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Self-employed in main or secondary occupation

Do you want to pick up jobs through our platform? Then you need a company number. You can apply for this by registering as a self-employed. In Belgium there are three different statuses. For students, you have the student-employed status. Otherwise, you can become self-employed as a main or secondary occupation.

Main occupation: if the self-employed activity is your main or only occupation. You are not a student, and you don't work as a salaried employee. 

Secondary occupation: if you are a salaried employee or civil servant in addition to your self-employed activity.

The responsibilities

As a self-employed in main or secondary occupation, you have several responsibilities:

  • Payment of social contributions: You pay social contributions based on your net taxable income. These rates vary by status. 
  • Personal income tax: As a self-employed, you must file a tax return each year and pay taxes on your income. Tax-free sum: €10,160 (assessment year 2024)
  • The VAT return: If your annual turnover does not exceed €25,000 (excluding VAT), you can claim the VAT exemption scheme. 
  • Keeping accounts: Keep your invoices for seven years. This is necessary for tax returns and to comply with legal obligations.

Did you know that if your annual income as a self-employed in a secondary occupation is under €1,815.40, you do not have to pay any tax? In fact, you can claim exemptions for all three taxes.

1. Payment of social contributions

As a self-employed person, you pay quarterly social contributions to your social insurance fund. For the first three years, as a starter, you pay provisional contributions. This depends on how much you earn annually. As a self-employed in a secondary occupation, you can request exemption from the provisional contributions if you know in advance that your income will not exceed the limit of €1,8215.40. As a self-employed person in main occupation, you cannot apply for an exemption for this. Read more about the social contribution here.

2. Personal income tax

Personal income tax is a tax you have to pay on your taxable annual income. You file this tax return every year, for the previous financial year. This means that in 2024 you file a tax return on your income in 2023. Every taxpayer is entitled to a tax-free sum: a basic amount (at least €10,160 for the assessment year 2024) on which you pay no taxes. Read more about personal income tax here.

Tax-free sum: €10,160

3. The VAT return

As a self-employed, you file a VAT return every quarter or every month. In the VAT return, you state how much VAT you have received and paid that quarter. Then it is calculated whether you will receive a VAT refund or have to pay VAT. As a self-employed student, you can apply for an exemption if your annual turnover does not exceed €25,000 (excl. VAT). Read more about the VAT return here.

Exemption: income lower than €25,000

4. Keeping accounting records  

You are responsible for keeping your own records. This is because you need to have this in good order for FPS Finance. To start with, you need to keep your invoices properly. You need your invoices when filing your tax return, so you know exactly what your turnover is. In addition, you also need to keep good records of your receipts and the costs incurred so that you can report your business expenses when filing your tax return. Note: even after you have filed your tax return, you should keep your invoices well. You are required by law to keep your records for seven years.

Make sure you create an extra folder on your laptop where you can easily store all your invoices.

We've got your back! We pay the cost of a business number?

Save €101. Be quick as we are giving away this cost to the first 100 registrations. Read more about this fee here.

Register as a self-employed.

How do I register as self-employed?

Apply for VAT number yourself: From the FPS Finance, submit an application for VAT identification (form 604A) online free of charge. Click here to go to this form. Then make sure you turn off the 'request VAT number' option while applying to your company number.

Responsibilities self-employed

Note: as a self-employed person, you will face a number of responsibilities. For example, VAT returns, personal income tax and social security contributions. Read more about these responsibilities here.