Innovating companies can greatly benefit from tax incentives in Belgium. The different authorities in our country offer several financial benefits for you to enjoy. We list the most important ones here below.
The federal government
In 2007, the Belgian federal government introduced the ‘Tax deduction for patent income’ program. This initiative was in 2017 broadened to the ‘Innovation income deduction’. More information about this can be found here (our website) and here (in Dutch). This Innovation income deduction allows income from patents and other kinds of intellectual property to be exempt from corporate tax for 85%. If there is insufficient profit, the unused deduction can be transferred to the following fiscal year.
The Flemish region
1. The system of ‘KMO-portefeuille’ subsidizes small companies and SME’s for obtaining legal advice about intellectual property, as provided by authorized lawyers, trademark-, design- and patent attorneys. More information about this can be found here (in Dutch).
2. In the ‘Innovation Allowance Dossier’ of the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Enterprise, you can list the protection costs from the results of the Innovation file of intellectual property, capped to 20 000 EUR. In this file, you can add costs for preparatory tasks such as Freedom to Operate searches and registration and filing costs. The financial support will be between 25% and 80%, depending on the company size and type of file. More information about this can be found here (in Dutch).
Brussels Capital Region
The Brussels Institute for Research and Innovation (Innoviris) has the ‘Protect’ program, which finances a percentage of costs spent in the acquisition and validation of patents and other intellectual property rights during a period of 3 years after request of the allowance. The percentage will depend on the size of the company, the kind of patent and whether the research/innovation project was funded by the Brussels Capital Region or not. The percentage will increase if the research was carried out in collaboration with a research institute. More information can be found here (in English).
The Walloon region
1. Patent application: the Walloon Public Service for Research and Technology (DGO6) can provide financial support to SME’s for filing patent applications. More information can be found here (in French). The support consists of three parts: PATDE (novelty search, drafting and filing a patent application), PATEX (novelty search, exercising the priority right when filing patent applications abroad, patentability search, procedural and renewal fees, translations and national validations) and PATOP (financial support for contentious matters such as patent oppositions, and attorney fees related to advice).
2. Chèques Entreprise: if your enterprise makes use of services as coaching, consulting and education, the Walloon Region will finance 75% of the cost incurred. Some of these financed services include: patent landscaping, patentability opinion, freedom to operate, preparations for patent opposition. More information can be found here (in French).