The retailer's guide
Start a retail business
Do you want to know everything about the aid available to help you create or grow your retail or hospitality business in Brussels? What approvals are needed? What are your legal obligations? How to optimise your communication? Or, how to get advice on shutting down or selling your company? Our guide brings together all of the useful information (future) retailers and hospitality players will need.
- Leases, permits and administrative procedures
- Subsidies and funding
- Creation and growth
- Shutting down, taking over, transferring or restarting a business
1. Leases, permits and administrative procedures
Commercial lease agreements
If you want to open a business and don’t own premises where you can provide your services, you will have to rent part of a building and sign a lease agreement: either a new one or an existing lease.
For example, you will need to obtain a planning permit to change a retail business into a snack bar or a restaurant into a bar. This is also the case when you want to put up a sign, build, demolish, renovate or do transformation work on a building.
Some activities require an environmental permit. This includes bakeries, butcher shops, chip shops, discotheques, restaurants with seating for over 100 people, etc.
As is the case with any new business, opening a retail or hospitality outlet requires meeting a series of administrative obligations to obtain the authorisations required, to create the company, to keep the books, to hire staff, to play music, etc.
2. Subsidies and funding
Find out about the grants available to Brussels-based retailers to launch a business, do work on their establishment and for many other projects!
In addition to bank loans, there are a number of other solutions available to help you find the funds you need to create or grow your retail outlet, café or restaurant.
3. Creation and growth
The choice of location is one of the key factors for retail outlet success. It’s essential to select the right location for your business, both in terms of the premises you buy or lease and the neighbourhood in which you set up your business. See our advice and the strategic partners who can guide you.
Are you planning to open a retail business, but aren’t sure how to start implementing it? Do you need assistance in specific areas? Do you need advice or help to structure your ideas? Do you want to test your project before setting up permanently? A number of support solutions are available!
Identity and communication
The identity of your business must be well thought out because its role is strategic! It defines your company in the eyes of current and potential customers. It will determine its nature, positioning in the marketplace, values, character, etc. Its identity will also provide the basis for the communication you will implement to get your business known.
Training and formation
Are you ready to make a move and launch your business? The adventure will be fulfilling! However, before jumping in, it’s better to understand the ins and outs of your new job as a company head. Be sure to get training to put every chance on your side.
Working with retailers
You can go faster alone, but further together! That’s why it’s important to come together with other retailers. Combining your strengths will enable larger and more sustainable projects, allow you to reach a wider audience, reduce your costs and provide many other benefits.
4. Shutting down, taking over, transferring or restarting a business
Shutting down or transferring your business
Do you want to shut down your company? You can shut it down; however, another option is to sell it. In either case, you will have to meet a series of administrative requirements and complete certain steps.
Company in difficulty
A company in difficulty is one that is no longer able to pay its creditors. Solutions and support are available to help you deal with this situation.
Taking over a business
Being self-employed, you don’t necessarily have to create a new business: you can also take over an existing one. Taking over an existing business has several obvious advantages. For example, you will have far fewer administrative formalities to meet to open the business and takeover costs are much lower.
Restarting a business
Did you go bankrupt and want to restart your business? There are a number of aid and support programs available to facilitate your recovery.