Since 1 August 2021, it is possible for (starting) entrepreneurs to set up a company in Belgium entirely online. Our country is a pioneer in Europe in this respect. However, this change was made in implementation of a European directive. What is specifically possible since 1 August?

Until 31 July, one had to physically travel to the notary to put a signature on an authentic deed in order to establish a company. Since the transposition of Directive (EU) 2019/1151 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 amending Directive (EU) 2017/1132 as regards the use of digital tools and processes in company law, this is a thing of the past.

Whereas the digital authentic power of attorney has been established since May 2020, this legislative amendment provides for a fully digital possibility to establish a company. To be clear: a (physical) visit to the notary is of course still possible.

The ‘StartmyBusiness’ website was set up for this purpose. On this website, one can log in via his eID or via the app ‘itsme’ and set up a private limited company (bv), public limited company (nv) or cooperative company (cv) completely digitally. The notary still performs a check and makes adjustments where necessary. If fraud is suspected, the notary will still ask to come and physically sign the authentic deed establishing the company.

Since 1 August 2021, it has also been possible to establish a general partnership, limited partnership, non-profit association, AISBL and foundation remotely, but not yet via the ‘StartmyBusiness’ platform. The integration of the establishment of these companies on the platform will still take place.

Important to know: the digital establishment of a company does not entail additional notary fees and therefore costs as much as a physical appointment at the notary for the establishment.