Start of an economic activity: VAT obligations

If you start a company, you start an economic activity. This triggers a lot of fiscal obligations. Probably you will become a VAT taxable person. You should therefore, before starting the economic activity, comply with a number of administrative formalities.

Identification for VAT purposes

The first thing you should do is apply for an enterprise number with the Crossroads Bank of Enterprises. You need this 10-digit number for all your contacts with the government, e.g. to identify yourself for VAT purposes, but also for social security purposes.

The standard form (604 A) should be filed with your competent VAT office. The VAT office performs a limited audit and 'activates' your enterprise number, which becomes also your VAT identification number.

You can file this document yourself, or it can be filed by a proxy holder (e.g. your accountant) or by a recognized business counter.

You should go through these different steps before you can actually start with your economic activity.

Who (not)?

As a general rule, this application obligation applies to everyone. It doesn't matter whether you perform your business as an individual or through a company. Also when you fall within the scope of a special VAT scheme (e.g. farmers scheme, small companies scheme, ..), you should be identified.

Three exceptions apply:

VAT payers which supply services which are VAT exempt and do not have any right to deduct VAT (e.g. lawyers and doctors);

occasional VAT payers which erect or sell a new building;

occasional VAT payers when making an intracommunity supply of new means of transport.

What should you report?

Information about the company

You should provide all necessary information:

as an individual: your first name, name, domicile and National Register Number;

for companies: the complete company name and legal form and the registered office.

You will also mention the bank account number to which the VAT authorities can transfer possible VAT reimbursements.

Description of your activity

You can freely describe the activity of your company, but you should do this precisely. You can surely also perform multiple activities. If this is the case, they should all be described and reference should be made to the main activity.

Next to this you quote the start of the activity and the supposed annual turnover, VAT exclusive.

Applicable VAT regime

You should mention whether you are a normal, mixed or exempt VAT payer.

Finally you choose your applicable VAT regime: normal regime, small company, farmers scheme.