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Market research: changes for consultancy subsidies in Brussels

The rules concerning the consultancy subsidies (which apply to market research projects) have just changed substantially for the Brussels region (see here the official website in French or in Dutch). On 31 January 2019, a new regional decree was passed which, although it does not really modify the conditions of attribution, dramatically affects the amount of the subsidies to the consultancy up to then granted.

Three significant changes should be noted:

  • the maximum amount of subsidies for consultancy is now set at 10,000€ per calendar year, whereas it was previously set at 30,000€ (2 x 15,000€)
  • it is no longer possible to use the same company twice in a row. In concrete terms, this means that if you conduct market research with IntoTheMinds, you will have to wait two years to use our services again. In most cases, this is not a problem (since market research is a one-time exercise), but for some of our clients who exceeded the annual limits and spread their projects over 2 calendar years, this is problematic.
  • the subsidisation percentages have been modified. Instead of the usual 50%, progressive rates were applied. The starting rate is 40%, and two bonuses of 10% each can be obtained if your company meets 1 or 2 of the following specific requirements:
    • your company is less than 4 years old (this is the “Starter” requirement)
    • your Company is labelled “social enterprise” (this is an official label that is obtained after a specific procedure)
    • your company is labelled “Circular Company” (here again this label is specific and must be requested in advance)
    • your company belongs to a priority sector (see list at the end of this article)
    • your company has an approved diversity plan or diversity label

What are the consequences for those wanting subsidies for market research in the Brussels region?

Since consultancy subsidies are mainly intended for SMEs and in particular start-ups, it is likely that this new legislation will change little for you. On the contrary, if your company is less than 4 years old and is active in a priority sector, you could even see the percentage of subsidisation increase to 60%.

Below are some concrete examples that will allow you to evaluate the cost of market research after subsidisation according to your sector and your particular case. If your case is not taken up, contact us with no engagement so that we can inform you of the subsidies you are entitled to. This advice is free of charge and will most of the time be given to you immediately (call us on +32 2 347 45 86 for an immediate answer)

Concrete examples of budgets (before and after consultancy grants) for market research projects

Example 1: A case study of market research for a retail business

We carry out extensive market research for the retail sector (local shops). If your company is active in this sector, it benefits from the basic rate of 40% subsidy plus a 10% bonus. Nothing changes compared to the old legislation as long as the budget of the research does not exceed €20000 before VAT (giving the right to €10,000 in subsidies, which is the annual limit). For a flow research study related to the implementation of a new sales point for instance, you will need to count between 5000€ and 8000€ before subsidies. Thanks to the grants provided by the Brussels region, it will, therefore, cost you between 2500€ and 4000€, an unbeatable rate for accurate and decisive research to ensure the success of your local business. If you are interested in setting up a new business or have any questions about how to boost your existing point of sale, do not hesitate to contact us. The first contact is free of charge.

Example 2: A case study of market research for a new company

You have just started your business and need help to position your product or service, develop a marketing strategy or understand how to increase sales. Market research is an essential step (If you have any doubts, please consult our online market research guide to be convinced). If your company is less than 4 years old, you receive a 10% bonus in addition to the basic subsidy rate of 40%. Nothing changes compared to the old legislation and you will, therefore, benefit from 50% of subsidies on your market research (up to a maximum of €10,000). If each research project at IntoTheMinds is the subject of a specific quote (we only do tailor-made work), please note that a budget of €10,000 offers many possibilities for implementation and is, therefore, an ideal starting point. A new company (less than 4 years old) established in the Brussels region will, therefore, receive 50% subsidies and will be able to see a 10000€ of market research carried out for half of this budget. Contact us for a first meeting with no engagement.

Example 3: A case study of market research for a start-up active in IT

Market research in the field of information technology (ICT) is commonplace at IntoTheMinds. If you are active in this field and your company is less than 4 years old, you meet all the criteria to receive 60% subsidies! And in this case, it’s much better than before (where the rate was 50% at the most). You will therefore only pay 40% of the final invoice. For market research costing €10,000, you will therefore only pay €4,000, an unbeatable price giving you access to high-quality research for the price of a low-cost study.

Conclusions: the differences (before/after) of the new regulation for consultancy subsidies


Points of comparison before the 31/01/19 after the 31/01/19
number of subsidy files for consultancy per calendar year (from January 01 to December 31) 2 5
Subsidisation rate 50% between 40% et 60%
maximum amount of subsidies per calendar year 2 x 15000€ 10000€
maximum amount for the mission to reach the maximum subsidy 30000€ between16666€ (at a rate of 60%) and 25000€ (at a rate of 40%)

Annex: the list of priority sectors that receive an additional 10% subsidy for carrying out market research in Brussels.

The following sectors benefit from a 10% bonus in addition to the basic subsidy rate (40%) for consultancy services (market research is one of them).

If your company is active in one of these sectors, it is therefore guaranteed to receive a subsidy covering 50% of our services, or even 60% if your company was created less than 4 years ago.

  • industry and crafts (NACE-BEL codes 10.110 to 33.200 and 95)
  • environmental management (NACE-BEL codes 37,000 to 39,000)
  • hotels and restaurants and tourism (NACE-BEL codes 55.100 to 56.309 and 79)
  • retail (NACE-BEL codes 47.111 to 47.990)
  • renovation of buildings: installation or finishing work (NACE-BEL codes 43.211 to 43.999)
  • information and communication technologies (ICT) (NACE-BEL codes 59, 60.100 to 62.090 and 631)
  • research and development (NACE-BEL codes 72.110 to 72.200)
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Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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