Set up Dutch BV Company | Netherlands Incorporation Services

Are you looking for effective ways to expand your company internationally? And would you like to acquire a foothold in the European Union (EU) area? Setting up a Dutch company will provide you with all these opportunities and many more substantial benefits. Trading from the Netherlands is a near-guarantee for success due to the strategic position of the country and the presence of Schiphol airport and the port of Rotterdam. Import and export businesses are currently thriving due to digitalization and the constant increase in online shopping. If you would like to profit from these changes, setting up a Dutch trading company in current times is a very lucrative decision to make. But it’s not just trading that the Dutch excel at; the Netherlands brings opportunities in almost every sector imaginable, mainly due to the country’s fixation on constant innovation and progress. Thus, there is always demand for foreign investors and entrepreneurs because of the fresh perspective foreign individuals bring. Would you like to be a part of a thriving and vibrant business climate whilst simultaneously expanding your business within the EU? Then the Netherlands is one of your best bets.

On this page, we will explain:

  • What a Dutch BV is and why this legal entity is so immensely popular
  • Why the BV is a great choice for every entrepreneur
  • What you need to set up a Dutch BV in just a few business days
  • How to comply with Dutch laws and regulations
  • How to turn your Dutch business into a success

The Dutch BV company explained

Foreign entrepreneurs and international companies starting new activities in the Netherlands set up a Dutch BV company in almost all cases (99%), due to the benefits this legal entity has to offer. Intercompany Solutions can assist you with the entire incorporation process of a Dutch BV from A to Z. The Dutch BV company is similar to the English Ltd. or the German GmbH company.  The private limited liability company is also the most common type of legal entity to establish a holding structure in the Netherlands, which can offer many (financial) benefits. The main advantage of a Dutch BV is the limited liability any director or shareholder enjoys. This means that you cannot be held personally accountable for any debts you might create with the company.

Some main characteristics of the Dutch BV:

  • Only a minimum share capital of €1 is required to officially establish a Dutch BV
  • The shareholders are only liable for the amount paid as share capital, not for any company debts
  • The issuing or transferring of shares requires permission from the shareholder(s)
  • The shareholders are registered in the Dutch company register
  • A foreign company, local company or natural person may be the shareholder or director of the Dutch BV
  • Amendments to Dutch Business Law have made it much simpler to incorporate a Netherlands BV, reducing the cost of company formation in Holland greatly

The Netherlands” Flex BV”

  • Because of the popularity of private limited liability companies, the Dutch government in 2012 decided to simplify the regulations for the establishment of Dutch BVs. The current BV companies are known by law as so-called ‘Flex-BVs’, which is due to the higher amount of flexibility when incorporating a new BV. The flex BV has the same status and traits as the older regular BV company; however, it is easier to form a Flex BV. This is mainly due to the required deposit of share capital for the Flex BV, which is only €1. Before the regulations were reformed, the required capital was €18.000, which made it very difficult to establish a Dutch BV for many starting entrepreneurs.
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Differences between a Dutch BV and NV

Next to the private limited liability company, another legal entity in Holland is the public limited liability company, also known as a Dutch NV. Even though these two types of companies seem similar in many ways, there are still some very significant differences between them. If you are contemplating starting one of these two types of companies, you should at the very least consider the following differences:

The Dutch NV company has no share restrictions, whereas the shares of a BV can only be transferred by notary deed
The share capital requirement for the establishment of a NV has a minimum requirement of €45.000, whereas for the Dutch BV this is only €1, which makes the BV much more accessible for people with little to no initial investment opportunities
The NV can be listed on a public stock exchange, but a BV company only issues private shares
The Dutch NV is obligated to have a board of directors and has more strict requirements, while the BV only needs a director and a shareholder
The NV is usually only formed by (already) public companies

In general, the private limited company is somewhat more accessible for starting entrepreneurs and people who are looking to start a new company without investing large sums of money during the establishment stage. Not every entrepreneur has ample investment opportunities, making the BV a great choice for every type of business. If your company grows rapidly, and you would like to go public at some point, you are always able to convert your BV into an NV at a later stage.

What is involved in company formation in the Netherlands?

If you want to establish a BV in the Netherlands, you need at least one founder. This can be a Dutch or foreign entity or a natural person, depending on your preferences. Dutch business law allows the newly formed Netherlands BV to be formed with one or more directors, who may or may not be shareholders as well. If you are the only one who establishes the company, then you will be the director-shareholder (DGA in Dutch) once the company is incorporated. You will need to provide us with a valid form of identification to prove who you are. The main advantage of a Dutch BV company is the minimum share capital of €1. Most entrepreneurs, however, opt for a share capital of €100 consisting of 100 shares of €1. So, you will have to add the share capital to your start-up costs.

Next to that, you need a unique company name that reflects the type of business you want to establish. Please make sure that there are no other companies currently operating under the same name, since this might be considered copyright infringement. Also, make sure that your name and logo aren’t an almost exact copy of another brand, since this might get you into trouble as well. As we will discuss later on, we will also check the availability of your preferred name for you. Another main requirement to set up a Netherlands BV is to have a local business address. You can achieve this by renting an office space, or by acquiring a virtual business address with a third party. You won’t be able to establish a Dutch company without a legal registration address in the country.

The main steps to establish a Dutch BV

If you have a solid business idea and want to take action immediately, it’s important that you collect all the necessary documentation for us to handle your establishment request. If you are the only entrepreneur involved, you will thus only need to collect information about yourself. If other people are involved, you will all need to send us the required documents. These always include valid forms of identification for all people involved. A public notary will draft the articles of association (AoA) of your future company, together with the official deed of incorporation. The official documents in Dutch should contain information on the management board, shareholders, the company’s business activity, the share capital as well as the registration address. After drafting the articles of association and the formation deed, the procedure for registration will start. The main steps of this overall process include:

  • Verifying the availability of the company name and reserving the preferred name
  • Validating all identification documentation
  • Collecting due diligence documentation to send to the incorporation agent
  • Submitting the notarized statutory documents and deed of incorporation
  • Registration in the trade register of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce
  • Registering with the tax authorities to obtain a VAT number
  • Opening a bank account to deposit the company’s share capital

After all these steps have been taken, you can finally start your business activities.

Opening a bank account for your Dutch BV

It is essential for every BV in the Netherlands to have a corporate bank account. The bank account can be set up immediately after the company is formed. Once the bank account is set up, the company’s share capital can be transferred. The bank account is necessary to perform day to day business activities and for the share capital deposit. It is recommended to set up a Netherlands BV company to obtain a Dutch bank account, since it might be very tricky to open an account without registering a business beforehand. In almost all cases, the company bank account can be opened remotely. Intercompany Solutions can assist you with this, amongst other extra services.

VAT Registration

It is highly recommended and also obligated for most businesses to perform a VAT registration. With an active VAT number, the company does not need to charge any VAT for transactions between Member States of the European Union. Next to that, you can claim back VAT that you paid for products and services that are related to your business or can be seen as business costs, such as rent, purchases of stock and inventory. You need to submit a quarterly report to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce to report the VAT that you paid and spent. Also note that the first financial year of the company may be an extended fiscal year. This is convenient when you start a business in the middle of the year, for example, on the 10th of June 2022. In such cases, your first fiscal year is from the 10th of June 2022 until the 31st of December 2023. This does not necessarily have consequences for your quarterly VAT return, but it does influence your annual fiscal obligations, since you will file your first annual tax return after 1,5 years instead of 1 year. Please contact us for more information on the subject,

Do you need to apply for any Dutch business permits?

Certain company activities require permits or licenses granted by the government or supervising authority. In most cases, the licenses can be arranged easily. The most difficult licenses are connected to financial services or the payment industry, if you require assistance in obtaining such a permit, you can contact us for more information. Some sectors that require permits or special licenses are:

  • Financial licenses for payment processing companies, investment firms or financial services
  • Employment agencies need to be licensed with a branch organization
  • Crypto platforms may or may not require licensing, depending on the exact business activity
  • Import and export companies will require an EORI registration, which can be accomplished within 1-2 weeks
  • All bars and hotels require a local municipality license to perform their business activities
  • Certain types of shops are regulated, such as stores that are open during the night and sell alcohol, for example.
  • Food and cosmetics businesses may be subject to licensing to comply with certain national and international health codes and consumer protection
  • Transport companies often also require licenses
  • If you work with toxic chemicals or other substances that might be hazardous to health and safety, you will probably need special permits as well

If you want to make sure whether you need a permit for your business activities, it is wise to consult the appropriate media to find out. The websites of the Dutch government can generally lead you in the right direction. From 2024 on, there will be only one website for permit applications, which will make the process substantially easier. The new Environmental Act will make it faster and easier for entrepreneurs and citizens to apply for a permit. Consider, for example, a building or felling permit. You submit only one application and receive only one decision. You should also be able to expect a decision more quickly—within 8 weeks instead of 26 weeks. The new Dutch law replaces 26 existing laws and will come into effect on January 1, 20241. Once the website is online, we will post this in a separate article.

The many advantages of a Dutch BV company

The Netherlands BV is a very flexible and competitive legal entity that basically suits almost every entrepreneur’s needs. As we already mentioned earlier, a staggering 99% of our clients choose to incorporate this specific legal entity, and for good reasons. It has many advantages and can be used for different purposes. The most popular and interesting benefits of establishing a Dutch BV are:

  • Dutch BV companies are able to function as directors and shareholders of other companies, which can create the opportunity for some very lucrative investments
  • The Dutch BV may also function as a subsidiary for a foreign company, since it is allowed to have a foreign company as a director. This means you can open a Dutch BV to function as your operational company overseas
  • The BV company is very reputable in international trade and well-respected, which will undoubtedly boost your image as an entrepreneur
  • The Dutch BV has one of the lowest tax rates in Western Europe and extremely low start-up capital that is needed for company establishment
  • Owning a Dutch BV provides you with access to all markets within the EU due to the European Single Market
  • Due to the strategic position of the Netherlands and the port of Rotterdam and airport of Schiphol being in proximity, a BV offers you an ample number of options to trade internationally
  • A BV may be formed within just a few business days, with little to no restrictions
  • A BV may be formed and operated by non-residents, including citizens from non-EU Member States
  • A Dutch BV can be set up as a holding structure, which makes it even easier for you to manage liabilities and transfer profits in the form of dividends.

These are just a few examples of the benefits of owning a Dutch BV, but in practice, there are many more. If you would like to know more about the Dutch BV and what it can offer you, please feel free to contact Intercompany Solutions. We can discuss the personal opportunities this legal entity has to offer you and how it might benefit your potential for success.

Taxation of a Dutch BV

The Netherlands has established more than 100 international tax treaties. This is a much larger number compared to any other nation in the world. The Dutch BV is deemed a resident of the Netherlands by law, however, a local business address is always needed, as we briefly discussed above. Incorporated companies that are registered for taxation have to pay corporate income tax on the profits, the corporate tax rates range from 19% up to €200.000 profit and 25.8% for all amounts above this number. In the coming years, the Netherlands is planning to lower its corporate tax rates to appeal to more foreign companies. The VAT rates are 9% for the lower rate and 21% for the upper VAT rate. The rates depend on the activities for which VAT is charged. (9% VAT for the lower VAT rate is valid since January 1, 2019). Netherlands-based companies need to pay tax on their worldwide income, nonresident companies only need to pay tax on certain incomes. Also, note that there is a 0% VAT rate, for example, when you do business within EU member countries. Some specific activities are also exempt from VAT. If you want to hire staff or pay yourself a salary as the director-shareholder, you will also have to pay income taxes. The relevant percentages vary between 19.03%, 36.93% and 49.50%, depending on your current age and the amount of annual salary you pay yourself or your employees2.

Profits taxation

2020: 16.5% below €200.000, 25% above
2021: 15% below €245.000, 25% above
2022: 15% below €395.000, 25,8% above
2024: 19% until €200,000, 25.8% above

Once you are the proud owner of a Dutch BV, keep in mind that you are tied to several legal obligations to keep your business running correctly and consistently. For example, you are obligated to publish annual statements. Publication of the annual statements of the Dutch BV is subject to a few requirements. This includes, among other things, the notary deed of incorporation, the share capital and details on the directors and board members. The incorporation deed provides information on internal processes and decision-making within the company, such as the responsibilities of the directors and the rights and obligations of the shareholders. The shareholders may vote to appoint the director(s) of the company. Larger corporations may also have board members, this is generally the case above a specific amount of profit annually or when the total number of staff that work for your company exceeds 50. The majority shareholder(s) and directors are registered to be affiliated with the company in the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.

Annual reporting requirements for Dutch BV’s

The Dutch BV is obligated to prepare annual financial statements for its shareholders. The annual statements have to be prepared according to the rules and regulations written in the civil code of Dutch company law. Annually, the company is required to publish a limited balance sheet, which is usually executed by your accountant. Stricter auditing requirements are necessary for companies that have:

  • Over 12,000,000 EUR turnover per year,
  • a balance sheet of over 6,000,000 EUR, or
  • more than 50 employees.

The publication of the annual statement needs to be made at the Company Register of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. This publication needs to be made within 13 months after the end of the fiscal year. When you exceed this timeframe, the director(s) can be held liable in the event of a late publication. Every year, the shareholders should hold a general meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the annual report and review the management’s performance. These general meetings between privately owned companies are generally very informal events, as shareholders are quite familiar with each other and do not see a need to keep official notes of the meeting.

Contractual obligations

Furthermore, if your company also has employees, keep in mind that you will need to comply with all Dutch employment laws. This involves quite some requirements, such as being able to adhere to minimum wage requirements, drafting correct and proper employment contracts that are in line with the market you operate in, offering a healthy and normal work environment and following all legal regulations that are related to matters such as working hours, leave and termination of the contract. There are plenty of sources online to check on such matters, but we strongly advise hiring a lawyer or specialist in employment law. Next to contracts with employees, Dutch BVs also regularly enter into contractual agreements and therefore obligations with others, such as companies and clients. You need to ensure that you meet all obligations that are outlined in these contracts if you want the other contracted party to comply as well. Not meeting such obligations will seriously damage your professional image and might also expose you to legal issues with third parties. It is always best to avoid such scenarios.

Other noteworthy legal obligations

There are some other separate obligations you should familiarize yourself with. If you want to change something in the structure or management of your BV, then this should always be reported to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, if the change is significant enough. This includes changes to the registration address of your company, changes in the board of directors, and any changes to the AoA. Next to that, you should also consider data protection under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)3. If your company processes any data, which is almost always the case since you deal with personal details of clients and business partners, then you need to comply with this regulation. This mainly involves ensuring the security and privacy of personal data, including obtaining consent for the processing of this data and fulfilling all other GDPR requirements. You can read more about the GDPR in this article on our website. Furthermore, consider the possible need to comply with certain national and international environmental regulations. This largely depends on the nature of your business. Compliance could include obtaining certain permits, a specific way of dealing with raw materials and waste, and general adherence to legal guidelines in order to minimize the environmental impact of your business.

Assisting entrepreneurs with compliance

Intercompany Solutions can assist your company with compliance and adherence to all necessary laws and regulations. Besides filing all annual financial statements, ensuring compliance with financial regulations is crucial. This includes proper accounting practices, maintaining financial records, and compliance with any industry-specific financial regulations. If you do not comply, the consequences can be very severe. Intercompany Solutions is specialized in assisting and setting up Dutch companies for foreign entrepreneurs. Some possible services we offer that can help you navigate all obligations and stay compliant with Dutch law are, for example:

  • Appointing a corporate secretary who manages activities such as acquiring a local bank account
  • Applying for a VAT and EORI number
  • Maintaining all company documents
  • Assist you with all legal and financial inquiries
  • Administrative and secretarial services

The director(s) and/or board of the company are responsible for fulfilling the tax obligations and maintaining proper accounting. The Netherlands BV company needs to file several different tax returns, either annually, quarterly or monthly. This generally depends on the size and scope of the company itself. Our advice is to hire a professional accountant if you have a large company or corporation, as this can save you an immense amount of time and effort. Plus, it will eliminate any risks regarding compliance beforehand. Next to that, all laws and regulations may change over time. In such cases, seeking professional advice ensures that you are always compliant with the latest requirements.

About Intercompany Solutions

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 or branch office in the Netherlands. Our experience with international entrepreneurs has allowed us to perfectly adjust our processes in order to ensure the rapid and successful establishment of your company. Customer satisfaction is guaranteed for all the services we offer.

Take a look at some of the services we offer:

Starting a Dutch business: the complete package
Assistance with local laws and regulations
Opening a bank account for foreigners with a Dutch business
Application for issuance of an EORI or VAT number
Secretarial support: premium package

You can choose which services you wish us to conduct. In some cases, multiple packages will be necessary, while in other cases, you might only need some advice or a single service. Please always feel free to contact us with any queries you might have, and we will do our best to answer your questions to your complete satisfaction.

Associations and memberships

We are constantly improving our standards of quality to continually deliver impeccable services.


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

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Frequently Asked Questions regarding the incorporation of a Dutch BV

Can I incorporate a Dutch BV remotely?

Yes. Foreign entrepreneurs may incorporate a Dutch private limited liability company without having to visit The Netherlands. This can very easily be done by granting a power of attorney to our staff. You can send many of the necessary documents via email, only some documents require that you send them via regular mail since they need to be legalized with an apostille by a public notary in your home country. In most cases, the incorporation process takes between 3 and 5 business days. Only when a company exceeds certain limits in terms of profits and/or number of employees does a slightly different procedure apply. Therefore, there is almost never any need for you to physically travel to the Netherlands. If you also want to apply for a visa or permanent citizenship, please contact us for more in-depth information.

Can anyone establish a Dutch company, no matter where they are located?

Yes. The Netherlands is a country that is fully open to foreign investors. Any person of any nationality may become a director/shareholder of a Dutch private limited liability company and set up a Dutch BV. Keep in mind, though, that you might need some permits in certain cases, depending on the type of company and your country of origin. If you also plan to move to the Netherlands, then you might need more permits and/or a visa. If you are currently residing in an EU country, there are no restrictions or special conditions that apply to the registration procedure whatsoever. If you, however, reside in a country outside the EU, it might be necessary that you obtain some permits.

Which is the best structure for company formation in the Netherlands?

If you want to establish a Dutch BV, there are multiple options available to you. You can establish a single BV company, which is also known as an operating company. This is the most logical choice for (small) start-ups, as the formation costs will be relatively low, and the procedure is also simplified. If you already own a company in your own country, you can establish a subsidiary that will fall under the scope of your current company. This subsidiary will nonetheless be a legal entity in the Netherlands, with all the rights and obligations of a regular BV. In addition, you can also choose to establish a holding structure in the Netherlands, in which you place one or more operating companies under the umbrella of a holding BV. This will enable you to benefit from certain tax regulations, keep your profits safe, and invest money in a tax-friendly way in your subsidiaries. Feel free to contact us for personal advice on this topic.

Can I open a Dutch bank account?

Certainly, our company will guide you through opening a Dutch bank account. In many cases, the bank account can be opened even remotely. You will need to establish the company before you open the bank account, though, to prove why you are opening a Dutch bank account. You will also need to provide a valid registration address when applying for a bank account; otherwise, chances are that the bank will decline the application. In most cases, you are obligated to open a Dutch bank account for financial and tax-related reasons.

What are the costs of opening a BV in The Netherlands?

An incorporation is possible for €1.499, depending on your specific requirements and wishes. The costs vary depending on the type of company you choose and whether you also want us to perform extra services, such as opening a bank account, or if you wish to have assistance with your VAT application and accounting services. Next to that, the size of your company and the mount of directors also play a significant role in calculating the exact costs. Furthermore, if you need permits or visas, this will also increase the amount of money you will have to pay to register your company in the Netherlands. Please contact us directly for a personalized quote tailored to your future Dutch business.

Are company formation fees 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 long will the incorporation of a Dutch BV take?

The formation of a Dutch BV depends on several factors, such as the amount of BVs you would like to incorporate, the amount of directors, the nature of the company, whether you need certain visas or permits to start your business activities, and if you also want us to take care of some extra services. It is also very important that you deliver the necessary documentation to us in a timely fashion, as this will speed up the procedure. If some documents are incorrect or incomplete, you will need to send us extra documents, and this can take some time. In general, we aim to establish your company within 3 to 5 business days. In some cases, this will be slightly longer, in other cases, we might finish the procedure faster.

Do I need to speak the Dutch language?

No, our incorporation agents will make sure you can go through all procedures in the English language and also in Italian and/or Spanish as an extra service that we offer. Dutch officials will be able to communicate in English, and often in German and French as well. We will make sure all communication is translated into the Dutch before we issue all documentation and send it to all official parties involved. You can also get translations of all Dutch documents in your native language if you ever need them for other purposes.

Can I apply for residency in the Netherlands?

Yes, you can, but you will need a valid reason to do so and, in some cases, certain permits and/or a visa. The first step in applying for residency as a non-EU entrepreneur is to set up a company in the Netherlands. Afterward, an application may be sent to the Dutch immigration services. The procedure depends greatly on your country of origin and the reasons you wish to immigrate to the Netherlands. Our consultants will gladly introduce you to our immigration partners to assist with this procedure.

Do you assist in ongoing company management?

Yes, our company can assist with secretarial services, providing assistance for the ongoing activities of your newly set-up Dutch BV company. Other topics we can otherwise help you with are numerous, such as tax compliance, accounting and secretarial services. We also offer extra services, such as opening a Dutch bank account. Please feel free to ask us for assistance anytime. Our Dutch incorporation agents can help you start a business in the Netherlands.

Our Dutch incorporation agents can help you start a business in the Netherlands. 

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