5 promising business sectors in the Netherlands

5 business sectors enabling you to achieve success in the Netherlands

If you are a foreign entrepreneur and you are considering in which country you should set up your business, the Netherlands might just be one of your best bets right now. Even during a global pandemic, the Netherlands have maintained a stable economy with plenty of opportunities business wise. Next to being a stable country, the business climate is extremely open to unique ideas, collaboration proposals and general innovation in every sector imaginable. In this article, we will outline some sectors that are open to foreign investors and entrepreneurs, offering you possibilities for ownership of a Dutch business.

Why choose a certain sector?

If you want to establish a business, you generally have some laid out plans about the sector you want to invest your time in. In some other cases this might be different, for example when you just want to broaden your horizons, but you don’t know exactly how to accomplish that yet. In such situations, it is wise to invest some time in your genuine qualities and experience, and think about what might be the best way to invest those in a company structure. Often, the most successful companies rise up out of a combination of experience, passion and determination. Below we will outline some sectors, that are currently booming in the Netherlands.


One of the most profitable business options nowadays is within the field of e-commerce. This sector has been booming since the very incorporation of the internet, but until a few decades ago has been a playground for only a few lucky ones. Thankfully, the internet started to provide everyone with opportunities for the establishment of an online business and now, in 2021, the number of online business owners is exponentially growing at a stable rate. E-commerce can entail everything: from an online webshop that allows you to offer a variety of products, an online advertisement agency to various artistic professions that can be economized. It is basically a gateway to selling whatever service or product you have to offer. The amount of success highly depends on the quality of your work, as well as your ability to do business with different individuals.

Another option is to become an affiliate, for example with a stable e-commerce business like Bol.com. Bol.com is the Dutch equivalent of Amazon, and as such is very often visited. Bol.com accounts for almost 15% of all online shopping actions performed by Dutch citizens, as you can see here for example. When you become a franchisee, you don’t have to worry about factors such as keeping an inventory, as the franchiser will sort out all these details for you. Online business in the Netherlands is a very active and profitable market, provided you run a solid business and have unique ideas. If you want to know more about Bol.com, you can look at this in-depth article about becoming an official partner.

IT and engineering

Another very interesting sector in the Netherlands is IT, especially when combined with engineering. With robotics as a newly upcoming immense industry, this field will change and possibly enhance our society like never before. If you have ambitions related to this sector, the Netherlands will definitely provide you with a very fertile ground for growth and success. Many technical universities in the Netherlands are internationally renowned, such as in Delft, Eindhoven (the city of Philips) and Breda. If you would like to cross bridges between regular mechanical engineering and Artificial Intelligence, this might be the opportunity of a lifetime.

Next to highly skilled and experienced employees, you can find a vast array of interesting freelancers within these fields. This will make it easy to expand your company in due time, because of the very vast amount of well-educated, multilingual and qualified personnel. IT is a very dynamic business that changes almost constantly, which makes it a good sector for anyone who likes constant change within their field of work. Both sectors are also very profitable, mainly due to this constantly evolution. You can jump into the market at any time, provided you have innovative and sustainable ideas.

Freelance opportunities

If you would like to do business in a country with many self-employed people, the Netherlands is one of the safest bets worldwide. With a very colorful array of different universities, excellently reachable cities and plenty of opportunities to co-work, the Dutch have made a habit out of experiencing all life has to offer. This results in many small business owners, who often provide fantastic services for very reasonable prices. If you want to compete with the Dutch as a freelancer yourself, you best make sure you are up for the challenge.

The small business market is highly competitive in the Netherlands, and in general the most highly skilled and unique freelancers flourish. For larger companies this provides a good business opportunity in terms of flexible employment. Due to the high internet accessibility and nearly perfect infrastructure in the Netherlands, most employees will be able to work from home. This makes it easier to establish flexible contracts, plus you will also not have to pay any wage tax or insurance premiums.


The Netherlands profits from a logistically very strategical position. This is due to the port of Rotterdam, and the largest national airport, Schiphol, being only approximately one hour away form each other. Hence, there are many multinational logistics companies settled near these areas, as well as many other businesses that profit from a good infrastructure. If you plan to start a business with a warehouse or suspect to own plenty of stock, the Netherlands (at the very least) offers you excellent transport possibilities, making import and export extremely easy. You also benefit from the European Union and its Single Market, which allows for free transport of goods and services throughout the entire EU, as the Dutch have been a member state since the beginning. Especially for e-commerce businesses, this is a great opportunity to trade swiftly and without too many legally necessary documents.

Life sciences sector

The life sciences sector has been in the spotlight for quite some time, especially since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak. The whole world is watching whilst plural companies try to come up with the best vaccine against it, which has resulted in a greater attention for healthcare in general. If you would like to add your expertise within this field, the Netherlands offers a very competitive and also innovative life sciences sector. The country houses many renowned pharmaceutical companies, which are often backed by research institutions and (local) universities. This offers an ample amount of possibilities in terms of groundbreaking research and solutions for existing problems. Just two days ago, researchers in Rotterdam might have possibly found a cure for arthrosis. The life science sector is all about improving life in any way possible, so if this is your niche, you will have plenty of resources in the Netherlands to accomplish your goal.

Intercompany Solutions can set up your Dutch business in just a few working days

If you would like to know more about the various sectors in the Netherlands, or how you can involve yourself with our country, you can always contact our team directly. With many years of experience assisting foreign investors and entrepreneurs with establishing a business in the Netherlands, we know exactly how to tackle all necessary actions and possible problems. Feel free to send us your questions, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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