Last year 88 963 new enterprises were established in Belgium, the highest number in 10 years. This emerges from a study carried out by Roularta Business Information for the Neutral Union for Independents (SNI).
During the same year 69 822 businesses closed down, thus the net increase was 19 141 companies, writes La Libre Belgique on Thursday (7 April).
According to the union, these good numbers are due to several measures taken by the Belgian government under Charles Michel to bring down wage costs. The union points to the reduction in first payment for registrating a company and the reduction in contributions to Social Security by 25 – 33 %.
|Small Business Act in Belgium|
Last November the European Commission published its annual performance review of the Small Business Act (SBA). This act from 2008 includes guidelines in 10 policy areas for supporting small- and medium sized enterprises and promoting entrepreneurship.
Belgium is dominated by such companies, especially micro-firms with 0 – 9 employees that account for 94 % of all companies and provide 34 % of total employment in the country.
According to last year’s review, Belgium has a SBA profile that is well in line with the EU average. Its strengths lie with skills and innovation where it ranks fourth in the EU and ‘second chance’ for entrepreneurs who have gone bankrupt.
The least performing area of the SBA profile is entrepreneurship. Although the official statistics show a moderate increase in the number of start-ups, there is room to improve the enabling environment for entrepreneurship.
Business participation in public tenders should increase in order to approach the EU average. Several SBA areas have room to improve, mainly on costs, for example the costs of setting up a business, transferring property or importing or exporting.
To lighten the high administrative burden the regions in Belgium should introduce and systematically apply regulatory impact assessments.
The Brussels Times (Source: Belga and The European Commission)