Work > Starting a business in the Netherlands

Starting a business in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a very attractive country to start a business, taxes and chamber of commerce work very efficient. Below you will find a checklist, we skip the writing a business plan, thinking of a name steps. This is purely information that might differ from your own country.
Work: Starting a business

Select a legal business structure (rechtsvorm)

There are business structures with and without corporate (legal) personality.

Business structures without corporate (legal) personality are:
Sole proprietor or sole trader (eenmanszaak)
General or commercial partnership (vof or vennootschap onder firma)
Professional or public partnership (maatschap)
Limited partnership (cv or commanditaire vennootschap)
If you choose a business structure without legal personality, you will be personally liable for the debt of your company, with your private capital and belongings.

Legal structures with corporate (legal) personality are:
Private limited company (bv or besloten vennootschap)
Public limited company (nv or naamloze vennootschap)
Cooperative (coöperatie)
Association (vereniging)
Foundation (stichting)

Register with the Dutch Commercial Register and Dutch Tax Administration

When you start a new business you must register with the Chamber of Commerce (KVK - Kamer van Koophandel). Once you are registered in the Commercial Register (Handelsregister), KVK will pass on your details to the Dutch Tax Agency (Belastingdienst). Private limited companies and public limited companies have to register via a civil-law notary. The notary will take care of the registration at the Dutch Tax Administration on your behalf.

Check whether you need professional qualifications

Certain professions do require professional qualifications, check to make sure.

Report a home business

If you plan to run a business from your home, you are normally obliged to report this plan to your local municipality. You must also bear in mind various tax and mortgage issues.

Draw up general terms and conditions

General terms and conditions clarify your and your customers’ rights and duties. You are not required to draw them up, but they are useful to have. Make your customers aware of your general terms and conditions.

Create your business accounts

As you often incur expenses before the official launch of your business, make certain to create your business accounts as soon as possible. In the Netherlands, you are legally obliged to maintain accounts and to retain them for 7 years.

Check whether you need insurance

If you live in the Netherlands or earn income here, you are obliged to take out health insurance. You are also obliged to pay Dutch national insurance contributions. Additionally, there are several ways to insure your business’s assets in the event of legal liability or any other any other risk you cannot afford to cover.