Survivals of VAT-registered enterprises

Survivals of VAT-registered enterprises


In general and on a recurring basis, the survival rates of VAT-registered enterprises are higher in Flanders than in Brussels and Wallonia. They are also higher for enterprises with staff. Also, the more significant the employment, the higher the survival rates.

Enterprises set in the form of a legal entity are also more likely to survive than those established as a natural person.

Some activity sectors have a significantly lower than average 5-years survival rate. This is particularly the case for telecommunications, gambling organisations and postal and courier activities.

However, it should be noted that a low rate does not necessarily mean a poor ‘health’ of the sector, but can sometimes simply be the result of special VAT arrangements for the enterprises concerned. For example, some enterprises could register to VAT for a short time in order to recover VAT. These births/removals then directly affect the short-term survival rate

Survivals and survival rates

Survivals and survival rates of active enterprises subject to VAT 2013

Region 1-year survival rate 2-years survival rate 3-years survival rate 4-years survival rate 5-years survival rate
Brussels-Capital Region 88.5% 78.6% 71.5% 65.1% 59.9%
Flemish Region 90.1% 81.4% 75.1% 69.6% 64.7%
Walloon Region 86.9% 76.2% 69.6% 63.8% 58.6%

Purpose and short description

Survivals and survival rates of active enterprises subject to VAT since 2008, based on the business register DBRIS, per year, region, economic activity (NACE-BEL), employment class and type of enterprise (natural person or legal entity).

Survey population

VAT-registered enterprises



Release calendar

Results available 9 months after the reference period


Economic activity (NACE-BEL): Official nomenclature with an ‘X’ at the end when the information is only on 4 positions.

NIS employment class: NIS employment class as defined in the official NIS table

Number of first registrations: The number of first registrations refers to the number of VAT units which register for the first time for VAT.


In order to produce the statistic on the survival rate of VAT-registered enterprises, we have tracked all enterprises which were for the first time subject to VAT, and we have identified, over the 5 following years, the enterprises concerned retaining this quality. When this information was verified, we have calculated a survival rate for the period concerned. If an enterprise was removed from the VAT register, and is subsequently again subject to VAT, it was excluded the year of the first removal and is therefore not considered as having survived.

The survival rate is calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of survivals by the number of first registrations for each breakdown in the table.

The descriptive variables (type of enterprise, employment, activity) are those of the enterprise on 31/12 of the year of its first VAT registration.