How to start a company in the Netherlands as a freelancer

If you are thinking about starting a freelance business, you might want to reconsider establishing a company in your own country. Especially if you already happen to reside here, for example when your spouse is an expat stationed in the Netherlands. More and more freelancers and entrepreneurs decide to found their businesses overseas. Why? Mostly due to the fact that multiple foreign countries offer substantial benefits for business owners, making it very profitable to start a foreign business.

The Netherlands is definitely one of those countries. With a very stable political climate, one of the lowest tax rates in Europe and many benefits that come with being a part of the European Union, you can very safely establish your business here for future success. Best of all: starting a company as a freelancer in the Netherlands is not difficult at all! There are some standard procedures you will have to follow of course. In this article you will find more information about the process.

Can anyone start a business in the Netherlands?

The answer to this question is yes. There are no limitations in terms of nationality. However, if you are residing in a country outside of the EU, the procedure will take a bit more effort and time, since you will need a certain permit in order to be able to stay in the Netherlands legally. This will either be a start-up permit, or a self-employed permit. You can find more info about the whole process of applying for the permits on this page about opening a Dutch company.

What do you need when you decide to register your freelance company?

There are several documents you will need to produce when you start the registration process. These contain necessary information regarding the identity of all people involved, as well as accompanying documents about the business itself, possibly an extensive business plan and also your preferred company name. It is advisable to hire a professional firm to guide you through the whole registration process, because it will substantially shorten the timeframe and probably also the total start-up costs.

You will need to think about the company form you will choose. In the Netherlands there is quite a large amount of legal entities to choose from, ranging from a sole trader business to a holding structure with multiple private limited companies. In general a private limited company is advisable, due to the many benefits and securities this legal entity offers. It is also the most chosen incorporated business form in the Netherlands, not just by Dutch entrepreneurs but also by almost all foreign investors.

Why choose the Netherlands to establish your freelance business?

The Netherlands is an extremely safe and stable country for entrepreneurs and foreign investors, with a very high success rate for most innovative businesses. Some of the benefits for your business you can expect here:

  • There are ample amounts of successful Dutch businesses in various sectors, proving strength in innovation and ingenuity
  • The EU Single Market makes it possible to freely trade services and goods throughout the entire EU
  • You can find both Schiphol and Rotterdam port within driving distance, two world-famous logistical locations connecting you to a worldwide infrastructure
  • The costs of starting a (freelance) business are fairly low compared to a lot of other countries
  • You will find a well-educated and often bi- or even trilingual workforce in the Netherlands, offering you plenty fantastic candidates to choose from should you feel the need to hire personnel
  • The Dutch have access to immense international markets and are part of many trade agreements, which works in your favor as a business owner

The Netherlands will offer you a safe and promising environment to establish and grow your business to success. If you want to know more or would like more information about the procedure of starting a business as a freelancer, you can contact and ask them all your questions. They can assist you every step of the way and offer many extra services.

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