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Will I be reimbursed if I am forced to close my business?

Thursday 23/04/2020
Word ik vergoed als ik mijn zaak verplicht moet sluiten?

Flemish entrepreneurs who are forced to close down their business shall be entitled to an one-off business closure relief grant of 4,000 euro.

The Flemish Government has extended the relief grant to all companies and shops (e.g.: clothing shop, electrical shop or do-it-yourself shop) that have to close down completely because of the new decisions of the National Security Council. If the situation does not change after the first closure period of 21 days from 5 April, a compensation of 160 euros per day will be added.

Who is eligible:

  • People who are self-employed as part of their main occupation. Also self-employed people in a secondary occupation who, on the basis of their net taxable income, owe similar social security contributions as a self-employed person in a main occupation;
  • Companies with working partners or at least one full-time employee (registered with the National Social Security Office);
  • Associations and non-profit organisations are only eligible if they employ at least one full-time equivalent (FTE) NSSO registered person;
  • Companies witha subsidiary in the Flemish Region;
  • The lump-sum subsidy and additional closure premium shall be granted per company and not per subsidiary. They shall be allocated to a maximum of one CBE number at the same location within the same NACE code;
  • In case of hotel and catering enterprises, the lump sum subsidy and additional closure premium shall be granted per operating site, providing that site employs at least 1 FTE;
  • The Flemish Government is granting these lump sum subsidies (both the one-off relief grant of 4,000 euro and the additional compensation of 160 euro/day) until 12 June 2020.

On the proposal of the Flemish Minister of Economy Hilde Crevits, the Flemish Government has decided that there will now be an extension of the duration of the nuisance allowance for those who are obliged to remain closed. 

This means that the wellness centres and saunas, the amusement parks and indoor playgrounds, the cinemas, discotheques and dance halls, swimming pools and foorkramers can make use of the daily premium of 160 euros per additional closing day. Market stallholders who are unable to start due to the restriction of 50 stalls per market can also take advantage of the premium. 

The premium is granted until such time as the physical location of the company can reopen on the basis of a decision by the Security Council. 

How to apply?

The enterprise submits an application for a subsidy via the website of  'Agentschap Innoveren en Ondernemen' (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Agency), stating its KBO number. 

The grant application must be submitted by 3 June at the latest. The application can be made online via this link.

Companies that do not in any way have the possibility to apply digitally for the relief grant, nor to mandate their accountant to do so digitally via the Flemish Access and User Management, can make use of a simplified procedure via their accountant.

This application is handled electronically.

The 'Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship' investigates whether enterprises and the self-employed have complied with the conditions imposed by the Flemish Government in its decree of 15 March 2020.

It sends a written notification of its decision to the applicant. VLAIO has indicated that it will try to keep the lead time as short as possible and will give a guideline of two weeks after the positive decision.

Payment procedure

If the Agency decides that the grant is to be awarded, it will be paid. Payment is made only to a Belgian account number in the name of the beneficiary company.

The relief grant can be combined with bridging rights if all conditions are met.

Since April 6, the relief grant is automatically supplemented with € 160 per closing day.

From 6 April 2020 until the end of the corona measures, anyone who has received the corona annoyance premium up to and including 5 April will automatically receive € 160 per mandatory closing day that coincides with a normal opening day. If you were entitled to the corona relief grant, you do not have to submit a new application

The closure premium of € 160 is paid from April 19 for the period from 6/4 until 19/4. The following period will be paid from May 3.

What relief grant is provided for pedlars? 

Market stallholders who are not yet able to start up due to the restriction of 50 stalls per market, can apply for the corona annoyance premium. They receive 160 euros per additional closing day. 

As an itinerant trader (or market stallholder), from 18 May 2020 you can receive the corona annoyance premium of 160 euros for the market days on which you are normally present but are still not allowed to occupy a stand. Itinerant traders who are not yet allowed to occupy their usual stand along the public road can also apply for this premium. 

The application for the additional daily allowances for the corona nuisance premium must be submitted by the itinerant trader (or market vendor) via a web form that we make available on the VLAIO website. The application can be submitted from 12 June 2020 for the 4 weeks prior to that date. 

If you have other questions regarding the Corona crisis, please visit our special FAQ

Last update: 11/06/2020

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Bert Lutin
Bert Lutin
Partner Tax & Legal Services
An Lettens
An Lettens
Partner Tax & Legal Services