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Open an Offshore Bank Account in Belgium (Start Guide)11 min read

Open an Offshore Bank Account in Belgium (Start Guide)11 min read

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Opening an offshore bank account in Belgium has become one of the most preferred digital banking services. 

Belgium makes up only 3 percent of the European Union economy yet. Its capital city serves as home for several major institutions that provide global services for settlement, custody and payments including financial platforms vital components of the global financial system.

Belgium offshore banking can come in handy for people who travel and spend in multiple currencies, helping them avoid exchange fees and transaction charges, as well as protecting their assets from volatile markets.

Some banks in Belgium provide accounts that can be opened by non-residents; others, however, impose more stringent requirements and offer fewer services The Guardian Bank is one such institution which offers digital accounts that can be opened without moving into Belgium.

Offshore Bank Account in Belgium

Belgium provides Belgium bank accounts  as well as internet-based accounts designed for small and medium-sized businesses, typically free and offering payment and receiving capabilities online via smartphone, computer or even traditional mail delivery services. Furthermore, these can help manage payrolls or track invoices.

Belgium offshore banking provides more than accounts. They can help you establish and register your business and register for VAT, identify taxes that must be paid and the costs of hiring employees, purchase foreign currency efficiently and minimize scam risks.

Belgium also provides you with an opportunity to open a savings account that will allow you to save a set amount each month, along with offering an advantageous interest rate, making long-term saving more achievable.

At all times, you should ensure your bank reports all of your income to Belgian authorities, failing which could result in significant tax evasion charges or fines. 

Banks typically report income through the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) system (an international framework that automates exchange of information regarding tax matters) providing details of amounts received, names of any entities you own as well as foreign assets you possess or own an interest in.

offshore bank account

How to Do Offshore Banking in Belgium?

Belgian banks are becoming increasingly accommodating of expats. Opening an account before arriving can usually be accomplished simply by visiting your chosen bank’s website and uploading documents online – however if you don’t possess Itsme, or another form of identification document used by most Belgians, or another local ID document then access to cheaper or comprehensive account packages may not be possible in which case check if local banks offer partnerships with Belgian banks that provide similar services.

An account in Belgium is essential if you plan to do business there or just save and manage your funds more effectively. A Belgium bank account  allows you to avoid transaction fees and exchange rate charges that would otherwise eat into your profits.

Furthermore, applying for mortgages or major financial products becomes far simpler; freelancers especially will find direct debit transactions helpful as these allow them to automate payments more easily.

How to Open an Offshore Bank Account in Belgium?

As long as you possess valid passport or ID cards from your home country, opening an online bank account in Belgium can be accomplished. Sometimes even before arriving in Belgium is possible and all that’s necessary after arrival is proof of address documentation from your residency permit provider. 

Some banks also offer an expat service that allows opening Belgium banking accounts without ever setting foot in a branch such as The Guardian Bank. We offer great solutions for your needs for managing Belgium banking accounts.

Once you open a Belgian bank account, it is important to secure both an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and SWIFT code (needed for SEPA transfers), as well as choosing an IBAN password and PIN to protect against unwanted access to your account. 

Many Belgian banks provide dedicated customer service lines specifically catering to expats; others even boast multilingual teams.

Belgium bank accounts generally provide online account management systems that make managing and paying bills straightforward from either desktop computers or smartphone apps. Some also offer special perks for businesses, including cashback on purchases or software integration. 

Before choosing which bank to work with, it’s a good idea to research their terms and conditions thoroughly. An alternative would be using an international online transfer service that connects you with Belgian banks directly; however, these will incur additional costs that should be considered. This may even prove too prohibitive for a small business.

offshore bank account

Can a Foreigner Open an Account in Belgium?

Yes, they can easily and online. Belgium is an ideal location for foreigners working in the financial industry to open an offshore bank account in Belgium, particularly English-speaking bank staff who provide products and services tailored specifically for expats. 

Fintech companies may also offer offshore banking in Belgium services. However, it is important to keep in mind that in order for any company to call itself a bank they must first obtain an official offshore banking in Belgium license from both National Bank of Belgium and Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority and meet specific conditions set by them. 

Belgian banks provide expats with an extensive array of online offshore banking services in Belgium and packages designed to make life in Belgium simpler, such as current accounts for transfers and withdrawals as well as payment cards with some including extra bonuses such as cashback on purchases (though opening an offshore bank account in Belgium itself is straightforward and can even be done entirely online)  although certain banks may require proof of identity from non-residents before opening one.

What Does it Take to Open a Bank Account in Belgium?

Opening an offshore bank account in Belgium can be complex. There are various things to keep in mind and, depending on your individual situation, may require consulting with a specialist advisor for guidance. 

Belgium banking accounts  can serve multiple legitimate uses ranging from protecting assets to lowering taxes and avoiding capital gains taxes. 

Opening a bank account in Belgium is relatively straightforward when compared with more bureaucratic markets. You have your choice between traditional banks, neobanks and digital banks such as The Guardian Bank. 

The Guardian Bank offers fully online account opening using your local ID and proof of address as well as flexible accounts designed for holding, exchanging and sending different currencies regularly, perfect for expats living or traveling overseas regularly.

You may also open a Belgian bank account with your existing provider such as The Guardian Bank if it has international branches in the country you’re moving to, as this could help save on higher transaction charges when conducting international business transactions.