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Business in Holland

Guide for doing business in the Netherlands

Business in the Netherlands

If you wish to start your own business in the Netherlands because you want to enter the Dutch market, have a great idea, or don’t want to work for a boss anymore, then the Netherlands, as cosmopoltan it is and with its international outlook, is a greate place to set up your own business.*

Before you start, it is important to take into account several things such as “Where to register the company, what kind of legal form will I use, what kind of taxes will I be confronted with?” This article provides a first and quick overview from a tax/legal perspective for people who would like to start their own business in the Netherlands as self-employed entrepreneurs or freelancers. However, be aware that the tax and legal situation for a self-employed entrepreneur or freelancer planning to start a business is quite complicated. It is recommended to seek out professional tax and legal advice before starting your own business.

You will find detailed information on starting your own business in the Netherlands at the website of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel). The website of the Dutch tax authorities (Belastingdienst) provides additional information in English on starting your own business. Another handy website is that of Syntens, a Dutch Government organization aiming to stimulate innovation in small companies.

First Step Before You Start
Before you start your own business in the Netherlands as a self-employed entrepreneur or freelancer, you need to check whether you a need a Dutch residence permit (MVV) or work permit (TWV). This can be done at the Dutch immigration service IND.

If you are an EU-citizen, you are free to move within the European Union for the purpose of self-employment and do not need to register at the IND. However, if you are from a non-EU country, you need to apply for a residence permit at the Dutch immigration service. Whether a permit is granted depends on some economic criteria such as whether you are qualified to run a business (diploma, license), there is business plan, or the company is expected to add something to the Dutch economy. Please note that the application will be reviewed very carefully.

Once this is completed, you need to register yourself at the local municipality and apply for a personal number called Burgerservicenummer (BSN).

*Bron: InterNations

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Guide for doing business in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has traditionally an international focus and offers huge opportunities for foreigners and entrepreneurs who wants to establish their business and start their company in different parts of The Netherlands. Keep in mind that there are a few risky areas and topics which will occur in time. Here, on our website, you can read some of the topics which are important depending what kind of business you want to do in the Netherlands.

First of all, the Dutch people are well known by their open, down-to-earth and realistic mindset. You can count on direct and clear communication. Where in some other countries people might politely give their diplomatic opinion, the Dutch will give directly their open view of point. Not in politics though. The Dutch like participation. They wish to be seen as a partner at an equal level, and are committed to democracy and consensus. This may take some getting used to; however, you always understand what your trade partner is about. Themes such as development and innovation are a key focus, both in the private and public sectors and are promoted by the government with subsidies. This provides numerous business opportunities and happy faces.


Second language in The Netherlands is English. Almost everybody can speak, read and write in English. This makes the Netherlands attractive to foreign businesses as a country to establish a subsidiary or start even branch for the Dutch market. Beside the friendliest social climate, the Netherlands offers many favorable facilities to promote international business. Such as, favorable economic, legal, financial and tax climate for establishing businesses. The favorable international trade agreements contribute to flourishing imports and exports. As part of the EU, which provides an opportunity to make use of unrestricted trading on the European market is The Netherlands furthermore attractive because of:
Excellent treaties network
The Netherlands concluded unilateral tax treaties with a wide range of countries, ensuring favorable schemes preventing double taxation, whereas source tax on interest, royalties and dividends is often decreased to zero. Companies established in the Netherlands are eligible for application of these schemes. Additionally, the Netherlands of course gives access to the free single market of the EU.
Excellent tax schemes
We are convinced of the fact that information, even the smallest detail when, even before beginning a new project, could be a life saver. Therefore we believe that it is important that we share information with our visitors. At the same time we provide intensively and more information to our clients while assisting them.
Very high labor productivity
In terms of employment conditions, the Netherlands offers a fairly high minimum number of days off for employees. However, do not let this hold you back! In terms of days off, the Netherlands is average within the EU while the labour productivity of Dutch employees is extraordinarily high.
Excellent logistics facilities
The Netherlands offers you easy access to all of Europe. Via inland waterways (from the ports of Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Groningen), by air (Schiphol Airport), by train or by truck, the Netherlands offers a seamless connection to the hinterland. The expansive Dutch transport sector flourishes. Did you know that 65% of all American companies with their own distribution center in Europe have established it in the Netherlands?
The favorable holding scheme is very well-known. For example, for an American company aiming to serve the European market from various European countries, in terms of tax it is beneficial to establish the holding in the Netherlands. The Netherlands applies an exemption from Dutch tax to participations that applies to 100% of dividends and capital gains received. Due to its expansive network of treaties, the Dutch tax on dividend is often decreased to zero.
Beside the friendliest social climate, the Netherlands offers many favorable facilities to promote international business.
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