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Information, cooperation, protection of intellectual property: a reliable partner for businesses

The Benelux Union is a reliable partner for businesses, whether that’s in the form of opening up trade borders, facilitating close cooperation between companies or protecting brands and ideas. The Union provides businesses with useful information and represents their interests.

The Benelux Union offers a wide range of services for enterprise. If you are looking to expand your business to other member states, we can tell you everything you need to know, either online or through a professional contact. Our focus lies on promoting retail, but our activities reach much further than that. We are tackling territorial supply constraints, we encourage cross-border exchange between employer organisations, and we guarantee the protection of your intellectual property.

One point of contact for nearly 198,000 retail businesses

Retail is a cornerstone of the Benelux economy. Almost one million people in the three member states work in this sector, with around 198,000 companies generating a turnover of more than 219 billion euros. As such, there is a pressing need for information. In response to that need, the Benelux Union has set up a portal for retailers that covers a comprehensive range of useful topics (link)

Targeting both existing companies and emerging entrepreneurs, our portal provides answers to questions surrounding:

  • the national legislation in other member states
  • doing business in another Benelux country
  • setting up a business
  • e-commerce

Together for a market without territorial supply constraints

As a retailer facing territorial supply constraints, you have a committed partner by your side in the Benelux Union. We have been working together to remove these constraints since 2015, as a joint study has shown that they affect retailers across the Benelux, across a wide range of products and companies of all sizes.

More specifically, the Benelux countries have asked the European Commission to take legislative action to address the negative effects of territorial supply constraints, as they are incompatible with the principles of the internal market.

Intensive cooperation between entrepreneurs in future-oriented areas

Permanent exchange between trade associations is hugely important, especially in times of crisis and major changes. The Benelux Union has long encouraged and boosted such exchanges.

At a joint meeting in September 2022, for instance, the representatives of the Benelux employer federations (FEDIL, VBO-FEB and VNO-NCW) confirmed the importance of their close cooperation — particularly in the field of energy, logistics and worker mobility — and decided to further strengthen their exchanges in view of the internal market.

The Benelux: a laboratory for the internal market

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the European internal market, the leaders of the Benelux countries stressed the huge importance of further developing the internal market, as well as the added value of the Benelux’s driving role in it. Several recent successes in transport and retail achieved on the back of cooperation between the Benelux only serve to underline this trailblazing role. Future cooperation is possible in the field of territorial supply constraints, electronic invoicing, packaging and waste challenges, urban mobility, more sustainable road transport and the importance of the internal market for innovation and start-ups.

Protection of all types of intellectual property

Proper protection of your intellectual property can make all the difference to the success of your business. Clearly registering your rights enables you to carve out a strong market position for your business.

If, as a company, you are looking to protect your trademark, design or idea, the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) is here to help. BOIP is the official body for the registration of trademarks and designs or drawings in the Benelux. Using BOIP’s i-DEPOT, you can also register an idea for software, a game or text, for example, giving you a means by which you can prove that your idea existed at some point.

For the protection of other rights, such as patents for the protection of technical inventions, you can contact the competent national bodies in this field in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.