The Federal Planning Office has calculated that the administrative burden for Belgian companies came to €4.94 billion. It consists of the amount of working hours that a company spends on dealing with administration, reported De Standaard.
When the Federal Planning Office looked into the issue in 2000, administrative issues and regulations at the time cost €8.57 billion. However, in the same survey conducted in 2020, 80% of companies indicate that they feel the administrative burden has increased.
Yet digitisation has actually lessened the administrative burden. "It is especially important to look at the evolution compared to the past," said Frank Socquet, a legal adviser at Unizo.
"That indeed seems contradictory," said Socquet. "But it is perfectly explainable. Thanks to digitisation, companies can send everything digitally.
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This saves working hours and therefore money. But that doesn't diminish the feeling that the administration is a jungle. Especially for self-employed people, who often do not have staff to take care of the administration. Their costs have also increased: from €860 million in 2016 to €1.13 billion in 2020."
At the end of 2021, the Council for the Self-Employed in Belgium found that 128 rules, regulations and formalities could be removed, or at least simplified. However, it is unclear if the government has started the process of removing them.