Starts a market stall in Belgium

Traveling trade is the sale of products to consumers in, for example, markets, along public roads, in city parks, in other public places or on private property. As a traveling trader, you do not sell products from your company’s location, but usually from a stall or sales truck. If you are at a trade fair or other event in an association or foundation with your stall or sales trolley, the location is not determined by the municipality, but by the organizer of the event.

In Belgium you usually need a ‘pedlar card’ or authorization for itinerant trade. If you sell food, additional rules apply.

Recognized business counter

Before starting a traveling business in Belgium, always contact a business counter recognized by the Belgian government. There are 8 which have several offices in Belgium. A reputable business counter will tell you what conditions apply to you. For example, what type of ticket you need.

Erhvervsskranken also takes care of your registration as a traveling trader in Korsvejsbanken for Virksomheder (CBE). After you have been registered in CBE, you will receive a company number. You pay for the services from a business counter. Check the website of the business counter for the prices.

If you start traveling in Brussels or Wallonia, the requirement is that you have entrepreneurial skills. You can demonstrate this with an EU declaration from the Chamber of Commerce. This obligation does not apply in Flanders.

color cards

You usually need a sales card from the business counter for street shopping. Sometimes a dispensation applies, for example if you sell for a good cause or at sales shows at people’s homes. This pedant card is also called ‘Authorization for Traveling Trade’. The authorization is a plastic mark with a QR code. There are 3 types of dealer cards:

  1. Authorization as an employer.
    This ticket is in the name of the entrepreneur. With this permission, if this is clearly stated, you may also sell door-to-door.
  2. Authorization as designated A.
    This transferable ticket is in the name of your company and applies to all employees. The pillar card is only valid in public places. Your employee may not sell at the door with this ticket.
  3. Authorization as designated B.
    This ticket is non-transferable and is in the name of an employee. With this ticket, your employee can also sell at the door.

Belgian VAT

As a traveling trader, you are liable for VAT in Belgium. This means that you must have a Belgian VAT number and pay Belgian VAT. Your VAT number is your company number with ‘VAT BE’ in front. You activate this Belgian VAT number at the business counter.

For questions about VAT liability for your specific situation, please contact the Center for Specific Affairs of Federal Public Service Finance (FPS Finance).

Limosa announcement

In Limosa, the Belgian government stores information on foreign self-employed and foreign workers working in Belgium. Limosa stands for ‘Cross-Country Information System for Migration Research at Social Administration’. If you work in Belgium, you have a duty to notify in Limosa.

A Limosa report is not required if you are staying in Belgium as a self-employed outpatient for a maximum of 5 days a month. This exception does not apply to foreign employees. Questions about the notification obligation can be sent by e-mail to RSVZ, the National Institute of Social Security.

A1 statement

If you work temporarily in Belgium, you can remain socially insured in the Netherlands. This also applies to your Dutch employees. With an A1 / cover certificate from Social Insurance Bank (SVB), you show that you are socially insured in the Netherlands. The Bureau for Belgian Affairs (BBZ), part of SVB, answers questions about social security.

Belgian staff

If you employ Belgian staff, you have different obligations under social security legislation. For example, take out occupational accident insurance and submit a declaration of employment via the Dimona online service at the National Social Security Office (RSZ). Get advice on hiring staff in Belgium from specialists. For example, check with the Union of Social Secretariats (USS) or contact a company counter.

Additional food rules

The sale of food is subject to hygiene legislation. Usually you need a permit from the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FAVV). You can request this permission through the business counter. Read the brochure ‘Guidelines for traders at markets and events’ for information on the obligations of itinerant food traders. There are special rules for the sale of alcoholic beverages. Ask at a business desk about the rules and options.

Support and information

For itinerant trade in Belgium, you must meet various tax obligations. You can outsource the handling of this to an administration or auditing firm with knowledge of Belgian tax law.

Further information on the rules for itinerant trade can be found in the publication ‘Ambulatory activities. A guideline for local authorities from the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The publication is written for municipal administrators but provides a good insight into the obligations that apply to you as a traveling trader.

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