The Netherlands is famous around the world for the advantages it offers to entrepreneurs and is the 3rd best country in the world for businesses. It has the highest number of double taxation treaties and is a founding member of the European Union.

Anyone in the world can own a Dutch Limited company and if you are considering setting up a business in the Netherlands,the most favoured choice is a BV company (Closed/Private Company comparable with the English Limited company – Ltd.).The set up can be time-consuming and requires some preparation.

When starting a new business or expanding into the Netherlands, it’s important to comply with national and European regulations and apply for any necessary business permits or licences, which vary by sector. Some sectors are more heavily regulated than others, for example the financial sector, with financial and FinTech businesses requiring licences and registration. Even if you are launching a small IT company, a creative agency or a legal company, it is worth checking the regulations and permits needed for all types of professional services.

Starting a business in the Netherlands

The establishment of a BV company in the Netherlands is a little different from other jurisdictions and the rules are very strict. A local director is strictly not mandatory but a necessity for a smooth business administration and VAT-registration. A local auditor/accountant can take on this role if needed and will handle the financial statements and other services. VAT registration is included in the process, which can take around 2 months.

Benefits of starting a business in the Netherlands

  • With significantly low corporate tax rates, the tax benefits are a substantial reason for any company to expand into the Netherlands. Once you have registered your business you will be taxed on the profits you have generated.
  • No value added tax (VAT) for transactions between member states of the EU
  • Share capital amount for a BV company (limited liability company) starts at EUR 1 but usually from EUR 100 to 1000
  • A BV can only have registered shares and shareholders are not personally liable for acts performed in the name or on behalf of the BV, nor can they be obliged to make more funds available than that part of the capital for which they have subscribed.
  • Annual returns must be filed at the Chamber of Commerce (KvK) but there is NO renewal fee
  • 93% of the Dutch people speak English, many of whom are also proficient in German and French
  • The Dutch economy has been stable for years and is continuously seeing steady growth being the eighth largest importer of goods across the world.
  • The country welcomes foreign entrepreneurs and investors
  • The Netherlands attracts many international companies with its stable legislation and politics, together with excellent international relations
  • It has great infrastructure both in transport and IT
  • It’s the gateway to Europe sitting at the edge of the EU with the almost biggest harbour in the world, the harbour of Rotterdam and Amsterdam for receiving goods from all over the world to be distributed into Europe.

Read more about Netherlands on Wikipedia.


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