A new low for government inefficiency

Posted March 4th, 2013 in Belgian Law, News by Louise

Or is it a new high (est) ever level?

We  received a letter the other day from a Ministry in Wallonia informing us that our letter had been received but according to some Administrative Decision they could only respond to registered post. We were therefore kindly requested to re-send our letter, this time by registered post so that they could reply to it. You couldn’t make it up! Share your stories on our blog.

Belgian Government moves to limit self-employed status

Posted November 1st, 2012 in Belgian Law, News by Louise

Several years after introducing framework legislation on what qualifies as employee status and what qualifies as self-employed status the Belgian government has defined nine specific criteria to determine an individual’s working status.

From 1st January the criteria will apply to manual workers only (cleaners, construction workers, security guards and transport workers) although the government may well extend the sectors covered by the legislation subsequently.

Continue Reading »

Business Expenses

Posted September 25th, 2012 in Useful stuff by Louise

We are often asked by our clients  starting out in business what they can and can’t deduct as business expenses. There is no list in Belgium setting out what can and cannot be deducted. However, personal expenses are not deductible if they are nothing to do with work.  To discourage the practice, the Belgian government introduced a 309% tax on any personal expenses  booked as business expenses.  Now we are informed by the Belgian newsletter Astuces & Conseils that the 309% tax will not apply to work dinners judged to be excessive although they may still end up being rejected as business expenses.  In sum, you still need to be sure that you log your professional lunches and dinners so that you know who you dined with in case you are ever asked.

Training opportunities for women

Posted September 18th, 2012 in Events by Louise

Are you starting your own business? Are you a woman? Can you understand French?

If you answered yes to all three, then you may want to sign up for some of the training opportunities provided by Bruxelles Pionnières.

From November 2012 to June 2013 they will be running a series of half and full day sessions (in French) on a range of challenges faced by starter companies.

Contact Bruxelles Pionnières directly for more details.

Bruxelles Pionnieres' Training Programme for women

Top 4 reasons for doing business in Belgium

Posted June 25th, 2012 in News by Louise

A recent report by Ernst & Young provides some insight into what makes Belgium an attractive place for foreign investors to do business. Continue Reading »

Female Board Pool Belgium launch conference on 24 September in Brussels

Posted June 6th, 2012 in Events by Monia

Join a unique network and database for board-ready and board-experienced women:Launch conference on 24 September in Brussels

Become part of a female talent pool to gain access to European board rooms – be it corporates, state-owned companies, SMEs, NGOs, or associations.
For more information, and to register online, go to:  http://www.cleverland-communications.com/gender-equality

Following its success in Switzerland and Luxembourg, the Female Board Pool is branching out to Belgium as an initiative of Cleverland in association with the IFPM Center for Corporate Governance at St. Gallen University / Switzerland,
European Professional Womenʼs Network / Brussels Chapter (PWI), and the ASTIA Foundation.

 

“Are we there yet?…”

Posted June 6th, 2012 in Marketing, Set up a company, Set up a non-profit organisation by Monia

Measuring success in not only for profit organisations. Anyone who has been on a long journey with small children will recognise the refrain which usually starts 10 minutes into a 3 or more hour trip “Are we there yet, mum/dad?…”.  Fortunately, the driver usually does know where they are going, and nowadays we often have a GPS to make sure of the route.

However, when you are running a small business or not for profit organisation, it can be difficult to set aside time to plan where you are trying to go, and how to get there – the day to day business nearly always takes up all the time available.  It can also be difficult to take stock in an objective way to work out what is really important to your organisation, or to your stakeholders, and then to appraise how well you are actually meeting their needs.

Co-creating Value Collective (CCVC)has recognised the needs of social enterprises and associations – resources are limited, but the need to plan for the longer term, whilst delivering today, is as vital, if not more so, for small organisations as for large corporations. There is often a catalyst which brings the need to the fore. There may be external pressures, either from the general economic downturn: “we are under increasing pressure to demonstrate how we can provide better services and value for our clients and stakeholders”, or from cuts in budgets ; “we have to do more with ever fewer resources”. Or the catalyst may be from internal change in leadership, when you need to ensure that the whole team is fully signed up to new directions and opportunities.

Whatever the catalyst, the challenge remains to find time in the day job to reflect on the bigger picture and longer term objectives.  The urgent tends always to win out over the important. CCVC recently worked with the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium to help them to reposition themselves in a more competitive market place.  The Chamber has been in existence for over 100 years, and has seen many changes to which it has successively and successfully adapted.  It is an organisation whose members are very engaged, so it was vital that all stakeholders were kept on board.

Working through a series of workshops and focused discussions, the insight emerged that members want to feel ‘connected’ more than ever when times are ‘turbulent’, to have personal connections and to feel part of the group.  Members wanted to retain the “best of British values” in the way the Chamber operated, but to be more visible in an increasingly international context. The Chamber has ambitious targets for growth, not just for its own sake, but because it recognised that the services members wanted also needed to grow to meet increasing needs and demands.

To overcome the risk of its perception as an “old boys club”, a radical new image and branding was developed to meet the aspirations of members.  With  80% of current Chamber members not British, the new vision is to be recognised as: “Whatever your business, wherever you’re from, the British Chamber is the essential network for you in the heart of Europe”. The new vision was backed up by a clear strategy, actions and goals, re-aligning the team to offer a more accountable, professional and values driven service. Has the new vision produced results? It is still early days, but the organisation is producing year on year growth all the more impressive in a competitive market place.  With the accolades of Chamber of the Year awarded by its peers, and Trade Association of the Year awarded by the European Public Affairs, the Chamber is already well on its way.

For more information about the British Chamber of Commerce see www.britcham.be

For more information about Co-Creating Value Collective contact

Glynis Whiting at  info@whitingeaton.eu or

Joost Visser at j.visser@relsc.com

Bonus schemes in Belgium

Posted February 15th, 2012 in Belgian Law, Useful stuff by Louise

If you are planning to set up a bonus scheme for your employees that relates to 2012 organisational objectives, you need to file your plan before 30 April 2012. Continue Reading »

What’s the weather like today in Brussels?

Posted February 13th, 2012 in Useful stuff by Louise

If you’re coming to Brussels to do business, check out the weather here before you travel. Introducing our favourite (and most accurate) weather forecast for Brussels.

Register your NGO online – update Nov 2012

Posted February 2nd, 2012 in Set up a non-profit organisation, Useful stuff by Louise

The online registration facility for ASBL/VZW registration in Belgium is now operational.

The link to the new registration site is https://www.egreffe.be/evzw/fr/homepage for French and https://www.egreffe.be/evzw/nl_BE/homepage for Dutch.

The process is not available for AISBL (international association) registration since a notary and a Royal Decree are requirements for this process.