Professional cards

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Professional cards for self-employed workers who are not Belgian nationals

Professional cards for foreign nationals entail authorisation for these foreigners to work as a self-employed person in Belgium.

Persons of foreign origin wanting to set up as a self-employed person must receive prior authorisation.

This legislation aims to create a balance between the aspirations of foreign residents wanting self-employed status in the Walloon Region and the Region's economic, social and cultural interests.

This legislation aims to create a balance between the aspirations of foreign residents wanting self-employed status in the Walloon Region and the Region's economic, social and cultural interests.

Persons who meet the following criteria must be in possession of a professional card:

    persons wanting to carry out a professional activity as a self-employed worker in the Walloon Region either as:
        a private individual:
        a representative of a company or association (paid or unpaid representative)
        a managing partner of a company or association (paid or unpaid partner)
    the person is not a Belgian national;
    the person is not a national of one of the Member States of the European Economic Area (European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) or of Switzerland

There are, however, a few exemptions.

Click here for further information on the exemptions.

What are the criteria for the issuing of a professional card?

Three conditions must be met:

  1. the right of residency. If the person does not have this right, they must apply for it with the diplomatic or consular post at the same time as they request their professional card. Decisions on this issue are made by the Immigration Office, which is consulted if the person in question is not authorised to stay in Belgium.
  2. compliance with regulatory obligations
    • relating to access to the profession (basic management knowledge and professional skills)
    • relating to specific authorisations (approvals, licences, etc.) required to carry out this activity. The Directorate of Employment and Work Permits checks whether the person and/or their company have the necessary means to access the planned profession and whether the person in question meets the other obligations that apply to their status. Please contact a business counter for any questions relating to access to a profession.
  3. the importance of the project for the Walloon Region. This importance can be analysed from different aspects:
  • in terms of economic usefulness, i.e. it meets a need relating to the economy, job-creation, useful investments, economic impact on businesses located in Wallonia, openness to exports, innovative activity or specialisation
  • in terms of social, cultural, artistic or sporting importance.

 

 

Where to apply for a professional card

How to apply for a professional card

The procedure for examining an application for a professional card

Validity of a professional card

A change of data or the loss of the professional card

The cost of a professional card

The procedures for appealing against a decision to refuse a professional card