Expat Guide : Starting a Business in Luxembourg

LuxembourgPosted on 23 May 2024 by Team

Luxembourg, a small but prosperous country in the heart of Europe, has emerged as a prime destination for expats looking to start their own businesses. Known for its robust economy, political stability, and business-friendly environment, Luxembourg offers a unique blend of opportunities and challenges for foreign entrepreneurs. This article aims to provide a detailed overview of everything an expat should know before embarking on their business venture in Luxembourg.

Economic Landscape

Luxembourg boasts a highly developed economy with a strong emphasis on the financial services sector, including banking, investment funds, and insurance. It is also home to thriving information technology, logistics, and manufacturing industries. The country's strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, coupled with its multilingual workforce and excellent infrastructure, makes it an attractive hub for businesses targeting the European market.

Legal Structure and Business Types

Before starting a business in Luxembourg, expats must choose the appropriate legal structure. The most common types are:

  1. Société à Responsabilité Limitée (SARL): Similar to a limited liability company, suitable for small to medium-sized businesses. It requires a minimum capital of €12,000.
  2. Société Anonyme (SA): Equivalent to a public limited company, suitable for larger enterprises. It requires a minimum capital of €30,000.
  3. Société Coopérative (SC): A cooperative society structure, ideal for businesses where ownership and management are shared among members.
  4. Société en Commandite Simple (SCS) and Société en Commandite Spéciale (SCSp): Partnerships commonly used for investment funds.

Registration and Incorporation Process

To register a business in Luxembourg, expats must follow these steps:

  1. Business Permit: Obtain a business permit from the Ministry of the Economy. This permit is mandatory for all commercial activities and ensures compliance with Luxembourg's business regulations.
  2. Trade Register: Register the business with the Luxembourg Trade and Companies Register (Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés - RCS).
  3. VAT Registration: Register for VAT with the Administration de l'Enregistrement et des Domaines.
  4. Social Security: Register with the Joint Social Security Center (Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale - CCSS) to ensure compliance with social security obligations for employees.


Luxembourg has a competitive tax regime with several incentives for businesses:

  1. Corporate Tax: The corporate income tax rate is approximately 24.94% for companies with profits exceeding €200,000. For lower profits, a reduced rate applies.
  2. VAT: The standard VAT rate is 17%, one of the lowest in Europe, with reduced rates of 8%, 3%, and exemptions for certain goods and services.
  3. Tax Incentives: Luxembourg offers various tax incentives, including investment tax credits, IP box regime for intellectual property income, and participation exemption for dividends and capital gains from qualifying shareholdings.

Workforce and Employment

Luxembourg has a highly skilled and multilingual workforce. However, expats should be aware of the labor laws and regulations:

  1. Employment Contracts: Must be in writing and comply with Luxembourg labor law. Contracts can be permanent or fixed-term.
  2. Working Hours: Standard working hours are 40 hours per week, with a maximum of 48 hours including overtime.
  3. Social Contributions: Employers and employees must contribute to social security, covering health, pension, and unemployment insurance.

Banking and Financial Services

Opening a business bank account in Luxembourg is straightforward but requires documentation such as proof of identity, business plan, and incorporation documents. Luxembourg's banking sector is renowned for its stability and offers a wide range of financial services to support businesses.

Residency and Work Permits

Non-EU expats must obtain a residence permit to live and work in Luxembourg. This involves:

  1. Temporary Authorization to Stay: Apply for a temporary authorization from the Immigration Directorate.
  2. Visa: If approved, apply for a visa at the Luxembourg consulate in your home country.
  3. Residence Permit: Upon arrival, apply for a residence permit with the local municipality.

Networking and Support

Luxembourg has a vibrant business community with numerous networking opportunities. Organizations such as the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg for Business, and the Luxembourg Business Angels Network provide valuable support and resources for new businesses.

  1. Join the LuxExpats Start-ups and Entrepreneurs Facebook Group : facebook.com/groups/startupsluxembourg
  2. Join the LuxExpats Networking Group : facebook.com/groups/luxembourgexpatsnetwork

Starting a business in Luxembourg offers numerous advantages, including a favorable tax environment, strategic location, and access to a skilled workforce. However, it requires careful planning and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements. By understanding the economic landscape, choosing the right business structure, and navigating the registration process, expats can successfully establish and grow their businesses in Luxembourg.

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