Ways to prove your basic knowledge of business management in Brussels

Last modified:

Tuesday 17 December 2019

Whether a sole proprietorship or a company, a self-employed professional in main or secondary occupation, in Brussels, you need to prove your basic knowledge of business management in almost all cases before you can start a business. Read this article to find out all you need to know.

The basic knowledge of business management certificate demonstrates that you are familiar with business issues. More specifically, it proves your basic understanding of:

  • entrepreneurial thinking
  • accounting, financial and tax aspects
  • commercial management
  • legislation

You submit the certificate when you register your company with a recognised enterprise counter.

Who does it concern?

In a sole proprietorship, the manager, you in other words, should prove a basic knowledge of business management. If that is not possible, one of the following persons can do that in your place:

  • an employee with an open-ended employment contract
  • your spouse
  • your legally cohabiting partner or the partner with whom you have lived together for at least 6 months
  • a relative up to the third degree of kinship who helps you in the business and is affiliated with the social security fund as a self-employed person

Note: if someone proves his or her basic knowledge of business management for you, this can impact that person’s social status. So, be sure to consult your accountant beforehand.

In the case of a company, the burden of proof is on the person who performs daily management tasks. In a bv/srl, it is the manager, in a limited liability company, the managing director. In other forms of company, the manager, a director or a member of staff with an open-ended contract may demonstrate a basic knowledge of business management.

Some entrepreneurs can circumvent the requirement and dispense from presenting the certificate. These would include liberal professions and large companies, for instance. When in doubt, ask your accountant.

Proof of basic knowledge: 3 ways to comply

The easiest way to substantiate your claim to basic knowledge is by showing your diploma. For example, a secondary education diploma obtained before 30 September 2000 in the mainstream, artistic or technical programmes ( ASO, TSO and KSO) is sufficient. A college diploma and a university degree are also sufficient. If you have any doubt, you can look up your diploma in the diplo-database.

If you gained practical experience over the past 15 years, this may also qualify as knowledge of business management in certain cases. The criteria:

  • you were a self-employed business manager (in main occupation) for 3 years or (in secondary occupation) for 5 years or sat on the executive board of a company
  • you were active as an independent helper for 5 years
  • you worked as a white-collar employee in a managerial position for 5 years

Finally, you can also take a basic knowledge of business management exam with the Central Examination Board. There are numerous courses and a free syllabus to prepare you optimally.

Conclusion: a formality, but not without consequences

Even though many starting entrepreneurs may consider proving a basic knowledge of business management as incidental, they do have a vested interest in demonstrating the right skills. Failing to comply with the requirement may incur a hefty fine or even lead to the closure of their business.

Any questions? Do not hesitate to contact us.


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