Individual entrepreneur: Are professional and personal assets separate?

Verified 13 February 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The personal assets of the individual entrepreneur (EI) are protected because they are automatically separated from the professional assets. However, this separation of assets has its limits.

The individual entrepreneur (EI), disposes automatically of 2 assets:

  • A heritage professional composed of all elements useful to the activity or independent professional activities
  • A heritage staff composed of elements not included in the professional heritage

Where the sole trader carries out several activities, there is only one professional estate.

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Occupational heritage

The professional heritage shall include in particular the following:

  • Trade fund, or craft fund, or agricultural fund, with all the tangible or intangible assets which constitute them and the right of presentation of the customers of a liberal professional
  • Movable property : goods, equipment and tools, agricultural equipment, vehicles, etc.
  • Real property used for the activity (including that part of the sole trader's principal residence used for professional use)
  • Assets intangible : customer data, patents, licenses, trademarks, designs, intellectual property rights, trade names and brands
  • Cash Fund, sums held at the place where the professional activity is carried out and the sums entered in the bank accounts dedicated to that activity.

The collateral, rights (e.g claim of a rent) and the debts are also part of the professional assets of the individual entrepreneur.


Social security contributions and contributions are part of the occupational heritage.

Personal assets

It includes assets (such as principal residence) and liabilities (such as a loan to purchase a personal vehicle) not included in professional heritage.

The assets are automatically separated into professional and personal assets as from one of the following times:

When the sole trader was already in operation before 15 May 2022, it is from that date that the professional and personal assets are separated.

Professional and personal creditors

The separation of personal and professional assets is automatic.

It has implications for creditors. But the individual entrepreneur doesn't need to inform them.

This separation of assets leads to the distinction between 2 types of creditors :

  • Professional creditors : they can obtain payment of their claims on professional assets.
  • Personal creditors : they can obtain payment of their claims only on personal assets. For example, it's a loan to buy your principal residence.

If the heritage staff is insufficient, personal creditors may obtain the settlement of their claims on the assets professional, within the limits of the profit made in the last accounting year.


previous debts as of may 15, 2022 may be paid on the whole of the assets. Prior to that date, professional assets were not separated from personal assets.

Social security institutions and tax administration

Social security institutions and tax administration are considered as professional creditors. The payment of their claims is therefore made in principle on professional assets only.

However, some of their claims can be paid on the 2 heritage sites (professional and personal). These are the following claims:

  • CSG: titleContent and CRDS: titleContent
  • Property tax on immovable property useful to your professional activity

Social security institutions and the tax authorities may also obtain payment of their claims on the 2 assets where the contractor has committed the following acts:

  • Fraudulent maneuvers (for example, a voluntary reduction in your profit over several financial years)
  • Serious and repeated non-compliance with social or fiscal obligations (e.g. failure to pay social security contributions, delays or irregularities in declarations such as  DSN: titleContent)

The judge does not need to give his prior authorization for the tax or social administration to seize the assets.

The individual entrepreneur may decide to waive this separation in order to guarantee a professional debt with an element of his personal assets. A creditor may also ask him to waive the protection of personal property.

Use of personal assets to guarantee a professional debt

The sole trader may decide to use a personal property as collateral for a professional debt, for example to obtain a loan for the company.

These include, for example:

  • Mortgage of personal property (except the main dwelling)
  • Pledge life insurance


It is not possible to use an item of professional property as collateral for a personal debt.

Waiver of protection of personal property

One creditor professional may ask the individual contractor to give up the separation of assets. This waiver must relate to a specific commitment with a specific duration and amount.

The sole trader must sign a waiver the protection of personal property. This written document shall also be signed by the professional creditor, indicating the date and place.

The electronic signature can be used.

As from the date of signature of the waiver, the individual entrepreneur disposes a reflection period of 7 days allowing him to change his mind. A handwritten entry in the waiver may reduce this period to 3 free days.

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Termination of the activity of the sole trader

Professional and personal heritage are combined.

Creditors prior to the cessation of business may then claim their debts on all professional and personal property.

Death of the sole trader

Professional and personal heritage are combined. They form the inheritance.

Creditors prior to death can then claim their debts on all professional and personal property.


Exceptionally, where the death of the sole trader occurs while occupational heritage is in a state of cessation of payments, only professional assets are covered by the judicial redress.

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