Since 1 July 2016, self-employed workers must join a social security fund before commencing their activity.

Until 1 July 2016, self-employed workers falling under the obligation to be insured had to join a social security fund for the self-employed or the National Auxiliary Fund ("Nationale Hulpkas"/"Caisse nationale auxiliaire") at the latest on the first day of their self-employed activity. This has been modified by the Programme Act of 1 July 2016 and the Royal Decree of 15 July 2016. With effect from 1 July 2016, self-employed workers must make such arrangements before starting their self-employed activity.

This is one of the measures aimed at combatting social security fraud. Audits carried out by the inspection services regularly revealed that audited persons who had not yet registered with a social security fund as self-employed would claim that they had started their activity on the day of the audit and that they intended to register that same day. Because registration must now take place before the start of the activity, this type of social security fraud will no longer be possible.

Future mandate holders of companies should also take this measure into account. They should inform themselves (well) in advance about their obligations under the social security statute for the self-employed.

A self-employed person who does not comply with the obligation to register before commencing his/her activity risks a fine and ex officio registration with the National Auxiliary Fund.