Article | Adaptive Spaces

How to open a pop-up store in Belgium?

Pop-up stores pop up everywhere. But what does the law say?

March 14, 2023

By Eline Dhaenens

woman shopping in a store

Pop-up stores are springing up all over the city. Shops, restaurants, exhibition spaces... they open their doors during the summer holidays or at the end of the year. But why open a pop-up shop in Belgium and what are the advantages hereof? What regulations do they have to comply with? Are these rules the same everywhere?

Temporary in nature

The name 'pop-up' refers to the sudden appearance - and disappearance - of the company. Because a pop-up is above all ephemeral. For the tenant, it is an opportunity to temporarily test their start-up or to market a concept in the short term. For the landlord of the premises, this formula is advantageous in order to benefit from a temporary occupation of the property, while waiting for a building permit, for example.

No standard lease

Anyone who rents a retail space knows that the legislation is very strict and protects the tenant in particular. The duration of the lease is 9 years, with the possibility for the tenant to terminate the lease every three years and to renew it after 9 years. The landlord is therefore bound to the tenant for at least 9 years. The pop-up formula is much more flexible, but offers less security to the tenant.

One year or less

The rental period for a pop-up store is much shorter and varies from a few months to a maximum of one year. At the end of the term, the tenant cannot renew the lease. However, they can leave earlier, provided they give one month's notice. The landlord, on the other hand, has no possibility of unilateral termination. If the tenant wants to extend the tenancy after one year, he will have to change to a classic lease. It will therefore no longer be a pop-up.

Rights and obligations

Once the rent has been agreed, the pop-up store manager can start his business. As a tenant, he cannot sublet and has to take care of the necessary permit(s), fire insurance and, of course, pay for the utilities he uses. Alterations are allowed and are to be paid for by the tenant, as long as the cost does not exceed one year's rent. The landlord can decide later on what happens to the conversion: he can demand that the building be restored or keep the conversion, without compensation. 

Regional differences

Do you want to open a pop-up store in Belgium? Remember that the legislation is not the same everywhere. In Brussels and Wallonia, for example, subletting is allowed and the landlord can refuse conversion work. So don't hesitate to ask CBRE's Retail Consultants for advice

We wish your pop-up store every success!


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