Licences and permits

Request a licence/permit from the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC)

Anyone who operates an establishment where foodstuffs are manufactured, released commercially or imported must obtain a licence from the Foodstuffs Inspection Department of the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food ChainExternal link (FASFC).

This obligation also applies to commercial enterprises that sell foodstuffs:

  • hotels, restaurants and cafes;
  • school cafeterias;
  • company canteens;
  • bookstores and service stations (where applicable);
  • etc.

How to obtain a licence

To obtain a licence from the FASFC, you must:

  1. submit a written application (in duplicate) to the Foodstuffs Inspection Department of the FASFC;
  2. meet the hygiene standards stipulated in the relevant regulationsExternal link (site in French and Dutch) during FASFC inspections;
  3. pay a fee for the issuance of the licence. The fee varies depending on the type of activity and the number of individuals employed by the establishment.

The licence is issued for a period of three years. A new application must be submitted no later than three months prior to its expiry date.

Registration and approval for contractors

Contractors must meet specific requirements. They must register with the Registration Committee of the province in which the business is established (domicile or registered office). Registration ensures that the contractor is in compliance with social security and tax requirements.

How to register

To register as a contractor:

  1. Request a special form from the tax authorities.
  2. Send the completed form by registered post to the chairman of the Registration Committee.

Important note: If you engage the services of an unregistered contractor, you will be jointly and severally liable to pay the taxes and social security contributions owed by that contractor.

Approval for public works contractors

Contractors who wish to carry out work for national authorities or other public authorities must be approved (except for works of a limited scale). The application for approval must be sent by the contractor himself or by the contractor's professional association, to the Contractor Registration Committee.

Other licences and permits

If you wish to carry out certain activities – such as operating an abattoir, a travel agency, a marriage agency, etc. – then you must have a licence or permit specific to the sector in question.

List of these activities and of the official authorities from whom you must obtain the required licence.External link(page available in French or Dutch only)