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February 2019 - Brussels businesses, a matter of size!

Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (BISA) - In the spotlight - Distribution by size of businesses in the Brussels-Capital Region

The Brussels-Capital Region has 104,705 VAT-registered businesses on its territory, i.e. one-tenth of all Belgian businesses1 (31 december 2017). What is the size of these businesses based on the number of employees that they employ? Are Brussels businesses different from those of the other regions in this respect?

 

Distribution by size of businesses in the Brussels-Capital Region in 2017
 

Source: Statbel (Directorate-general Statistics - Statistics Belgium)
 

Four out of five Brussels businesses do not employ any salaried workers

Most businesses in the Brussels-Capital Region do not employ any salaried workers. In 2017, these businesses without employees represented 80% of the Region's businesses. This category consists mainly of self-employed individuals and private limited liability companies without employees.

19% of businesses in the Brussels-Capital Region employ between 1 and 50 salaried workers.

Finally, only 1% of Brussels businesses employ 50 or more employees.

The distribution by size of businesses in Belgium is similar. However, the share of businesses employing at least 50 employees is higher in the Brussels-Capital Region (1.1% of Brussels businesses) than at a national level (0.7% of businesses in Belgium).
 

An over-representation of businesses with 250 or more employees in Brussels

Businesses with 50 or more employees in the Brussels Region are different, in terms of number of jobs, from those in Flanders and Wallonia:

  • 13% of Brussels businesses with at least 50 employees have between 250 to 499 employees. This share is only 11% in the Walloon Region and 12% in the Flemish Region.
  • Businesses with 500 or more employees represent 18% of businesses with at least 50 employees in the Brussels Region, while this share is only 9% in the other two regions.


Businesses with at least 250 employees are over-represented in the Brussels Region compared to the rest of the country. Multi-regional businesses (operating in several regions) and subsidiaries of multinational businesses operating in Belgium tend to have their headquarters in the Brussels Region.
 

Methodology

The statistics presented only cover businesses subject to VAT. The term "business" mainly includes private companies with various legal forms (public limited companies, private limited liability companies, non-profit associations, etc.) and self-employed individuals.

Location

The location of businesses is determined on the basis of the address of the registered office, for organizations, and the place of residence for individuals. Here, "Brussels businesses" refers to businesses whose registered office is in the Brussels-Capital Region.

Even if most employees of a given business are employed in establishments located in other regions, they are counted in the region where the head office is located.

Size

The size of a business is determined on the basis of the number of employees registered with the social security system (ONSS). The number of employees of a business is the number of employees in all of its operating offices.

 

 Want to know more?

Find more statistical data on businesses in the Brussels-Capital Region on the "Economy" page of the BISA website.


1. The use of the term "business" in this headline refers to "business subject to VAT".