Conditions

Renew your professional card

Renew your current professional card no later than 3 months before it expires. You can renew the card if:

  • you have a valid residence permit for Belgium. What if you don't have a residence permit when you renew your professional card? Apply for the permit at the Belgian diplomatic mission or consular post in your country of residence.
  • you complied with the conditions to obtain the professional card, including economic benefit and added value, payment of taxes and social security contributions.
    The activity you want to carry out with your renewed professional card must also have economic added value for Flanders in terms of employment, job creation and innovation.

Change your professional card

Your professional card is only valid for the self-employed activity for which you applied. Do you want to:

  • carry out a different self-employed activity in Belgium
  • or change the status of your company?

In that case, you must change your professional card.

Replace your professional card

You can replace your professional card:

  • if you lost the card. Report this to the police. They will provide you with proof of your report which you must attach to your application.
  • or if the card is damaged.

Application procedure

Follow these steps to renew, change or replace your professional card:

  • Stap 1

    Prepare an application file consisting of these components:

    • A completed, dated and signed application form. Which application form to use depends on your situation:
      • You do not have a valid residence permit for Belgium. You are domiciled abroad. Use this application form (Word file).
      • You have a valid residence permit for Belgium. That means: a 'certificate of registration - model A or a 'certificate of registration in the register of foreign nationals' (= electronic residence card type A? Then use this application form (Word file).
    • Proof that you have paid the application fee of 140 euros.
      You will only receive this proof when you submit your application file. Add the document to your file at the last moment.
    • Supporting documents for a renewal of the professional card
      • General supporting documents:
        • a cover page listing all the supporting documents in your file
        • your current professional card or proof of a police report if you have lost your professional card
        • a certificate of good conduct and character issued by the authorities of the country where you currently reside.
          Or
          an extract from the criminal records in your name and no more than 6 months old.
        • a copy of your residence permit.
      • Specific supporting documents depending on your situation:
        • The professional card does not have to give you the right to reside in Belgium because you have already obtained a valid residence permit through another channel (e.g. via a work permit or after family reunification) or if you want to operate as a diamond trader in Belgium? Then include these documents:
          • a tax certificate proving that you have paid taxes and have no overdue debts
          • a certificate from your social insurance fund proving that you have paid social insurance contributions.
        • The professional card has to give you the right to reside in Belgium?
        • Do you, as a foreign student, want to continue your self-employed activity? Attach the proof of enrolment at your educational institute to your file.
      • Supporting documents for a change to your professional card
        If you wish to change your professional card, your application file must be re-assessed completely. In this case, include the following supporting documents with your file:
      • Supporting documents for a replacement of the professional card
        Do you want to replace your professional card? In this case, include the following supporting documents with your application file:
        • proof of a police report if you have lost your professional card
        • the actual professional card if the card is damaged
  • Stap 2

    The supporting documents in your application file must be translated into Dutch, French or English. For each supporting document, include (a copy of) the translation and (a copy of) the original supporting document with your file.

    Official documents must be translated by a sworn translator. What if you have the supporting documents translated abroad? And not by a translator who is sworn in a Belgian court? In this case, the translation must:

    • be legalised
    • or bear an apostille stamp of the competent authority in the issuing country.
  • Stap 3

    Submit your application and pay the file fee of 140 euros. Where you submit the application depends on your situation:

    • Are you domiciled abroad? Or do you not have a valid residence permit for Belgium? Submit your application file at the Belgian diplomatic mission or consular post in your country of residence.
    • Do you have a valid residence permit for Belgium? That means: a 'certificate of registration - model A or a 'certificate of registration in the register of foreign nationals' (= electronic residence card - type A)? Submit your application in Belgium at a one-stop shop for business.
    • Are you unable to submit your application in your country of residence for security reasons? In this case:
      1. apply for authorisation to the competent Minister in the region where you want to settle and to the Federal Minister for Home Affairs.
        Do this by giving reasons for your dangerous situation and sending supporting documents that show that you cannot apply for the professional card in your country of residence.
      2. make your own application for professional card
        • at a Belgian diplomatic mission or consular post in another country
        • or at a recognised one-stop shop for business of your choice in Belgium.

Your application

The embassy, consulate or one-stop shop for business will send your file to the Economic Migration Service of the authorised region within 5 days

The handling of your file

The regional Economic Migration Service will process your application in 2 steps:

  1. The service will check whether you have submitted the application correctly.
    • Your application is deemed inadmissible. The diplomatic post or the one-stop shop for business will inform you of this.
    • Your application is deemed admissible. The competent service will then examine your application further.
  2. Do you want to renew or change your professional card? In that case, we also examine whether your file complies with the eligibility conditions.

Decision

The regional Economic Migration Service decides on your application file. There are 2 options:

  1. Your file is approved:
    • the diplomatic post or the one-stop shop for business will inform you
    • you can pick up the professional card at the one-stop shop for business of your choice, where you will have to pay an additional fee of 90 euros for each year that the card is valid.
  2. Your file is rejected. The diplomatic post or the one-stop shop for business also informs you if this is the case. You have 2 options:
    • submit of file “appeal against the refusal” within 30 days
    • submit a new application at the earliest 2 years following receipt of the rejection. You do not have to wait 2 years in the following cases:
      • your application was inadmissible
      • you can provide new elements
      • you apply for a new activity as a self-employed person