• Belgium-France
    Country Desk

Belgium-France Country Desk

The aim of the “Belgium France Desk” is to offer cross-border expertise in assisting and advising physical persons, companies or organisations with specific Franco-Belgian ties. This “French Desk” consists of a multidisciplinary team made up of legal and tax advisers, corporate auditors and consultants (“Corporate Finance”), French-speaking, each with their area of expertise and having a particular affinity for and interest in Franco-Belgian questions. The Desk works closely together with BDO France in all areas of intervention that lie within its jurisdiction. 

Overview of issues that arise in the context of Franco-Belgian cross-border business

  • How can a company established in one of the two countries do business in the other country without exposing itself there (without having a permanent establishment, at most a simple representative office)?
  • Is it preferable to create a subsidiary or a branch office in France (or in Belgium) from a commercial and fiscal point of view (in contrast to France, Belgium does not have a system of fiscal consolidation, but allows the posting of the losses of a foreign branch office without limitation)? In the case of a company, what form should be chosen?
  • How to best organise the acquisition of a Belgian company by a French group (and vice versa), in terms of acquisition audit, company valuation, form of the acquisition?
  • How to restructure by means of a liquidation or a cross-border merger?
  • What are the administrative obligations for the secondment of Belgian workers and employees to France and vice versa, and what are the consequences at social, fiscal, etc. level?
  • How to guarantee (or improve) the net salary of an executive or manager working in both countries while his fiscal residence is in France or Belgium? Under what circumstances can the special tax arrangements for foreign executives be applied in Belgium? What problems will arise if the family of the foreign executive remains in France? In the reverse situation (detachment into France, can we apply to a Belgian executive its so called "impatriés" tax regime.
  • Why is a split-payroll system (splitting of pay between two employers established in two different countries) so advantageous when the employee is a Belgian resident? Why is this not the case when a company manager who is a French resident is appointed a director of the Belgian subsidiary without being able to benefit from the special tax arrangements in Belgium?
  • What precautions should be taken when transferring residence from France to Belgium? What advice should be given to avoid a forced landing in Belgium? How to determine definitive fiscal residence in the case of dual residence (host country/country of origin)? In this regard, what is the benefit of the two Franco-Belgian agreements that cover both income tax and wealth tax and inheritance tax?
  • What advice should be given if a property is bought in France? Should a property investment company (SCI) be set up? If residence is transferred to France, how to assess the real estate tax in France (in particular if property is still owned in Belgium)? On a more general front, what are the traps to avoid when making a donation to a future heir who is a French resident?
  • How to reduce wealth tax in France?

Overview of our range of services

We are able to provide an accurate response to these questions, not only by helping you make a decision, but also by taking care of the ensuing legal, accounting and administrative follow-up:

  • Assistance in establishing a company or opening a branch office;
  • Completion of all accounting, administrative, fiscal (direct contributions and VAT) and audit (external auditor) formalities arising from establishment in Belgium;
  • Assistance with social and fiscal audits by the Belgian authorities;
  • Request for an early decision (“advance ruling”) from the Belgian tax authorities;
  • Research of potential targets on one or the other market in the context of a proposed acquisition (mandate to purchase); relay to local investors (industrial, individual, Private Equity, etc.) in the context of a transfer (mandate to sell).