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How to get a KBO/CBE and VAT number
How to get a KBO/CBE and VAT number

Everything you need to know to start as a bike courier in Belgium🇧🇪

Anoek🇳🇱🇬🇧 avatar
Written by Anoek🇳🇱🇬🇧
Updated over a week ago

Prerequisites to register as a freelance bike courier

To become a freelance bike courier, you need to register as a self-employed worker with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE), also referred to as BCE in French and KBO in Dutch. To be able to register as a self-employed worker, you need to meet the following conditions:

  • Be 18 years of age or older

  • Have your civil and political rights (During a criminal conviction, you will not be allowed to register as a self-employed worker)

  • Be legally capable, meaning that you have not been declared legally incompetent, banned from practicing, or subjected to judicial review.

Required documents to register as a bike courier

Starting with required documents, you will need to register yourself with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE) and legally work in Belgium. The required documents are:

  • One document to prove your right to work in Belgium, which could be:

    • UK/EEA passport

    • EEA ID card

    • Non-EEA passport

    • Residence Permit

  • One document to prove your understanding of fundamental business management skills

Opening a bank account

If you already have a bank account, we advise you to open a separate account for your bike courier freelance business. Opening a separate account will make it easier for you to track your income and keep your day-to-day expenses separate, making your tax returns easier to complete.

There is no specific bank we advise you to use, but we recommend you do your research before choosing the bank. Some banks will even let you open a bank account online.

Registering as a freelance bike courier at The CBE

To become a freelance bike courier, you will need to register with Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE) as a self-employed worker. Please note that there is a one-time business registration fee of €89,50 at the CBE.

We advise you to use a 3rd party to register. Packaly is currently partnered up with Accountable, who will do the whole process for you. You could also register by yourself, or use another 3rd party.

If you register by yourself, make sure to enter a name for your enterprise and specify the type as a “natural person.”

Social contributions as a freelance bike courier

As a registered self-employed enterprise, you will need to register with a security fund. There are various security funds in Belgium, and they might even offer to help with your CBE registration.

Your fund registration is to deal with you allowances, such as family allowance and child benefits, and your pensions as a freelance bike courier. They will also provide a safety net for you in case of unexpected economic difficulties such as bankruptcy.

The amount you have to pay depends on your income and could amount to 20.5% of your gross taxable income.

Obtaining a VAT number

Like any other enterprise, as a self-employed person, you might need to obtain a VAT number if you meet the tax obligations criteria. Your CBE portal could provide you with your VAT number, which is BE followed by your business number.

To activate your VAT, you need to submit form 604A, Application for identification for VAT purposes at the start of an activity. To do so, you can either go to the form directly, or read more on the Federal Public Service Finance General Tax Administration.

You could also ask the 3rd party that helped you register with the CBE for more information about your VAT tax liability and registration process.

You have to declare and pay your VAT (if eligible) 4 times a year. The government knows this might be confusing, so they provide freelancers and businesses with a VAT calendar that shows you all the dates. Usually, 3rd party partners also send you reminders when your VAT declarations are nearby.

To submit your VAT, you need to go to intervat. The government also provides a short tutorial on how to submit your VAT in French and Dutch. Be aware that these links are not mobile-friendly, so you might want to use a computer to read them.

Please note that if you make under 25,000 a year, you might be exempt from declaring your VAT. If you want to be VAT exempt for a given year, you need to make sure to apply for that exemption before the deadline, usually around the 15th of December.

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