Starting up a new business involves a lot of administrative formalities. If the company is active in the construction sector, joining and paying legally required contributions to the WTCB (Scientific and Technical Centre for the Building Industry) can be one of them. What exactly is the WTCB and when is membership compulsory? Below are a few questions answered for you.
What is the WTCB?
The STCB is a professional association for companies in the construction industry, whose purpose is to conduct research, inform its members, provide them with technical and organizational assistance, and contribute to overall innovation and development in the construction industry.
Who should join?
A company that, when registering in the CBE, mentions one or more of the nacebel codes from categories 41 "Construction of buildings; development of construction projects", 42 "Civil engineering" and 43 "Specialized construction work", will receive a letter from the WTCB after its registration in the CBE. Based on the data that the entrepreneur fills out on this, the WTCB will determine whether the company is obliged to join, and thus pay the mandatory contribution.
This letter will list all nacebel codes that were listed by the company in the CBE. The company should tick here which activities it will actually carry out itself.
If the company indicates on this letter that it will carry out activities in the construction sector itself, the WTCB will decide that it is obliged to join them, and send a request for payment of the statutory mandatory contributions.
Who is not covered by the obligation?
For companies that only offer consulting services in the construction sector or rely entirely on subcontractors, there is no mandatory affiliation.
This is the case, for example, for project development activities, services of architects, engineers and other consultants...
There is also no mandatory connection for companies that only manufacture pieces, but do not install them themselves. For example, a joiner who manufactures a kitchen but does not install it himself is not subject to the connection obligation.
Furthermore, certain sectors have their own professional association, which means that they are not required to join the STCB. This is the case, among others, for the electrical engineering sector, the cleaning sector and the metal works sector.
How much is the membership fee?
If you work without staff then the minimum annual contribution of 157 euros will be due, regardless of the number of nacebel codes for which you are registered.
If you employ staff then your contribution will be determined on the basis of the wage bill.
Affiliation with the WTCB is mandatory for many companies operating in the construction industry. However, there are cases where a company is not obliged to join. It is therefore important to correctly fill in the letter you receive from the WTCB after starting up and to indicate which activities you will be carrying out.
If you do not fall under the connection obligation after startup, but you later meet the conditions for mandatory connection, you are required to pay the WTCB notify them of this.
Questions about the various obligations that apply in the construction industry? Feel free to contact us our sector manager.