Company number

What is the enterprise number?

Businesses use their unique enterprise number as a means of identification:

  • in exchanges of information between businesses and the public authorities;
  • in electronic data transfers in the new context of e-government.

To minimise administrative charges for existing businesses, a decision was made to refrain from introducing a completely new number but rather change the old VAT ID number into an enterprise number.

What is the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (BCE/KBO)?

The Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (BCE/KBO)is a register containing comprehensive identification data related to businesses and their ‘establishment units’ (i.e. business locations). It includes data from the national register of legal entities and the trade register and VAT and NSSO information and is kept up to date by the relevant bodies which enter data there.

BCE/KBO registration as a commercial business

Although companies are already included in the BCE/KBO and have received an enterprise number from the commercial court registrar, they are also required to register at a business counterExternal link, or one-stop shop for businesses, as a commercial or craft company.

You are free to choose any business counter, irrespective of where your business is located.

Nine organisations have been accredited as business counters. They have a total of more than 200 local branches throughout Belgium.

The business counter checks whether the company meets the conditions for practising its profession (knowledge of basic management and professional knowledge, butcher’s licence, professional card for foreigners, etc.).

The registration procedure is the same as for individuals.

Documents required to register at a business counter

You need to supply the following documents to register at a business counter:

  • personal identification data of the founder or founders;
  • the corporate and trade names of the business;
  • the legal form;
  • the enterprise number;
  • operating addresses (including phone and fax numbers and  e-mail address);
  • the start date of the business’s activities;
  • the publication date of the articles of incorporation in the Belgian Official Gazette;
  • the account number of a financial institution;
  • proof of knowledge of basic management and where appropriate of professional expertise;
  • special permits (e.g. foreigners’ card, butcher’s licence);
  • a copy of the articles of association and a management mandate certificate.

The cost of registration is €71 plus €71 per additional establishment unit.

Results of registering at the business counter

Registering at the business counter has a series of effects:

  • barring evidence to the contrary, registration presupposes trader or craftsperson status;
  • for commercial or craft businesses, the enterprise number replaces either the trade register number or the craftsperson registration number;
  • all deeds, invoices, announcements, communications, letters, orders and other documents from commercial or craft businesses must always indicate the enterprise number;
  • the term ‘registre des personnes morales’ (register of legal persons) or the abbreviation ‘RPM’ and/or its Dutch equivalent ‘rechtspersonenregister’/ ‘RPR’followed by the enterprise number must appear on the buildings, stalls and vehicles used by the business.