To open a branch in Belgium, we must first submit a set of documents to the Registry of the Commercial Court in the area of which the branch will be established.
It will be recorded on the register of corporate entities, section of the Banque-Carrefour des Entreprises[Belgian Crossroads Bank for Enterprises]:
For companies from Denmark, France, Italy and Ireland it is no longer necessary to have the official deeds legalised.
All other documents must always be legalised before they are lodged, and these documents must also be translated by a sworn translator if in a language other than French, Dutch or German.
Next steps to follow are:
Many foreign companies investing in Belgium either open a branch office or establish a Belgian subsidiary.
A Belgian branch is not a legal company separate from the foreign company, whereas a subsidiary is considered a separate company. A Branch is an extension of the parent company and does not have its own stock or board of directors.
In Belgium establishing a branch is a process which requires the translation of documents and the execution of formal duties which, in some cases can represent work more than those applying to incorporate a Belgian company.
A subsidiary in Belgium would have it's own stock, bylaws, articles of incorporation and must follow Belgium corporate requirements. A subsidiary is often owned and controlled by the parent company, because they are separate legal entities, the parent company is not exposed to any liabilities of the Belgian subsidiary.