Getting to know your Expert Advisors: Group S

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The British Chamber of Commerce works with a broad range of Accredited Service Providers to bring you the best professional advice for international businesses who are in or entering the Belgian market. This series aims to give you a bit of an insight into these companies; showcasing how they can help you develop your business. British Chamber members can book a free first consultation with any of our expert advisors.

We spoke to Group S payroll providers to ask them why any company looking to develop their business in Belgium should speak to them.

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What should be the top-3 questions companies looking to do business in Belgium should be asking?

  1. How do we correctly register the company at the BCE/KBO (Crossroad Bank for Enterprises) and get the VAT/Enterprise and ONSS numbers?
  2. What obligations do employers need to fulfil to hire an employee in Belgium? Working accident issuance? External medical protection and prevention services, etc.?
  3. What is the total monthly labour cost for the employer if the company hires a worker in Belgium? Any legal solutions to reduce the labour cost such as fringe benefits and government incentives?

What is one emerging trend in the business/regulatory environment which you would advise companies in/entering Belgium to be particularly proactive about?

The emerging trend for 2016 is demonstrated by the new “Tax Shift” policy. For several years, the Belgian government has been aware of the labour cost handicap comparing to its neighbour countries, in order to reduce the labour cost for enterprises, the basic employer’s social contribution will be reduced to about 25% in 2018 (about 30% currently and about 33% earlier).

Meanwhile, if legal conditions are met, the employer does not need to pay the basic social contribution anymore for the first job created between 2016 and 2019, this exemption is granted for an indefinite period; from the 2nd to the 6th hiring, the employer can also benefit from the basic social contribution reductions granted by the Belgian government.

Why is it important for new entrants in Belgium to speak with you?

Group S is the first payroll provider accredited by the Belgian authorities (since 1939), which means we can not only calculate salaries, but also collect social contributions and pay them to the Belgian authorities on behalf of our clients. We are frequently audited by the Belgian Social Security Office due to this accreditation, it obliges us to offer the high-quality services to our clients.

More than 5 years ago, with the ambition of offering English services to our international clients, Group S decided to create an International Division. After 5 years of effort and experience, we much better understand the needs of any new entrants in Belgium regarding labour issues, it allows us to foresee the problems that a foreign company can meet in Belgium and to solve them in advance. Currently, most of our key documents are translated into English such as working contracts, working regulations, etc., our international payroll managers can explain Belgian labour legislation to our clients in English, Dutch, French, Chinese, Italian, Spanish…

The slogan of our International Division is “single point of contact”. We work closely with our business partners such as fiscal advisors, accountancy consultant companies, the chambers of commerce and the regional representation offices, it can make the life of the new entrants much easier in Belgium.

If you’d like to organise a meeting with any of our Accredited Service Providers, or are interested in becoming one, get in touch with James Pearson – our Business & Trade Executive at james.pearson@britishchamber.be

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