreneurs to take care of all the formalities online.

Start now

What are the different VAT regulations?

In Belgium, there are various VAT regulations. To find out which one applies to your business, you can contact your accountant.
  • Small business exemption
    Is your revenue lower than €25,000 – VAT excluded? That could mean that your business is exempt from VAT obligations. If this applies to your business, you don’t need to add VAT to your invoices. Do note, however, that your business does need to be registered with the Tax Department.
  • Quarterly declaration
    Is your annual revenue lower than €2,500,000 – VAT excluded? Then you can choose to file a quarterly declaration. If you decide to use this approach, you have to file a VAT return every 3 months.
  • Monthly declaration
    Is your annual revenue higher than €2,500,000 – VAT excluded? Then you are obligated to file your VAT returns every month.

Can you be exempt from taxes?  

Small businesses with an annual revenue of no more than €25,000 can, in some cases, be exempt from VAT obligations (small business exemption). Businesses to which this stipulation applies, don’t need to charge their customers any VAT. Especially those who are self-employed in a side activity can enjoy the benefits of this exception.      

Your business is exempt from taxes. What does that mean?   

  • Your business gets revenue without having to include VAT.  
  • Your business cannot deduct VAT from purchases.  
  • You don’t need to file periodical VAT returns. 

The advantage: your accounting is a lot simpler 

The downside: if you don’t charge VAT, you cannot deduct VAT. So, your business will pay the full price for all its purchases – just like regular people. 

Ready to take the leap?

Activate your VAT number quickly and easily with Partena Professional’s help.