The fintech sector in Belgium is considered one of the key industries in the country. With each passing year, the number of individuals eager to register a fintech company in Belgium is on the rise. Prior to making the decision to initiate the registration process for a fintech company in Belgium, it is advisable to acquaint oneself with the regulation of the fintech sector. In this article, we will analyze how to incorporate a Belgian fintech company in Belgium, as well as address regulatory issues.

Advantages of receiving a FinTech permit in Belgium:

  • Geographically, Belgium is situated in the heart of Europe.
  • Regulators are legislatively savvy and have a tailor-made approach to every project.
  • Developed legislation.
  • Possibility to passport your license in the EU.

Governance of the financial technology sector in Belgium

EU Directive 2015/2366 (PSD2) oversees fintech directives, with regulatory supervision conducted by both the National Bank and Financial Services Administration.

The national legislation implemented the PSD2 Directive through two distinct legislative measures.

  • The legal framework established on March 11, 2018, mainly highlights the stipulations relating to the admission of EMI and payment institutions in Belgium.
  • By the assembly of rules found in Belgium's VII Code of Economic Law, which primarily consists of laws governing market conduct.

Specific EU regulations, encompassing:

  • The Interchange Fee Regulation was introduced by the EU Parliament and Council. This regulation specifically governs the fees charged for transfers conducted via card-based payment systems within the European Union. It aims to standardize and regulate these fees to ensure fair practices and promote competition in the payment industry.
  • The EU created euro payment rules with Regulation No 260/2012.
  • Regulation 2019/518, known as the Cross-Border Payments Regulation, amended Regulation No 924/2009 to address costs and clarity in international transactions within the EU, aiming to make cross-border payments more efficient and affordable.
  • Regulation 2015/847 dated 20 May 2015 concerning details accompanying the transfer of funds.

The Belgian Law of March 11, 2018, which addresses credit establishments, financial solution suppliers, and some monetary organizations, addresses a number of financial regulation issues. It focuses on payment networks and e-money institutions. Moreover, companies who want to register as payment service providers in Belgium have to abide with the Belgian Economic Law's Compilation of Rules VII.

Belgium's guidelines concerning payment and electronic money institutions for license procurement

Providers of digital currency and payment services are similarly sanctioned to offer payment solutions. These organizations are under regulatory observation and need to obtain a fintech permit from the National Bank prior to commencing their activities. Acquiring authorization to function in the e-money sector in Belgium or securing a Payment Institution permit in Belgium depends on a combination of conditions, such as:

  • Shareholder and management caliber;
  • Company's structure and administration;
  • Base capital and equity prerequisites;
  • Safety prerequisites, operational model, etc.

Candidates must submit an application for obtaining a fintech permit in Belgium, providing documentary evidence of the applicant's conformance with various requirements established by law. Since the introduction of PSD2 in the country, the licensing requirements for establishing an EMI and PI in Belgium are very similar. The most notable distinction is in the minimum capital requirements, which for establishing an EMI in Belgium (a minimum of 350,000 EUR) are greater than for launching a payment institution in Belgium (ranging from 20,000 EUR to 125,000 EUR based on the services offered).

Belgian payment institutions and electronic money institutions must adhere to operational constraints and reporting obligations. However, they benefit from the authority to offer payment services and issue electronic money across all European Economic Area Member States.

Regulation of open banking in Belgium

Following the enactment of the March 11, 2018 legislation, which implemented PSD2 in Belgium, financial institutions are required to open up their systems to third-party providers of payment solutions that have obtained approval, particularly those offering services related to accessing account information and initiating payments. As per the March 11, 2018 legislation, entities offering account information services and payment initiation services are categorized as payment establishments.

Before commencing their operations, they must obtain authorization to conduct fintech activities in Belgium from the National Bank of the country. One of the pivotal legislative acts concerning open banking: Technical Standards 2018/389, regarding strict customer authentication. These standards only came into effect on September 14, 2019. These regulatory technical standards encompass a specific provision on the openness of banking infrastructure.

Regulation of cryptocurrency activities in Belgium

There is no specific legislation regarding cryptocurrencies in Belgium, except for the resolution issued by the Financial Services and Markets Authority regulator prohibiting the arrangement of derivative items based on the value of one or more cryptocurrencies among retail clients. Apart from this particular domestic legislative measure, Belgium is also bound by the regulations of European law concerning cryptocurrencies. The 5th AML Directive has been implemented into local legislation.

Belgium plans to tighten regulations on cryptocurrency wallet providers and establish a licensing system for domestic cryptocurrency exchanges. However, the implementation of these measures is on hold until the national government enacts a Royal Decree specifying the details. Meanwhile, the EU Commission has proposed new regulations aimed at controlling digital currency assets and their service providers, filling gaps in current monetary solutions' legislation. One key aspect of the proposal is the introduction of a uniform licensing system for all EU member states.

Crowdfunding regulation in Belgium

At present, there is no provision for registering a P2P platform in Belgium, as such structures are still not regulated at the legislative level. Nonetheless, it is possible to undergo registration as a consumer lender and obtain a credit license in Belgium to conduct the relevant activities.

To launch a crowdfunding platform in Belgium, compliance with the provisions of the Law on Crowdfunding Platforms is required. The drafting of an issuance prospectus is not required if the project amount does not exceed 300,000 EUR; however, if it exceeds this threshold, the presence of such a document is necessary.


Belgium, as a member of the European Union, aligns its local laws with EU directives on fintech. To start a fintech company there, you must collect precise paperwork and adhere to guidelines from the National Bank of Belgium and the Financial Services and Markets Administration. Although there aren't explicit laws on cryptocurrency assets, initial coin offerings might fall under EU regulations that Belgium has adopted. Crowdfunding platforms can be registered in Belgium, and for further guidance on fintech regulation in the country, consulting with specialists is advisable.