Working

31 March 2016

Starting my own business: what steps do I need to take?

Starting your own business is tempting. But it is a huge undertaking and you should prepare for it one step at a time. Do things properly from the beginning to give yourself the best possible start.

Do you crave independence? Why not start your own business?

32% of young people who choose self-employment do so because they want to be their own boss. What about you? Do not rush into it. Take some time to research it first, as self-employment involves certain responsibilities: there are requirements for tax, accounting, administration... And do not forget: your earnings will depend completely on your work. So you will not have a fixed salary, but the more you work, the more money you will make.

How to become self-employed

Bitten by the bug? Check that you meet the basic requirements. For example, you need to be over 18, enjoy all your civil rights, prove your knowledge of business management, etc. Do you dream of becoming a heating engineer, a baker or working as a self-employed legal professional? Access to certain professions is restricted. Think about what status you want, too: self-employed or a company? Will it be your main business activity or an additional one? Choose whatever suits you best.

Will my business idea be a success? Take the test!

So you are thinking of becoming self-employed? Do you have an idea for a new business? ING's Business Idea Calculator gives you an initial indication of the financial viability of your idea. To see whether it is worthwhile developing it further. All you need to do is fill in a few details.

Take a trip into town to sort out the legalities

Now it is time to look at what administrative steps you need to take. First of all you have to open a professional bank account. What next? If you are setting up a company, you then need to visit a notary to draw up a memorandum of association. Your next port of call will be the enterprise office (guichet d’entreprises). It is a one-stop shop where you can deal with all of the paperwork required by the authorities. If necessary, you can also apply for your VAT number here.

And to round off your trip, join a social insurance fund and a health insurance company. Phew.