Open company in the Netherlands

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How To Open A Company In The Netherlands?

To open a company in the Netherlands may require some extra effort if you are not a native, and you don’t know the language. This, of course, should not be a barrier to expanding your opportunities for opening a company in Holland. Our firm offers you the assistance necessary to open and maintain a business.

We have assisted many foreigners to successfully complete the procedure for opening a company in Holland. We make sure the company formation is performed in compliance with the local rules. Where possible, we assist and try to receive relevant subsidies and permits.

Are you unsure about the legal form that best suits your company? If you want to open a company in the Netherlands, we can assist you by clarifying the due liabilities and taxes charged for different entities.

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Open A Dutch Company As A Foreigner

The Netherlands is open to entrepreneurs from around the world to start a Dutch business as a foreign citizen. For hundreds of years, the wellbeing of this small but famous country has depended on international business. This is also one of the reasons why the local residents are almost all bilingual, in some cases even trilingual. Approximately 97% of the Dutch population is proficient in the English language. Thus, the Netherlands ranks number one in the world when it comes to language proficiency with English as a second language. As a foreign entrepreneur, you can obviously benefit from this interesting fact, as it makes doing business internationally much easier. We will discuss some other benefits of the Netherlands as a basis for your company later on, but first we will outline the establishment procedure shortly below.

Why choose the Netherlands to establish a company?

There are many reasons why the Netherlands is a top pick if you are considering opening a company in the European Union (EU) or overseas in general. First and foremost, direct access to the EU provides you with plenty of opportunities and puts you in a leading position concerning international business. Especially if you aim to expand internationally, since the EU and the Netherlands in particular are seen as gateways to the rest of the world. Also, you will be able to benefit from the EU Single Market, which makes trade between countries much faster, more efficient, and easier. Holland is known for its international trade capacities and is strategically positioned to this end. You have access to the port of Rotterdam and Schiphol airport, which are just a bit more than an hour's drive from each other.

There are other factors that make the Netherlands a fantastic place for entrepreneurs. The climate is extremely competitive and business-friendly, whilst the government actively stimulates (foreign) entrepreneurship to attract a colorful multitude of international companies. Many world-famous brands already have their headquarters or subsidiaries here, such as Panasonic, Discovery, Google and similar large multinational corporations. If you plan on hiring staff, you can choose from an almost entirely bilingual or even trilingual workforce. The Dutch are well-trained and highly educated, since there are many excellent universities in the country. The environment is very open to foreign influence, hence the extremely high level of diversity in the country. It doesn’t matter where you come from, you are always welcomed here with open arms.

The Netherlands’ government values the economic contribution of national as well as international entrepreneurs and supports business owners in opening a company in the Netherlands. In 1996, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (Ministerie van Economische Zaken) took steps to aid Small and Medium Enterprises/Businesses (SMEs) in entering the import and export markets. The country offers many favorable conditions for smaller companies, which means you can start modestly here and still achieve success later on. Independent enterprises represent the core of the country’s economy: numerous owners of small and medium companies, which are called ‘Midden en Klein bedrijf’ (MKB-ers) in Dutch, opt for opening a company in the Netherlands. In the EU and international institutions, e.g., the UN, WTO and the World Bank, such businesses are categorized as SMEs. These businesses are easy to open in Holland. Nonetheless, if you already own a successful business overseas and would like to expand to the Netherlands, your chances of success are substantially high as well. Check out our website for more information, and feel free to contact us for further details.

The flourishing economy of the Netherlands

As we already briefly pointed out above, the Netherland has been known worldwide as a very successful trading nation. Next to that, the country is also praised around the globe for its stable and flourishing economy. The main (and by far largest) industry in the country is the food and beverage sector, but there are other large industries that are very welcoming to new entrepreneurs, such as:

  • Technology and AI
  • IT and ICT
  • Financial industry
  • Healthcare and pharmaceuticals
  • Chemical industry
  • Engineering
  • Logistics sector
  • Import and export
  • Infrastructure and water management
  • Innovation and progress in general (throughout all sectors)
The Dutch universities are heavily involved with the Dutch government, as well as the entrepreneurial world in order to be able to come up with the most innovative and new products, solutions, goods, services and ideas. This offers ample opportunities for (young) entrepreneurs with outstanding visionary ideas, since the Netherlands offers many options to implement such ideas and solutions. The Dutch are actually always looking for ways to improve current processes and products; if there is a better way, they will surely find it!

Many foreign traders have opened companies in the Netherlands in the last few decades, which has contributed to its economic growth. Many of these foreign entrepreneurs are in trading or manufacturing businesses. The Netherlands has been awarded 4th place as the "best country for business" in the annual Forbes index. The Dutch are also 4th in the "most competitive countries for business" index. A high amount of personal freedom, a focus on innovation, clear legislation and many interesting subsidies and opportunities for business owners contribute to this success. Furthermore, the Netherlands is one of the founding members of the European Union and enjoys the respect of the other Member States as such. The main currency in the Netherlands is the Euro.

 Rotterdam harbor is considered the gateway to Europe, as most of the international maritime trade between Europe and other major harbors passes through Rotterdam. The trading mentality of the Dutch means they have an excellent proficiency in several foreign languages. Thus, you can easily run a business without speaking a single word of the Dutch language. This positions the Netherlands as an excellent jurisdiction for all European markets and international markets as well.

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Intercompany Solutions is a brand that is well-known in the Netherlands as well as abroad as a trusted incorporating agent in the Netherlands. We are constantly looking for opportunities to share our solutions with foreign entrepreneurs.

What type of company should I form in the Netherlands?

There are many legal entities to choose from in the Netherlands, which can make the decision for one particular business form a bit complicated if you don’t know much about such topics. In general, each separate legal entity has its own benefits and pitfalls, whilst all legal entities are also tailored to certain business types and goals. Above all, most foreign entrepreneurs that we deal with start a Dutch BV in the Netherlands. One of the reasons for this choice is that the Dutch BV does not require you to be an official resident of the Netherlands to establish this type of company. Next to that, the Dutch BV is a limited liability company, so in the event of the bankruptcy of the company, you do not have personal liability towards the creditors. Even though most of our clients prefer the Dutch BV, we will list all possible legal entities below, including a brief description of each entity and some of the characteristics of this particular entity.

The various company types in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, you can choose from a wide variety of legal business entities. There is a significant distinction between unincorporated business structures (‘rechtsvormen zonder rechtspersoonlijkheid’) and incorporated business structures (‘rechtsvormen met rechtspersoonlijkheid’). The main difference between these two is that there is no distinction between your private and business assets in an unincorporated business, whereas an incorporated business structure is seen as a completely separate entity by law. So if you create debts with your unincorporated business, you can personally be held accountable for them. If you choose an incorporated business, you separate private and business assets and thus enjoy protection from business debts in most cases; this is also known as limited liability. It differs per entity, but the Dutch BV and NV are great examples of this fact. If you also want to enjoy the benefits of limited liability, the BV is by far the most suitable option for your business. If you would like assistance with your choice, feel free to contact Intercompany Solutions at any time.
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Unincorporated business structures

  • Sole proprietorship (Eenmanszaak or ZZP)
  • Limited partnership (Commanditaire vennootschap or CV)
  • General partnership (Vennootschap onder firma or VOF)
  • Professional partnership (Maatschap)
  • Shipping company (Rederij)

Incorporated business structures

  • Private limited company (Besloten vennootschap or BV)
  • Public limited company (Naamloze vennootschap or NV)
  • Cooperative (Coöperatie)
  • Mutual insurance society (Onderlinge waarborgmaatschappij)
  • Foundation (Stichting)
  • Association (Vereniging)
Legal requirements differ between the business structures, and there are also quite extensive differences in general requirements for establishment, the way you pay taxes, and the structure of each legal entity. The business structure that is most often chosen by foreigners is the Dutch BV due to the several practical and tactical benefits of this legal entity. If you would like personal advice about the best legal entity for your (future) business, Intercompany Solutions is always ready to assist you with any query you might have.

There are some basic questions you can ask yourself to determine which legal entity might best suit your needs. These questions are aligned with the purpose of your company and the way you wish to carry out daily business activities. The legal entities mentioned above all have their own advantages and disadvantages. First, you need to make a rough classification based on three questions. The first question is whether you want to make a profit; if so, the foundation and association are already excluded since these are non-profit organizations. The second question is whether you want to collaborate with others. If the answer is 'yes', the sole proprietorship is also excluded. The third question is whether you personally want to be fully or partially liable. If the answer is 'yes', you can choose a sole proprietorship, a general partnership, a partnership or a limited partnership. If the answer is ‘no’, a public or private limited company is the best fit for you. The choice of a legal entity also largely depends on the type of business you want to set up. Do you want to hire staff? Are you going to make large investments, or do you need a lot of capital? Do you expect to run major financial risks? If you answer all these questions with 'yes', it is best to choose a Dutch BV or NV. If you answer the questions with 'no', it is a sole proprietorship that would fit you best. If you want to collaborate with others, you can choose a professional partnership, a general partnership, a cooperative or a limited partnership. Keep in mind that the Dutch BV is always the best choice for foreign entrepreneurs.

Sole proprietorship (Eenmanszaak or ZZP)

Of all legal forms, the sole proprietorship is the most popular in Holland when looking at starting Dutch entrepreneurs. The vast majority of starting entrepreneurs and self-employed people start as sole proprietorships. The name actually says it all: only one person is the owner of such a company. There may be several people working in the company, unless someone qualifies as a ‘ZZP’ entrepreneur, which literally means being ‘self-employed without any employees’. Are you going to start your own small business, but do you also expect to hire staff over time? Then you can still choose a sole proprietorship with confidence. A maximum of one sole proprietorship can be established per person. Furthermore, there are no formation requirements for a sole proprietorship. You do not need to have a deed drawn up by a notary, which makes the sole proprietorship one of the most accessible legal forms. You are, however, obligated to register the company in the Trade Register of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK). This is a legal necessity for all legal entities. You are also personally liable for all debts you might create with your company.

Limited partnership (Commanditaire vennootschap or CV)

A limited partnership is a type of company that consists of at least two people. Everyone who participates in the limited partnership is named a partner. There are 2 types of partners in a limited partnership. The first type is the so-called managing partner; as a managing partner, you are responsible for the day-to-day management of the company. The second type is referred to as a silent partner, which is also called a "limited partner", hence the name of this specific legal entity. The silent partner is only financially involved by making money available. The silent partner does not actively interfere with the company, unlike shareholders in a private limited company. You can see the limited partnership as a special form of the general partnership. Just like the general partnership, the limited partnership is not an incorporated legal entity. The managing partners are therefore liable with their own money for any possible debts of the company.

General partnership (Vennootschap onder firma or VOF)

A general partnership is a type of company in which at least two people work together under one common name. Every person who participates becomes a co-owner, and these co-owners are also called partners. All business partners are jointly responsible for the business operations of the company they are involved in. As a partner, you can participate in one or more general partnerships. In addition to a general partnership, you can also be the owner of your own sole proprietorship or participate in one or more private limited companies. Furthermore, every partner needs to contribute something of value to the company. This can be money, but also goods or labor. You can form a partnership with one or more other natural persons, legal entities, another partnership, or a limited partnership. It is not necessary to first have or start a sole proprietorship. A minimum amount of capital is not required. The partnership is not a legal entity. Thus, all partners are liable with their own money for possible debts of the company. This also means that establishing a partnership does not have to be done through a lawyer or notary.

Professional partnership (Maatschap)

In a partnership, you and your partners carry out your profession under the same company name. Every participant is a co-owner. The co-owners are also called partners, and they all perform the same professional activities. You can think about professions such as those of a dentist, architect, physiotherapist or lawyer. Every partner contributes something, such as money, goods or labor. In short, you work in a partnership together, but you are independent as an entrepreneur. Every partner runs his or her own business within the partnership and is responsible for everything connected to it. When you start, you don't need any start-up capital. Each participant is personally liable for an equal share of possible debts.

A professional partnership is a partnership that usually consists of natural persons. The partners work together on the basis of equality, aiming to acquire financial gain together. The difference between a professional partnership and a general partnership is the type of collaboration. In a professional partnership, each partner practices the same profession while sharing assets and costs with the other. For example, consider a practice with two independent notaries, where each notary has his or her own clients, nonetheless they do share the rental and general costs of the building they are in. In a general partnership, you are jointly responsible for business operations and results. Consider a web shop of two people, where both people are responsible for matters such as purchasing, administration and helping customers.

Shipping company (Rederij)

The shipping company is somewhat of an outsider since it is very focused on one particular profession. Are you going to do business with one or more seagoing vessels? If the seagoing vessel belongs to two or more parties, the legal form you and your partner(s) should choose is a shipping company. The seagoing vessel must therefore be registered with the Land Registry. You must register the shipping company in the Dutch Trade Register too, just like any other legal entity. Please note that when you work together under a common company name, your legal company form is a general partnership (VOF), unless you clearly agree with your partner(s) in a document (deed) that you are a shipping company. You must register the shipping company and the document in which you agree to this with the Dutch Trade Register as well.

Private limited liability company (Besloten Vennootschap or BV)

A BV is a legal entity in which all company assets are divided into shares. An important characteristic of the BV is that it is an incorporated legal entity, which means that a Dutch BV is completely independent. As a director or director-shareholder, you are employed by your own BV. In addition to your salary, you can reserve profits within the BV and build up your own capital. You can set up a BV alone or together with others, since a BV can have multiple directors (who then form the Board of Directors together) and shareholders. The capital of a BV is divided into shares, as we already mentioned, and these are owned by the shareholders. The highest power lies with the shareholders as well, because they have (voting) right to make decisions about the company. Shares can also entitle the shareholder to a share of the profit. A BV can issue different types of shares, for example, shares without voting rights or shares without profit rights.

The shareholders make decisions at the general meeting of shareholders. The directors are responsible for the daily management of the company. A BV may also have supervisors. These can form a separate supervisory board (two-tier board) or be part of the board (one-tier board). In small BVs there may only be one director, who is often also the only shareholder. The director is then a director and major shareholder (DGA). Often, a BV is only a logical choice if you generate more than 100,000 euros in profit per year. In the event of bankruptcy, the BV is liable for debts. As a director or shareholder, you are not personally liable. For many entrepreneurs, this private protection is the major advantage of the BV. Only a notary may establish a BV. The notary draws up the deed and describes the articles of association, after which you can register your company in the Dutch Trade Register.

Public limited liability company (Naamloze Vennootschap or NV)

If you want to raise a large amount of capital for your business, you can opt for a public limited company (NV). Since the NV is a public company and can therefore issue shares on the stock exchange, you can raise money for your company by doing this. An NV, just like a BV, is an incorporated legal entity. This means that the NV may make decisions, have debts and conclude agreements as a completely independent entity. The NV is led by a board of directors, who are responsible for the day-to-day management of the company. The assets of the NV are divided into shares, which are owned by shareholders. The shareholders have the highest power within the company and are united in the general meeting of shareholders (GM). The GM meets at least once a year. The GM can appoint and dismiss the board of directors, which is an example of the practical power they have. Please note that unlike a private limited liability company (BV), one can resell the shares of an NV. The NV can issue non-registered shares, as opposed to a BV. Therefore, an NV doesn’t always know who its shareholders are.

An NV usually also has a supervisory board (SB). This entity within the company controls the board (two-tier board). You can also opt for supervisors who are part of the board (one-tier board). When the NV company employs more than a hundred employees and has an issued capital of more than sixteen million euros for more than three years, itis called a structured public limited liability company. In this case, a supervisory board (SB) is mandatory. An NV is a legal form with legal personality. This means that the directors are, in principle, not liable with their private assets for any debts incurred by the company.

Cooperative (Coöperatie)

A cooperative basically provides money and supplies that its members need at any given time. For example, to purchase products together or to share major costs. Nowadays, you also see many self-employed people working together in a cooperative. This legal form offers the opportunity to supplement each other's knowledge and to take on a job together as a company. Consider, for example, a market-type event where sellers come together to sell their own products. A cooperative can be seen as a mix of an association and a private limited liability company. Just like an association, a cooperative has members, with the difference that a cooperative is allowed to pay out profit distributions to members. The cooperative is a legal entity. A legal entity can independently own goods, employ staff and run the business at its own expense and risk. The members make the important decisions within a cooperative. They appoint or dismiss the board and management. They also decide during the members' meeting whether to accept new members. A board is active in day-to-day affairs and may consist of members of the cooperative.

Mutual insurance society (Onderlinge waarborgmaatschappij)

The mutual insurance society is an incorporated legal entity, just like a BV or cooperative. The mutual insurance society is actually very similar to a cooperative. The mutual insurance society has to be established by notarial act, stating literally that it is a mutual insurance company. This means that, in principle, the rules for the association apply since it’s treated similarly. The mutual insurance company may only carry out tasks that are inherent to an insurance business and must therefore state in its articles of association that its aim is to conclude insurance contracts with its members. Since the mutual insurance company is based on the association, it would be obvious that the mutual insurance company is also not allowed to distribute profits among its members. This is not the case, though, since the legislator has determined that an exception is to be made here. The mutual insurance company may divide its profits among its members. In contrast to the association, this legal entity is a suitable form for running a business. Given the legal restrictions, the only company that can use this legal form is the insurance company. For other companies, the cooperative can be an alternative to the BV or NV.

Foundation (Stichting)

If you have a social or idealistic goal, you can set up a foundation. This can be done both alone and with other alone or with others. The foundation basically uses its profits to achieve its idealistic goal. Thus, a foundation is an organization that does not aim to make any profit at all. Instead, a foundation tries to achieve a societal, social or idealistic goal. A foundation is allowed to make a profit, though the main condition is that you spend this profit on achieving the foundation's idealistic goal(s). A foundation always has a board of directors. You can stipulate in the articles of association that there is also a Supervisory Board, but this is not mandatory. The Supervisory Board supervises the board. The foundation is an incorporated legal entity, which means that the directors are usually not liable for any debts with their private assets. Unlike an association, a foundation has no members. This means that there is no need for a membership meeting to make important decisions. Besides the fact that the foundation is used as a legal form for charities, there are other applications. For example, many professional sports clubs are actually foundations. Broadcasters are also often foundations, just like hospitals, museums, laboratories and healthcare institutions. A foundation's money comes in through donations, loans, subsidies and inheritances. A foundation, therefore, has no shareholders.

Association (Vereniging)

An association is somewhat similar to a foundation, as with an association as a legal entity, you can work together to achieve a certain common goal. An important feature of the association is that making profit is not the main goal of this entity. According to Dutch law, an association is essentially a legal entity with members. You can think of sports, political interests, making music or nature conservation. An association needs to be set up with at least two members. The members make decisions during a general membership meeting. For example, about appointing or dismissing the board, approving the annual accounts, and amending the articles of association. This membership meeting takes place at least once a year. All members have a vote at the membership meeting. In addition, an association has a board. This board is responsible for the daily affairs of the association.

The UBO register

When setting up a company, you must register ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs). These are the ultimate stakeholders in any company. The difference with all the other people involved in the company is that they have more authority and can make important decisions that others cannot. For example, ultimate beneficial owners are     persons who own more than 25% of the shares of a company or legal entity, or persons who have more than 25% of the voting rights of a company, or persons who are the statutory directors of a company, or persons who are effectively in control of the company.  Is your enterprise, for instance, part of a holding company? Then the owner of the holding is the ultimate beneficiary (UBO) or your organization. A company can have 1 or more UBOs. You can register UBOs in the Dutch Chamber of Commerce UBO register. The UBO register helps to prevent financial and economic crimes such as money laundering, financing terrorism, tax fraud, and corruption. The register makes it clear to whom the money is sent. This way, people cannot hide any potential financial crimes behind a corporation. We have already created an elaborate article about the UBO register, which you can find here.

What if you need a work permit or visa?

To establish a company in the Netherlands, you do not need to be a local resident. The entire procedure can be done remotely, without you having to obtain Dutch citizenship. However, if you would also like to live and work in the Netherlands, you will need a valid visa and possibly additional permits. Please note that all citizens of Europe and the greater European area are allowed to live and work in the Netherlands without any extra documents. There are no borders between the European Schengen countries. But if you are from outside the EU or EEA, then you need to apply for a residence permit or perhaps a work permit.

Self-employed visa

There is a special visa program in the Netherlands for self-employed people. This visa application has a point system in which a minimum number of points is needed to obtain residency. 

The most important criteria for the self-employed visa are:

  • A high level of education (Bachelor level or higher) for either the main applicant or his/her life partner
  • A certain level of professional experience of either the main applicant or his/her life partner (Entrepreneurship and work experience both count as experience)
  • The company that you want to establish needs to be in the interest of the Netherlands
  • You need an active Dutch BV company
  • You will earn sufficient income and can prove this via a business plan or previous income
  • A very thorough business plan. A specialized business plan writer could assist you with the business plan.
Turkish citizens or long-term residents of another European country benefit from a simplified procedure since they do not need a score based on this point system. Next to that, special rules apply for Americans and Japanese citizens who have signed friendship treaties with the Netherlands. The IND (Dutch Immigration and Naturalization) fees for the application are around €1300. This does not include the legal fees or the fees for writing the business plan. If you would like to know more about help with writing a business plan, please feel free to contact Intercompany Solutions directly. We can either assist you ourselves or direct you to one of our trusted business partners.

Company tax in the Netherlands

Once you establish a Dutch company, you will (obviously) also have to pay taxes to the Dutch Tax Authorities, as every company owner in the Netherlands is required to do so by law. Luckily, the country has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe. The base rate is currently 15% for sums up to EUR 395,000 profit, when your profits exceed this limit, you pay 25.8% corporate income tax. Next to that, this tax rate is probably set to decrease even further in the coming years. Please note, that you may also deduct costs that are directly related to your work, such as transport costs, costs that revolve around the office and relevant supplies, costs for accounting, marketing, sales, staff, etc. Furthermore, the corporate tax only needs to be paid on your profit, which is the amount that is left after the turnover minus the costs.

Dutch VAT (BTW) rates

Next to corporate income tax, you will also have to charge VAT on your goods or services. Most businesses will have to charge VAT (value-added tax) on all services or products they sell in the Netherlands. The businesses are collecting this 21% on top of their sale prices, after which the total amount needs to be paid to the tax office quarterly. Please be informed that VAT is not considered a cost for business owners but only for consumers. The business owners only collect the tax and hand it over to the Dutch tax authorities. Also note that you may claim back VAT that you have paid for your company's investments and costs. Sometimes this means that the VAT you paid and the VAT you charge level each other out, or you might even receive a sum from the tax authorities.

The VAT rates Are:

21% standard VAT rate
9% lower VAT rate
0% tax-exempt rate
0% for transactions between EU countries

The main VAT rate is 21%, and the lower VAT rate is 9% since January 1, 2019. For certain services, a 0% VAT rate applies. For import and export, or transactions between EU countries, a 0% reverse-charge VAT rate applies. You can find more information about the different VAT rates and the goods and services they apply to in this article.

How does the Dutch VAT system work in practice?

When you invoice your clients for services or products, you need to add 21% VAT on top of your regular fee. The additional amount needs to be reserved by you, as you are quarterly required to pay this VAT to the tax office, as we already discussed briefly above. Your bookkeeper or accountant will calculate the VAT every quarter, after which you will transfer the VAT amount you have gathered. You may also deduct the VAT that you have already paid yourself when you buy services, pay rent or buy equipment for your business. Please be informed, that you must submit and pay the quarterly VAT on time. If you don’t, the Dutch tax authorities can send you quite hefty fines.

Legal requirements regarding your business administration

In the Netherlands, you are allowed to keep your accounting records physically or digitally. The records need to be kept for 7 years, so make sure you have a solid way of archiving data at your disposal. If you like, Intercompany Solutions can advise you about some good tools and ways to archive your documents and maintain correct administration. In the case of a possible audit, you will need to be able to provide the Dutch tax authorities with all the information they request, so keep this in mind. Your financial accounting should include the following information and documents:
  • Invoices you have sent
  • Invoices you have received
  • Bank statements
  • Agreements and contracts
  • Receipts for small expenses
  • Receipts of transportation
Your accountant will process these transactions and prepare your quarterly tax filings, your annual company income tax return, and your annual report. The annual report will be sent by the accountant to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, where the numbers will be published in the company register.

Business registration at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel)

All companies formed in the Netherlands need to be registered in the national Trade Register, which is kept by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. There is a standard procedure to register any kind of legal entity, which inevitably varies depending on the type of company you choose to establish. For the official registration of a Dutch BV, the procedure Intercompany Solution uses is as follows:

You prepare the relevant documentation to send to Intercompany Solutions
The public notary incorporates your Dutch BV
We will verify the documents you sent and let you know if there are any discrepancies
The public notary publishes the deed of incorporation to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK)
We also check the availability of the company name
From that moment on, your company has a KvK-number and can be found in the trade register
We will then send the documents to a specialized public notary
The company is now fully formed, and you may apply for a VAT number
The company is now fully formed, and you may apply for a VAT number
You or Intercompany Solutions will apply for a Dutch business bank account

These are basically all the necessary steps for the incorporation procedure. In general, these steps take a few business days to finish. So you can already start working with your new company in less than 5 business days. If you already have all the documents we need for the establishment of your company, the entire process can sometimes be realized within just one or two days. Please contact us for more detailed information about the procedure.


Intercompany Solutions CEO Bjorn Wagemakers and client Brian Mckenzie are featured in a report for The National (CBC News) ‘Dutch Economy braces for the worst with Brexit’, in a visit to our notary public on 12 February 2019.

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Intercompany Solutions is a well-known brand in the Netherlands as well as abroad as a trusted incorporating agent in the Netherlands. We are constantly looking for opportunities to share our solutions with foreign entrepreneurs.

Why use Intercompany Solutions for the incorporation of a Dutch company?

Operating since 2017, our company has helped thousands of clients from 50+ countries set up their businesses in the Netherlands. Our clients range from small business owners opening their first company to multinationals opening a subsidiary in the Netherlands. Some of the main advantages of working with us include (but are definitely not limited to):

  • We always offer a free initial consultation
  • We have incorporated and assisted 1000+ companies over the years; we know what we are doing
  • We provide all services you need to start in the Netherlands, from company formation to bank account applications, secretarial services, VAT applications, and accounting
  • We take care of the whole procedure from A to Z, so you do not have to worry about the incorporation of your business
  • We have the local know-how and skills, as well as an extensive network of interesting partners and third parties that might be of interest to your company

Due to our vast experience with the incorporation of companies in the Netherlands, we know all possible pitfalls and, as such, can avoid them for you. Next to that, we have become acquainted with many important organizations and parties within this field of work, which means that we can work with very fast processing times and short schedules. This doesn’t just save us a lot of time; it saves you as well. Therefore, you can start your company in just a few business days.

Our main service is to help you open a company in the Netherlands

We offer solid and practical package deals, depending on your specific wishes and needs. We can complete the establishment procedure for your company in just a few business days. Our clients come from all over the world, which means that we are acquainted with many different cultures. We can assist you in starting a business in the Netherlands as a foreigner without the necessity for you to travel to the Netherlands. Contact us whenever you want to, and we will advise you regarding the most convenient way to incorporate a Dutch BV or start another type of business. This consultation is always free of charge. After that, we will agree upon a price upfront, which we will charge you after we start working on the formation of your company.

Frequently Asked Questions
On Incorporating Dutch Company

Can any foreigner start a company in the Netherlands?

Yes, foreign nationals can register a company in the Netherlands. Starting a business in the Netherlands is an option for residents of any country. The Netherlands has very welcoming regulations for foreign investors and entrepreneurs. Next to that, you also do not need to be physically present to start a company in the Netherlands. This makes it possible for many foreign entrepreneurs to enjoy the advantages of a Dutch business remotely. Please note that you might need a visa or work permit if you plan on staying in the Netherlands physically as well.

Is it necessary for the company to be based in the Netherlands?

Yes, a Dutch company must have an official registration address in the Netherlands. However, you can also open a Dutch company as a subsidiary of a foreign holding. If you want to establish a Dutch BV, you will need an existing physical address for your company. This is required by Dutch law: your business needs to be incorporated within the country itself to qualify as a Dutch BV company. If you want to open a subsidiary for an already existing holding company, these same rules apply. There are many possibilities in this regard, such as hiring an office space at a strategic location. If you are opting for a logistics company, we suggest you pick a location next to an accessible travel route. The Netherlands houses the port of Rotterdam and the internationally well-known airport of Schiphol, which are never further away than a 2-hour drive from any location. If you want to hire staff, we suggest you pick a location that can easily be accessed via public and personal transportation. Alternatively, you can also opt for a virtual office if you don’t plan on being physically present in the country. There are many companies offering office space or simply a registration address, you can search for these companies via the internet. Make sure you choose a reputable partner. You can check any company in the trade register and look for customer reviews to be certain.

Can Dutch company formation be done online?

You can establish your company completely remotely. A personal visit to the Netherlands is generally not needed, but it may be helpful. It depends on the specific case and your preferences. In most cases, we can handle the entire registration procedure for you remotely. You will have to visit the notary in your home country, though, to legalize the necessary documents and maybe also translate them. Only in very rare cases is it necessary for you to physically travel here, as well as when you wish to immigrate to the Netherlands.

What company type will I need?

90% of all foreign entrepreneurs start a Dutch BV in the Netherlands. This is, in almost all cases, the best and most convenient company type. It can be a difficult decision at first if you want to choose the proper legal entity in the Netherlands that best suits all your business needs. For most foreign entrepreneurs, the Dutch BV is the most suitable type of company. Of course, this depends on several factors, such as the preferred type of business, the amount of profit you intend to generate, whether you will be working with partners, if you want to go public, and the nature of the business. Some sectors have very specific business types, such as general practitioners, who work together under one roof. But in almost all cases, our clients choose to establish a Dutch BV. You can read more extensive information about the Dutch BV in this article.

In the past, I believe the required start-up share capital of a Dutch BV was €18.000?

That is correct, the Netherlands changed this requirement in 2012 to make it easier for (foreign) entrepreneurs to open a company in the Netherlands. The minimum share capital of a Dutch BV is now €1 (which consists of 100 shares of €0.01). This is a very common amount for the share capital of a BV. When compared to a Dutch NV, for example, this amount is extremely low. The fact that the share capital was nearly abolished led to many more BVs being established, as it allowed a much larger audience to invest in a Dutch BV, both nationally and internationally.

Are Netherlands company formation costs high?

The costs for company formation are not standardized, as every company is different and thus will require a variety of actions for incorporation. In general, you will need to take into account that there are registration fees, costs for a notary, possible translation costs for the deed of incorporation, the costs of opening a Dutch bank account, and the fee for our services. If your company requires certain permits, then these costs also need to be added. If you want to move to the Netherlands yourself, you will also have to add possible fees for a work permit or visa. Furthermore, if you require further assistance, there will be extra costs for additional services. We offer a standard start-up package of 1499 euros without any hidden fees or costs for standard procedures. Please contact us for a personalized quote if you want to be absolutely sure regarding the costs of Dutch company registration.

Are company formation expenses in the Netherlands tax-deductible?

All costs you have incurred for a company from a business perspective are deductible. This also includes costs incurred with the clear intention of setting up a business, i.e., the costs that you incurred before you started the business. These costs can vary enormously, such as the price for a market survey, obtained advice and general costs and fees, such as the notary fee when setting up a Dutch BV. Once you are considered an entrepreneur, you can, under certain conditions, deduct the VAT you have paid as input tax from your sales tax return. It is also possible for you to use the special arrangements for entrepreneurs for income tax purposes with retroactive effect. So, keep all invoices and also keep the correct administration, because that is the only way you will be able to file a VAT tax return.

How many days does it take to start a business in the Netherlands?

On average, it will take 3–5 working days to start a Dutch business. Keep in mind that this is a rough estimate. In clear and simple cases, we can sometimes go through all the steps in 1 or 2 business days. If your application is more complicated or involves extra steps, such as the attainment of a visa or multiple companies to be established, please keep in mind that the process might take a bit longer. We will always provide you with an estimate when we send you a quote for our services.

What is the procedure for starting a company in the Netherlands?

The procedure includes three main steps, with an added fourth step if you wish to open a Dutch bank account:
1) Drafting and submission of the deed of incorporation
2) Registration in the Dutch Chamber of Commerce
3) Tax registration
4) Bank account application
If you wish to obtain a permit or visa or would like us to take care of extra services, there will be more steps involved.

Which documents are necessary to establish a Dutch business?

You will need a valid form of identification and the preferred name of the company. Once we have received and approved the documents you sent us, the main documents will be drafted by a notary public: the deed of incorporation, which also includes the Articles and Memorandum of Association. With these documents, we can obtain a registration number for you at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.
The businessman puts a stamp on the contract

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