In order to qualify for the advantages of coordination centre status, a number of conditions must be satisfied.
1 INTERNATIONAL GROUP
The coordination centre must form part of an international group of affiliated companies with an aggregate capital of at least 1 billion Belgian francs (about 30 million U.S. dollars) and annual turnover of at least 10 billion Belgian francs (about 300 million U.S. dollars). A group is defined to include all companies in which the common shareholdings, direct or indirect, represent at least 20% of capital.
The condition of being international is satisfied if the group meets the following conditions:
(i) the consolidated capital of the group outside the home country of the group's parent company amounts to at least BEF 500 million (about 15 million U.S. dollars) or 20% of the consolidated capital of the entire group;
(ii) as of January 1 of the second year preceding the year during which the application for coordination centre status is made, the group should have at least one subsidiary in four different countries, other than the home country of the group's parent company; and
(iii) the group should realise outside the home country of its parent company a consolidated turnover of at least BEF 5 billion (about 150 million U.S. dollars) or 20% of the total consolidated turnover of the group.
2 EXCLUSION OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
Banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions are excluded from establishing a coordination centre under Royal Decree 187.
3 QUALIFYING ACTIVITIES
The activities to be carried out in the coordination centre must be restricted exclusively to those authorised under Royal Decree 187 and enumerated in the individual decree recognising the centre concerned.
A coordination centre may not hold any shares or interest in any company or unincorporated enterprise.
4 EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENT
An important condition for coordination centre status is that the coordination centre must have the equivalent of at least 10 full-time employees by the end of the second year of its operations. Only employees effectively contributing to the Belgian Social Security system are taken into account.
When employees already serving with another Belgian company or branch are transferred to a coordination centre, either the coordination centre itself or the company from which they are transferred must hire sufficient additional employees to satisfy the requirement of a net increase of ten additional full-time jobs.
There is no condition as to the nationality or rank of the employees. Furthermore, personnel transferred from an affiliated company outside Belgium are counted toward fulfilment of the ten-employee requirement.
The content of this article is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. It is not a substitute for specialist advice.
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