Number of enterprises

  • Almost 618,000 enterprises in the Flemish Region

    At the end of 2019 there were 617,685 (VAT-registered) enterprises active in the Flemish Region. That is an increase of over 154,000 enterprises or 33%, as compared to 2009. Since 2008 the number of enterprises has increased annually.

  • Flanders has more enterprises than Wallonia and Brussels

    With almost 618,000 enterprises in 2019, the Flemish Region had considerably more enterprises than the other Belgian regions. In the Walloon Region there were just over 260,000 enterprises and slightly more than 110,000 in the Brussels Capital Region.

  • Net growth of enterprises in Flanders at 3.9%

    In 2019 the net growth of enterprises in the Flemish Region stood at 3.9%. That means that in that year, there were 3.9% more incorporations than cessations.

    The net growth in the years 2016-2019 was significantly higher than in the years before. In the 2008-2019 period, net growth was lowest in 2013 (0.9%).

  • Net growth of Flemish Region in line with other regions

    In 2019 net growth of enterprises in the Brussels Capital Region stood at 3.1%, which is lower than the figure registered in the Flemish Region (3.9%). In the Walloon Region the difference between the number of incorporations and cessations of enterprises was smaller with a net growth of 2.0% in 2019.

  • Enterprise turbulence rises up to almost 17%

    The sum of the number of incorporations and cessations compared to the total number of enterprises gives an indication of the turbulence of enterprises. In the Flemish Region, turbulence has been fairly constant between 2008 and 2017 hovering around 15%.
    Only in 2014 was there a slight temporary increase. From 2017 onwards, however, there was an increase to 17% in 2019.

  • Enterprise turbulence higher in Brussels Region than in other regions

    The turbulence of companies in the Flemish Region (17%) in 2019 was the same as that in the Walloon Region (17%). In the Brussels-Capital Region, the turbulence was slightly higher at 19%.


Net growth: difference between the level of incorporation and the level of cessation of enterprises. The level of incorporation is the total number of incorporations per 100 active VAT liable enterprises. The level of cessation is the number of closures per 100 active VAT liable enterprises. 

Turbulence: the sum of the level of incorporation and the level of cessation. 

Publication date

17 December 2020

Next update

November 2021

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