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Are you dreaming about becoming your own boss, but aren’t yet ready to give up your day job? Read this article and learn how to freelance next to your job. Get ideas, inspiration and information about earning extra money by being self-employed. All without quitting your job and losing the safety and security of a regular income.

Here is what you’ll learn:


Freelancer/one-person business/solopreneur 

A freelancer is a self-employed person who mainly, but not exclusively, provides business services in a business-to-business context (B2B) on the basis of temporary contracts, assignments or projects.

Freelancing as a secondary profession

Dutch: Zelfstandig in bijberoep

French: Activité secondaire indépendante or activité complémentaire

English: Part-time freelancing, freelancing in a secondary profession, side hustle. 

In this article, we’ll use the English terms interchangeably. 

This article is especially for people who want to earn an extra income by part-time freelancing in Belgium in addition to their full-time job. 

This excludes: 

  • Volunteering or association work
  • Multi-level marketing selling like Herbalife and Tupperware.
  • Gigs like being an Uber driver or delivering takeaways
  • Odd jobs like baby- or pet-sitting. Take a look at the platforms bsit, Pawshake and Kluster if you’re interested in this
  • Personal projects with no plan to earn an income

Advantages and disadvantages of part-time freelancing

+++– – –
Extra income Your income from part-time freelancing will be added to your personal income, which might put you in a higher tax bracket
Professional expenses are tax-deductible (more on this later)You will need to put time into your side hustle yet still manage a healthy balance between this and your full-time job
Easy, low-cost way to try out freelancingYou will pay social contributions without getting any extra benefits. However, you can also build up a voluntary supplementary pension scheme if your social contributions go over a certain amount. That amount is the minimum that full-time freelancers have to pay (+/-€775/quarter).

Check with your enterprise counter for more information on this.
More variety in your working life 
Build new skills 
Discover new ventures/business opportunities.  
Meet interesting people who can benefit your own career. 

Reasons to side hustle

We asked the Freelancers in Belgium community why they are freelancing on the side. Here were their top 3 reasons:

  1. Extra income 
  2. Try it out before becoming a full-time freelancer
  3. Fun to do

In addition to the extra income, a side hustle is also an easy and low-cost way to see if full-time freelancing would work for you. 

It also lets you have more fun and do more of the things you enjoy. You have more freedom over the work you do. 

The skills and competencies you develop while freelancing on the side help you to be more valuable in a volatile market. 

-Freelancers in Belgium-

As described in the testimonials below, part-time freelancing can lead to new challenges, learning and developing new skills, gaining new opportunities and making new relationships.


Anneleen Callewaert

Brainstorm Buddy


“I believe that everyone needs a fun little side hustle. Especially when you’re feeling tired, overworked or burned out. Adding something new to your life will give you the energy, joy and rush of excitement you’ve been looking for. Finally, you’ll have a reason to say no to other things and focus your creative energy on something that truly matters to you. It’ll get you closer to becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be.”


Robin Van Eester

Mechanical Project Engineer


“I started working on the side as a freelancer two years ago to try it out. This year I made the decision to become a full-time freelancer. What I liked about it is that I got an extra income on top of my main job. It also has hardly any risks and is a way to learn that pays.”


Lieven Degrauwe

Digital Product Designer (UX/UI)


“You know the drill: I was working full-time for an employer, but after 8 years you’ve kind of seen it all and know all there is to know… so I thought: HEY, what if I combined it with freelancing so that I can unleash my creativity that way, which will probably help me deal with this repetitive stuff a bit more… So my basic motivation at that point to start doing a bit of freelancing was: feel challenged again!”


Riccardo Bua

Managing Director, Bua Unlimited; Management consulting, technology advisory, digital transformation coaching and overall customer experience market solution strategy review 


“I wanted to test the water and keep my MBA consultancy skills up to date while having a different full-time role. It helped me cover the expenses of the books I was buying and to learn new skills. It was hard at times to properly schedule my engagements and trips, but it was a good learning experience and I met some really interesting people outside of my usual networks.”


Dennis Marechal

Woodturner and Business Owner 


“I love the creative freedom it offers me, and the escape from my education in business management. It’s something so completely different, and the opportunity to work with such a beautiful natural material as wood is amazing. The work can be very repetitive and boring when making very large batches of products. But luckily podcasts and audiobooks exist!”

Am I able to start as a freelancer in a secondary profession?

In order to become a freelancer in a secondary profession, there are some requirements. You need to register as self-employed and request a VAT number.

Only people who meet one of the following criteria can register as a freelancer ina secondary profession: 

  • You are employed at least 50% as an employee in the private sector.
  • You work at least part-time (at least 8 months or 200 days per year) as a civil servant.
  • You are employed (at least 60% of a full-time schedule) as a teacher with a statutory appointment. Don’t have a statutory appointment yet? Then you need to work at least 50% of a full-time schedule. 
  • You receive a replacement income while retaining your pension rights. For example disability benefits, unemployment benefits under the ‘stepping stone to self-employment’ system or benefits for full-time time credit. If you plan to combine benefits with self-employment as a secondary occupation, it’s always best to check the conditions.
  • You are retired.

Important! If you choose to do something similar to your current full-time job, check whether the contract you have with your employer allows this, as sometimes it is seen as competition.

You’re able and want to start, but don’t know what to do…

Our Freelancers in Belgium community members give the following advice:


Anneleen Callewaert 

Brainstorm Buddy


“Ask your friends and colleagues what they think your strengths are. Often they see things in you that you might not be aware of, and have ideas for side hustles you could try out. Complete the Transferable Skills Checklist in the career book What Colour Is Your Parachute and/or take the StandOut® strengths assessment from Marcus Buckingham. But don’t overthink it. Add something to your life that gives you joy and energy. Let it unfold, one step at a time. Don’t make this into another ‘goal’ that you have to reach. Just experiment without having too many expectations. Enjoy the process.”


Heidi Van den Bergh

Office Manager


“If you don’t have this ‘one thing’ or don’t know exactly what you want yet, just try out as many things as you can. You’ll find your best fit. And if your side hustle is your true passion, just go for it. Take the plunge. If you make time and space for it, your company will grow.”


Johan Bommerez

Project and Community Manager


“Start slow. Experiment. Don’t let anybody hold you back. And ask for help. But most of all, don’t set boundaries for yourself. The best thing I ever did was just to get started. I’ve hit plenty of brick walls but learnt so much by doing these things. And without even realising it. I actually got job offers through my own creative side-hustle outlets, which might be the best thing that ever happened to me.”


Lieven Degrauwe

Digital Product Designer (UX/UI)


“At the beginning, do projects that you CAN. When you have enough projects, you can sharpen your scope and do projects that you WANT.”

Side hustle stories

Everyone who is freelancing on the side has a unique story.

Anneleen worked for 8 years as a content manager at a training company. She loved her job but wanted something ‘more’ in her life, something that would bring back some of the rush and excitement to her daily routine. 

When her boss complained about their Wix website, Anneleen saw it as a fun opportunity. Why not make a new one in WordPress? How hard can it be? She designed a new company website and her freelance colleagues were so impressed that they asked her if she could make websites for them as well. That’s how her side hustle, called ‘Sitehustle’ was born!

It was a great way to experiment with some new technology and earn a little extra money, but she didn’t want to make this her day job. After a year, she asked if she could work full-time over 4.5 days and have Friday afternoons off. This worked out really well!

But after a while, the technical part of web design gave her nightmares. She didn’t know how to get more of the ‘fun’ brainstorming stuff and less of the technical work. When COVID-19 hit, she was technically unemployed for months. Her side hustle became her lifeline and the thing that got her up in the morning. She decided on a complete rebrand and when she could finally go back to her job, she quit! That’s how she suddenly became a full-time freelancer. 

Now Anneleen also helps people who are making their side hustle into a full-time thing:

Here are a few more side-hustle stories: 


Dennis Marechal

Woodturner and Business Owner 


“As a side hustle, I create sustainable wooden gifts like pens, letter openers, fountain pens and more. All these items are handmade by myself and each tells the unique story that the tree has been growing for decades. I started my business Wooden Gifts And More when I was 16 and still at school. The idea to start a business had always been one of my dreams, but my woodworking hobby was rapidly getting out of hand and taking over my parents’ backyard, garage, … After trying to create a variety of different kitchen items and gift items, I eventually ended up with pens. That got the ball rolling and it hasn’t stopped ever since! 

I wish I had known beforehand how difficult it is to scale this business, but who doesn’t like a challenge…”


Bernard Van Causenbroeck

Storyteller and driving force behind


“At the start of the COVID-19 period, I had some free time and I used that time to start writing. I thought about a concept that 1. would be manageable for me to keep going (start writing a text of around 1,500 words) and 2. would be interesting for others to read and learn from. After some trial and error, I started to give my view on (management) quotes: what do they mean, who said it, how can you apply it today. After writing, I started chatting with a friend about how I could ‘market’ my writings… this is how I came up with a blog website, a weekly newsletter, etc.”

Ideas to make extra money on the side as a freelancer

Sell a serviceScroll through open vacancies on a platform for inspiration. All these are services companies are looking for. These can also be sold as a part-time service. Do you have a marketable skill you do as your day job? Sell that at night too. Do you have a hobby or extensive knowledge about something you’re passionate about? Sell that! Is there something you’re very interested in and would like to develop? Look for adjacent niches to gain skills in e.g. Teacher becomes e-learning expertMalt, GIGHOUSE, LinkedIn, Fiverr, Upwork
Monetise your knowledgeCreate courses, coaching programmes, membership sites, podcasts, newsletters, communities, and more. Kajabi, YouTube, Patreon, Substack
Sell thingsCreate products, physical or digital, and sell them. Etsy, Shopify

Do you have time for a secondary profession?

If you’re working full-time and you also have a busy social or family life, it can be a challenge to find the time for a side hustle and freelance next to your job. Here are some tips from our freelancers on how to make time for your secondary profession:


Bernard Van Causenbroeck

Storyteller and driving force behind


Look for something that you can actually combine with your job. Identify habits that are realistic and easy to start. Keep it fun. It’s your own free time that you’re giving up. Block out hours in your diary when you’re going to work on your side hustle and keep those moments free. Otherwise, there’s always something else (professional, private) that will come up.”


Anneleen Callewaert 

Brainstorm Buddy


“Have a fixed weekly moment to work on your projects. I always combined my side-hustle work with something fun, like having pancakes at my favourite restaurant while making a website.”


Guy Vindevogel

Digital Marketer


“Focus on what is specific and the added value you can bring as a part-time freelancer. Clearly separate it from your full-time job and be transparent about when you’re available. Use a good time-tracking tool. Standardise the things you do by adopting proper methods and tools. Keep things simple. You’re not a large agency with an established overhead.”


Lieven Degrauwe

Digital Product Designer (UX/UI)


“The first thing I realised was: if I’m going to do this, I’m going to combine it with working 4 days a week because there’s no point in starting to freelance if you don’t also create TIME to freelance… and so my personal FREELANCE FRIDAY was born, and it really worked…”


Katrin Boermans

CTO (Chief Transformation Officer)


“I started as a full-time freelancer but am now combining this with a job as a professor at KdG University. My tip is: “Be your authentic self and get it out there. Listen to others but make your own decisions that fit your personality and your strategy. Find tools that help you automate your processes, and don’t try to do everything yourself. Get help for the things you spend a lot of time on. Mindset is everything!”

Learn to say no

Learning to say no is definitely a way to save precious time to focus on the things that really matter. 


Lieven Degrauwe

Digital Product Designer (UX/UI)


“If a project comes along that you don’t really feel is a match or wouldn’t fully use your skills, consider turning it down politely and moving onto the next assignment. Always keep your client happy, but use the freedom you have. And don’t do projects that you can’t add to your portfolio (usually subcontracts). It’s a waste of time.”


Dennis Marechal

Woodturner and Business Owner 


“The moment you accept that not all orders are worth your time and effort, you will enjoy it so much more and also feel more empowered.”


How much does it cost to start to freelance next to your job? 

Company and VAT nr activation

You pay €105,50 incl. VAT to start your own business as a self-employed person as a secondary activity including the registration in the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises. The activation of your VAT number if you do it yourself via MyMinFin at no charge. Connecting to a social security fund also costs nothing.

You can ask your business counter like Securex or an accountant (find a list of accountants here) to help with your company registration and VAT nr activation at an extra fee.

Social contributions

Even though you get your social security via your employer, you need to pay social contributions: 20.5% of your net taxable income (profit = income minus your operational costs) from €1,865.45 per year. If you earn less than this, you can ask for an exemption.

You pay the minimum but you don’t add an extra pension and other social security benefits as this is covered already by your main employment.

The minimum you will have to pay in social contributions is €98.52 per quarter. This gets regulated after 3 years. If you have earned more than the minimum but you only paid minimum contributions, you’ll get a big invoice after 3 years. So make sure you adjust this to avoid nasty surprises. 


You pay taxes according to the progressive tax brackets (25-50%). The exact amount depends on your net taxable income (income from your employment income + freelancer profit).

Please note that the amounts shown here are from 2024.

Professional expenses

Depending on what you do, you will have professional expenses too. E.g. laptop, phone, books, travel, training, accounting fees, website, workspace, materials, transport, meals and software subscriptions. For a guide on professional expenses check

It might also be worth getting liability insurance to protect you against claims resulting from injuries and damage to other people or property.

Reference: We verified the costs with the Head of Tax Coaches Simon Castex at Accountable

How much will you earn? 

Pricing is one of the most difficult parts of freelancing. There are no minimums or maximums to how much you can earn. If you want you can earn next to nothing. But the sky’s the limit. 

Your rates generally depend on:

  • Supply and demand (the more demand for a service there is, and the less supply, the higher the rate)
  • Your experience: are you a junior or senior? Or something in between?
  • How good your marketing, sales and negotiation skills are
  • What your location is: some areas have higher demand and/or prices than others 
  • Your pricing model: do you charge by the hour, project or value?
  • The size of your customers: the larger the customer the higher the rate tends to be 
  • Your customers’ industry
  • Business impact and risk

How do I find out the market rate for my job? 

Sometimes job agencies publish reports with market rates according to your title, location and experience level.

You can search and ask about pricing and rates in the Freelancers in Belgium groups. 

Here is Anneleen Callewaerts’ experience: 

I wish I had asked around about competitive pricing. I never even looked into that when I was starting out! It just felt like I couldn’t ask for more because I didn’t have much experience in web design. To give you an idea of how low my pricing was… I charged €250 for my first website, which took me about six days!

In the beginning, I did all brainstorming sessions for free! Later I realised that it’s not because something is easy and fun for you that you shouldn’t charge for it.

That said, I did up my price with every new customer that came around. That’s something I would do again! And I would also stop making proposals. I spent too much time and energy on these things. Your sales process should be so easy that a customer can say yes or no on the spot, and you can give a price indication right away.



Riccardo Bua

Managing Director, Bua Unlimited; Management consulting, technology advisory, digital transformation coaching and overall customer experience market solution strategy review 


“You truly need an accountant. An accountant can help you a lot especially when you’re starting out, which means you can concentrate more on your own work.”

How to find an accountant in Belgium?

Read our Freelancers in Belgium blog post including recommendations by our members and questions to ask during your first meeting with potential accountants.


Axel Huts

Photographer & Drone flyer


“A good accountant: it costs you, but you get a lot back.”

Bookkeeping & accounting

You need to keep track of what you earn and your professional expenses (i.e. the expenses or investments that you make in order to grow your business). You need to prove that you made these expenses for business purposes and keep (a digital) receipt or invoice of your purchase. This can be done with an accountant and/or by using accounting software. We definitely recommend Accountable. With Accountable you can easily keep track of your expenses and income, you know exactly what money is in your account and what social contributions and tax you need to pay. You can also use Accountable to do the tracking of income and expenses and have an accountant who provides financial and fiscal advice and files your tax returns. 



Loes Keimes



“Make it easy for yourself: ask help from an accountant when setting up and doing your first taxes. Then switch to software like Accountable which is much cheaper and saves time on paperwork.”

Earning less than €25,000/year? Get a VAT exemption

If your turnover is less than €25,000 per year you can opt for the VAT exemption scheme. Note: some professions don’t allow this exemption. Find out if this applies to you by asking at your business counter. A VAT exemption means you don’t need to account for VAT or add it to your invoices, meaning you also don’t charge your customers VAT. The drawback is that you can’t get the VAT back from your professional purchases. Another thing to look out for is that if you sell products or services to individuals (not companies) and your income increases beyond the threshold, then your services will be 21% higher! Companies can get the VAT back, so for them, it doesn’t matter if you charge them VAT or not. 

Will you earn more than €25,000/year or charge VAT for another reason? 

If so, here is what you’ll need to do to comply with tax laws: 

  • You need to add VAT to your invoices. VAT can be 6%, 12% or 21%.
    • 6% for basic necessities; the things that every person needs, products such as books, pharmaceuticals, water, milk and milk products, live animals and meat, services such as passenger transport, etc.
    • 12% for goods and services that are of social or economic interest. This ranges from margarine to a TV subscription as well as caterers and catering services.
    • 21% for the rest (this is the most common for freelancers).
  • In order to get the VAT back, you need an invoice with your company details on it. A receipt or ticket is not enough.
  • You need to submit your VAT to the Belgian tax authorities via Intervat every quarter. 
  • You also need to send intracommunity listings with all your EU customers with VAT numbers, also via Intervat. 

Please note that the VAT rules depend on who your customers are too. E.g. If you have EU or foreign customers, individuals or companies, which sectors the goods or services are for… It is best to ask an accountant about your specific situation. 

Tax declaration

Your net income (i.e. your gross income minus business expenses) from your secondary activity will be added to your personal income from your full-time job. This can lead to you ending up in a higher tax bracket, which means you’ll pay more taxes. Your side hustle income will be declared in your personal tax return. Belgium has a progressive tax system, meaning that the tax rate increases as you earn more. 

Make sure you keep money aside to pay your annual taxes or opt for prepayment. 

Customer listing

Every year (deadline 31 March) you have to send a list of your customers to the Belgian tax authorities. If you have customers without a Belgian VAT number or you have earned less than €250 from a customer, you don’t need to include them. If you only have foreign customers, you still need to send the tax authorities an empty list. Your accountant can help you with this, but you can also do it yourself through the MinFin e-services in Dutch and in French.

If accounting seems like too much of a hassle for you, you can also opt to freelance via a payrolling company like Tentoo. Read on to find out more about payrolling. 

Are you a creative or IT professional working with copyrighted products and services? Then you can pay less tax by invoicing with copyright. Creative Shelter can help you make invoicing with copyright easier. 

The invoice 

When it’s time for you to send your first invoice, you need to be sure it’s valid. Here are the things you need to add: 

  • A unique invoice number. Start e.g. from 0001, the next invoice is then 0002 and so on. 
  • Your information:
    • Name and/or name of your company
    • Address
    • Company form
    • Company registration number and VAT number. They are the same; your VAT number is BE+company number)
  • Your customer information:
    • Name
    • Address
    • VAT number
  • The issuing date of the invoice and the date your product or service was delivered
  • A description of the delivered product or service
  • The price per unit and the number of units or hours
  • The total amount without VAT
  • The correct VAT percentage that is relevant for your activity (6, 12 or 21%) – see below what you need to do in case you’re not charging VAT
  • The total amount of money to be paid, including VAT

Optional, but it is very important to add your: 

  • Bank account number
  • Contact details
  • Payment terms and conditions 

If you are a freelancer in Belgium then your invoice should be in Dutch or French depending on your company address. For clients inside the EU, it is advisable to draft an English-language invoice and add an extra Dutch or French version. The tribune will demand language-specific translations of the documents in case of a dispute. 

How to handle VAT exemptions

If you are not charging VAT, there are some legal texts that you need to include on your invoice, depending on the reason that VAT isn’t being charged: 

  • VAT exemption scheme with a turnover of less than €25,000 a year
    • “Special VAT scheme for small companies – VAT not applicable”
    • Dutch: “Bijzondere vrijstellingsregeling kleine ondernemingen”
    • French “Régime particulier de franchise des petites entreprises”
  • You provide service between professionals (B2B) to a customer in the European Union
    •  “Reverse charge – Article 196 of the Council Directive 2006/112/EC”
    • Dutch: “BTW verlegd”
    • French: “Exonération TVA”

If you export services or products outside of the EU, you also don’t need to charge VAT. Ask your accountant about the invoice requirements for this. 


Yes, you can freelance without registering as self-employed by using the services of a payrolling company. They act as your employer, taking care of your salary and other administrative obligations, insurance, social security and tax requirements. You need to get your clients yourself and agree on your salary, which can be hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or even for the task at hand. 

Your client will be invoiced by the payrolling company for your salary, plus an extra handling fee as agreed between the client and the payrolling company.

The downside is that you and your client need to respect legal work regulations like minimum wages, daily and weekly maximum working hours, overtime, etc. And you can deduct fewer professional expenses than you can as an employee. A payrolling company in Belgium offering this service is Tentoo. Tentoo is also registered as a Social Office for Artists and has all the specialised knowledge to help artists or performers.

I can’t sell

“I can’t sell” or “I don’t like selling” are often the reasons people think freelancing might not be for them. You can freelance next to your job even if you don’t like selling.  


Anneleen Callewaert 

Brainstorm Buddy


“You just have to be enthusiastic about the problem you can solve for your customer. Once you know what that is, the rest comes easy. I NEVER sell. I just listen and see if there’s a match. So yes, you can have a side hustle even if you can’t sell. The only thing you absolutely need is a clear storyline that matches your personality and an actual need from a customer.

Have fun, one-on-one conversations with people without putting any pressure on them. I went through a period when I experienced a LOT of stress. I felt so much insecurity, I could barely handle it. But I didn’t want to pressure people into hiring me. Or make them feel uncomfortable in helping me out. So I decided to make every meeting as fun as possible for them. Like a tiny break from their busy day. I decided to let my curiosity run free in every conversation. Not talking too much about me, but talking about them. How they are doing, what they are working on, if they have any gossip for me. At the end of every meeting, I asked people if they had any recommendations of who I could contact next. Most of the time they did, so I already knew what my next step was.

And be flexible, but at the same time honest: “You need something for X… well, I could give that a try if you want me to? I don’t have a lot of experience with that, but I’m willing to check it out for you.”

Finding customers

Your current employer might be willing to work with you on a freelance basis. Here are some other tips on how to find customers: 


Lieven Degrauwe

Digital Product Designer (UX/UI)


“My former boss immediately asked me if I was willing to work a couple of days a week for them… so when I made the leap, I was really in a luxury position.”


Robin Van Eester

Mechanical Project Engineer


“Once you become a full-time freelancer, it’s not that hard to find work. That was one thing I was afraid of. but for now, I have enough work.”


Anneleen Callewaert 

Brainstorm Buddy


“You just have to be enthusiastic about the problem you can solve for your customer. Once you know what that is, the rest comes easy. I NEVER sell. I just listen and see if there’s a match. So yes, you can have a side hustle even if you can’t sell. The only thing you absolutely need is a clear storyline that matches your personality and an actual need from a customer.

Have fun, one-on-one conversations with people without putting any pressure on them. I went through a period when I experienced a LOT of stress. I felt so much insecurity, I could barely handle it. But I didn’t want to pressure people into hiring me. Or make them feel uncomfortable in helping me out. So I decided to make every meeting as fun as possible for them. Like a tiny break from their busy day. I decided to let my curiosity run free in every conversation. Not talking too much about me, but talking about them. How they are doing, what they are working on, if they have any gossip for me. At the end of every meeting, I asked people if they had any recommendations of who I could contact next. Most of the time they did, so I already knew what my next step was.

And be flexible, but at the same time honest: “You need something for X… well, I could give that a try if you want me to? I don’t have a lot of experience with that, but I’m willing to check it out for you.”


Dennis Marechal

Woodturner and Business Owner 


“Learn about SEO. Although it takes a lot of time and the results come only weeks and months afterwards, today it’s still one of the most powerful ways to get your side hustle known to the world for free.”

When to move from part-time to full-time

How do you know when it’s the right time to leave your full-time job behind and turn your part-time freelancing into a full-time profession? Here’s some advice from our experts:


Loes Keimes



“Do what you want and keep it as small (or as big) as you want. I felt pressure to grow, but I love working with my current type of customer more!”


Anneleen Callewaert 

Brainstorm Buddy


“When you feel that you have too much work and not enough free time anymore because of it.
When it’s easier for you to get freelance work than a regular job (because you have morphed into a niche expert).

When you could grow it fast, just by giving it some more time or attention. So for example you start by juggling your hours but keeping the full-time job. Then you go to 4 days a week for a couple of months and just see if you can fill your time with it. Then you try a part-time job, etc. After a while, you’ll feel confident enough that you can fill the time you create because you did it in the past…

When you feel that this would be you choosing your ‘bigger life’. 

Are you unemployed and considering freelancing?

If you’re a job seeker and want to take the step towards self-employment, you can (under certain conditions) take advantage of some government support, both in terms of income and with help starting your business.

Receive unemployment benefits while starting as self-employed in a secondary profession. DutchFrench

Additional regional support:


We want to finish this guide with an inspirational quote:

Johan Cremery


“Don’t be afraid to try, asking your whole life if it wouldn’t be better if you did so is too energy-consuming”

Learn more about how to freelance next to your job and get support on your journey:

  • Join the Facebook group Freelancers in Belgium
  • Download the Start2Freelance e-book and book a free session with a Securex coach via their Start2Freelance portal, available in Dutch, French and English
  • Find a good accountant and get advice – check out our blog post at Freelancers in Belgium for tips on finding an accountant and what to ask
  • The accountancy app Accountable offers great service and a lot of useful content about self-employment in Belgium. Check out their website here
  • Time trackers: Toggl
  • Side Hustle School – a podcast, book and resources about starting and running a side hustle
  • Book: How I Built This by Guy Raz
  • Podcast: The Tim Ferriss Show

With special thanks to the freelancers who contributed with their experience and tips.


Note: While we have done our best to make sure this information is accurate, rules and regulations change and each individual situation might be different, so it is always a good idea to check with appropriate authorities for the latest information. Consequently, the authors do not assume any responsibility or liability for any issues or damages stemming from the use of the information found on this website. If you notice errors or omissions please contact

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