How to Start a Company in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a top business destination in Europe. Its connectivity, high quality of life, business ecosystem and access to talented workforce from around Europe make it a prime location for investors looking to open a company. Regardless of the chosen business field, starting a business in Netherlands is a straightforward process that will involve a few administrative procedures.


The process can be reduced to a few key steps, which are briefly detailed below.

1. Choose a business structure

Once you have your business plan ready, it is time to choose a suitable business structure. This is an important decision because the chosen legal form will influence the degree of liability for the founders of the company and will require a certain minimum share capital.

Examples of available business structures in the Netherlands include the general and the limited partnerships, the private limited liability company (BV) or the public company (NV). Each of them have their own characteristics and may be suited to smaller or larger businesses. Regardless of the business type, a new Dutch company will need an appropriate and available business name.

2. Open a bank account and deposit the share capital

Opening a corporate bank account for a Dutch company is the next mandatory step. The minimum share capital will be deposited there.

3. Draw up the company’s articles of association

The company’s articles of incorporation are signed before a public notary in the Netherlands. This constitutive document must be drawn up in Dutch and it will include information about the company’s purpose and objectives, internal regulations and information about its founders.

4. Register the company

All Dutch companies are registered with he Commercial Registry. For this purpose, business owners must provide the company’s constitutive documents, statements of the authorized paid-up capital and information about the founders and managing directors.

5. Apply for any needed additional business permits

Special industry-specific permits and licenses may be needed for some types of companies, like restaurants, cafes or those in the accommodation or import/ export sector. The company can apply for these once the business is registered.

6. Set up your office and hire personnel

Finding a suitable working space is an essential step and it is even more important for businesses that are location-dependent, such as restaurants. All Dutch companies must have a registered office in the country.

As far as hiring employees is concerned, the Netherlands is an attractive location for many expats and investors have access to a talented pool of workers. Special incentives can be awarded for those who hire foreign employees.

7. Don’t forget about the tax, accounting and reporting requirements

A 20% corporate income tax applies to the first 200,000 EUR of a company’s taxable profit and a second rate of 25% applies to profits exceeding that amount. Public and private limited liability companies in the Netherland must file annual reports that include the company’s balance sheet and the profits and loss account. The financial statements are submitted according to the Dutch Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

This step-by-step guide is merely designed to highlight the main aspects to consider when starting a company in the Netherlands. We recommend that you get in touch with a local law firm or company formation agency that can provide full assistance and services.


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