A foreign undertaking which does not want to incorporate a Belgian legal person, can also choose to open a branch office in Belgium. A branch office is an extension of a foreign company that conducts, in a sustainable and regular manner, its business activities in Belgium. There is a fixed location with equipment from which the branch office carries out its activities. The branch office has a competent person who can bind the company at law. Because the branch office is not a separate legal entity, the foreign undertaking shall be liable for all acts performed by the branch office.
Given that no new Belgian legal person is incorporated, there is no need for a notarial deed.
- Before the branch office can be opened, certain documents have to be filed at the registry of the competent commercial court. The branch office shall, after all, have to be registered in the register of legal entities, which forms part of the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises. Such registration concerns, namely, documents and information about the foreign undertaking (the name, legal form, deed of incorporation, articles of association, et cetera.) and some data about the branch office (the address, activities, representatives). The documents which must be filed differ, depending on whether the foreign company is governed by the law of another member state of the EU or not.
- After the filing of this information, the branch office shall acquire a Belgian company number. The incorporation shall also appear in the Belgian Official Gazette.