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Professional card for foreign entrepreneurs

If you are a foreign national and want to work in Belgium as a self-employed person, you will need a professional card. This gives you permission to perform a self-employed activity. 

Certain categories of foreign nationals are exempt from that obligation, such as nationals of an EU Member State or Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

Through this simulator, you can check whether you may need a professional card to start and pursue your self-employed activity in Belgium as a foreign national or not. 

Refugees from Ukraine with temporary protection status are exempted from the professional card

As of 20 August 2022, refugees from Ukraine with temporary protection status are exempted from the professional card to work as self-employed persons in Belgium. This is done on the basis of the Royal Decree of 30 July 2022 (in Dutch) (in Dutch)(opens in new window)as published in the Belgian Official Gazette of 10 August 2022.

For the registration to be able to start as a self-employed person in Flanders (including applying for an enterprise number, joining a social insurance fund, etc.) we would like to refer to one of the accredited business counters(opens in new window).

New economic migration policy for foreign self-employed persons since January 1, 2022

The Flemish Parliament Decree of 15 October 2021 on the performance of self-employed professional activities by foreign nationals has been published in the Belgian Official Journal (in Dutch)(opens in new window). The decree came into force on January 1, 2022. This means that, since that date admission conditions apply. New professional cards must be applied for digitally since February 1, 2022 via the WSE online service counter.

The new policy also means that the website pages on will be translated into English as soon as possible.

British workers in the Flemish Region since 2021

Since January 1, 2021, the Brexit transition period came to an end and the United Kingdom is no longer part of the internal market and the customs union of the European Union.
As a result, new rules also apply to British nationals who want to work in Flanders.

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  • Last revision 17/08/2023
  • Applicable to Vlaamse Gewest
  • Competent authority Departement Werk en Sociale Economie
  • Participating network
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