Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, publishes today the yearly statistic of VAT units for 2020. In general, the number of births in 2020 is quite low. While between 2015 and 2019, the number of births increased on average by 3% per year, the variation of births in 2020 compared to 2019 is +0.70%. In 2019, this variation was +7.4%.
The number of de-registrations in 2020 is lower than in 2019 (-7.3%). Despite the exceptionally high number of de-registrations in 2019, the number of de-registrations in 2020 is lower than projected for this year.
In total, the number of enterprises grew by 4% in 2020 to 1,050,768 units on 31/12/2020. This growth is higher than in previous years, when it amounted to 3.5% on average per year between 2015 and 2019.
Since 2017, the sector Professional, scientific and technical activities (Nace M) has been the sector with the highest number of enterprises in Belgium. There were 204,821 of them on 31/12/2020, or 4.9% more than a year earlier. This sector also saw the most movement in 2020: 20,043 enterprise births and 11,095 de-registrations.
With 185,683 VAT-registered enterprises, Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (Nace G) is the second largest sector. There were 17,992 births and 12,706 de-registrations in this sector in 2020. The growth in this sector amounts to 2.9% in 2020.
The third sector, Construction (Nace F), accounts for 143,339 enterprises. There were 16,146 births as against 9,093 de-registrations in this sector. This results in an annual growth of 4.7%.