Setting up for business
Finding a location
Like many major cities, Brussels’ economy is primarily service-driven. The infrastructure of the city suits this economy well, with many high quality office buildings purpose-built for white collar workers.
Brussels also is a centre of industry, as it has been for over a century. Manufacturing and the production of goods are concentrated in specific areas and receive strong support from the Brussels-Capital Region.
Industrial companies and warehouses are largely situated in the urban industrial zones, made up of the Erasme area (West of Brussels), the North Ring area and the Brussels harbour zone.
These areas are delineated in the Regional Ground Plan.
The Brussels Regional Development Agency develops and manages industrial buildings in all these areas. The industrial space is available to companies, under certain conditions, at very competitive rates.
Five office zones
The ‘Pentagon’ is the name given to the city centre of Brussels, which is encircled by a road that has a pentagonal shape. The inner ring is also known locally as the ‘petite ceinture’. The city centre is easily accessible by public transport and contains the major hotels and large shopping districts. This is where government, big business and the large financial institutions have their offices.
The North District is a few minutes walk from the city centre. Known as the ‘Le Quartier Nord’, the area around Brussels’ North Station was targeted for development ten years ago. The areas around Boulevard Albert II have become a prime location for the headquarters of large multinational corporations, as well as Belgian companies.
As Brussels has grown in international importance as the capital of Europe, the Leopold District, or the ‘European quarter’, has expanded exponentially and now crosses the borders of other neighbourhoods. This is where EU institutions are housed, as well as embassies and non-governmental organisations.
The Louise District is considered the most posh shopping district in the city and houses some of the most prestigious businesses in Europe. This long, beautiful avenue extends from Porte Louise to Bois de la Cambre. Here you will find the most expensive residential neighbourhood in the city, upmarket department stores, as well as law firms, PR companies, advertising agencies and other service-orientated companies.
Other more decentralised areas that suit a company headquarters or regional office, are spread out primarily along the Boulevard du Souverain, Chausée de la Hulpe or Boulevard du Triomphe.
Need help locating a site?
The Invest in Brussels team has developed an important network of contacts among local real estate agents and is able to help every foreign investor with their search for an adequate site for their business.