How to Start a Business in the Netherlands as a Foreign Investor

Europe remains one of the most important destinations for foreigners who want to do business in a country which offers them access to a larger market. This is possible thanks to the European Union which allows that, from one country a business can easily access all the other states without additional licensing procedures.

When choosing that country, foreigners have various requests which must be met the authorities. The foreign entrepreneurs should be informed about the local legislation, the infrastructure, the costs related to starting and maintaining the company and the permits related to doing business. One of the countries that offer a good business environment is the Netherlands.

The legislation related to starting a business in the Netherlands

The Dutch legislation allowing foreigners to do business here is quite simple: the rules related to registering companies are the same for both local and foreign entrepreneurs. The Netherlands does not impose special conditions to foreign investors opening companies here. The only exception could be obtaining a residence permit if they want to relocate here and the work permits for bringing employees from their home countries.

A foreigner will be allowed to use the same business form and will be subject to the same company registration requirements and documentation as local investors.

Costs for setting up and maintaining a business in the Netherlands

The costs related to opening a company in the Netherlands will depend on the chosen structure and the object of activity of the business, however it is safe to say that the Netherlands is one of the cheapest destinations for setting up a company in Europe.

The maintenance costs, accounting, employment, social security and taxation represent the most important aspects when considering how much it costs to have a company in Netherlands. With an impressive taxation system, the Netherlands provides for many tax deductions and allowances which help in reducing these costs.

Licensing requirements for companies in the Netherlands

The licensing phase is one of the most important ones when starting a business in the Netherlands. The advantage here is given by the fact that the municipalities usually offer all-in-one business permits which reduce the time, the procedure and the red tape related to the registration procedure. Also, most of the special licenses, which are required in certain industries, can be obtained online.

The steps related to registering a Dutch company

Registering a company in the Netherlands implies five main steps:

  • preparing the company’s statutory documents which imply the Memorandum and Articles of Association and which must be drafted in Dutch and notarized;
  • opening the company bank account;
  • filing the incorporation documents and sending the personal information of the company owners to the Companies Registrar;
  • obtaining the tax and VAT numbers;
  • applying for the all-in-one business permit.

Starting a company in Netherlands does not imply any special procedure for foreigners which is a great advantage, however different requirements could apply based on the industry one wants to operate in. Before starting the registration procedure, it is recommended to make a little bit of research and check the mandatory provisions.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.