How to start a business in the Netherlands - company formation, tax breaks in Holland, accountants & VAT
The Netherlands has long been a favorite home for foreign investors. It has a stable and successful economy and a trade and investment policy that is one of the most open in the world. Holland has welcomed foreign investment for many years and with the UK's departure from the EU, many import and export companies are choosing the Netherlands to base their EU trade companies. (See our article about Why Holland Is A Smart Place For Your European Business).
What about the Dutch tax breaks and tax advantages?
The Netherlands has a liberal tax regime including generous exemptions – dividends and capital gains are exempt from Dutch corporate income tax. There’s also an extensive network of double-taxation treaties. There are many other aspects of Dutch tax law which comes with advantages, but as always, you will need specialist advice. We can put you in touch with chartered accountants that have expert knowledge in tax advantages.
Requirements for company formation in the Netherlands:
- One director will be required.
- A minimum share capital of €1 (a minimum deposit of €5,000 is advisable for a BV company and €45,000 for an NV company).
- Accounting obligations required.
- Virtual or physical office required.
- One utility bill dated within the last 30 days will be required
- A foreign bank account may be required for non-active companies
- There will be two small invoices (approx. €100-€150 per company) that are billed to and must be paid by the client. These are issued by the Kamer van Koophandel (Dutch Chamber of Commerce)
What are the main features of a branch?
- A popular format for foreign companies opening up in the Netherlands
- The foreign parent company is responsible for all liabilities of a Dutch branch
- A branch is required to register with the Chamber of Commerce
- A minimum of one director is required
- There are no formal accounting requirements
- One representative will be required.
- No share capital is required
- Virtual or physical offices are required.
- Company incorporation documents need to be translated and certified by a notary
How easy is it to recruit staff in Holland?
The Dutch are famously multi-lingual and their education and workplace skills are high. Just get in touch if you'd like us to refer you to one of our carefully chosen local recruitment specialists.
What is the regulatory environment like?
The regulatory environment is reasonably easygoing with regard to foreign investment and taxation, but certainly not when it comes to employment laws. The Dutch labour market is heavily regulated and generally favours the employee. Companies employing more than 35 workers are legally required to establish a works council which must be consulted on a wide range of issues. If you need to dismiss an employee, count on the intervention of a civil court or government body. You should take legal advice before entering into any kind of employment contract – contact us for details of our network of Dutch legal and recruitment specialists.
Are there financial incentives available?
The Dutch government and local authorities offer incentives to foreign investors based on a number of factors, most particularly the region where the new company is to be based. EU funds are also available. Key agencies here are the government-run regional development corporations which can help start up new businesses and act as risk-bearing partners.
What about banking facilities?
Amsterdam is one of the world’s top financial centres and most international banks have offices there. The Netherlands has several specialist agencies that provide business funding. The National Investment Bank focuses on medium and long term lending, equity investment and capital market activities and the Industrial Fund provides risk-bearing capital to the larger high-tech companies. You will need to open a business bank account in the Netherlands and we can arrange this for you.
For more information on company incorporation in the Netherlands and other issues such as Dutch tax breaks, accountants, business banking and VAT, please contact us on 0033 (0)1 53 57 49 10 or email us from our contact page and we’ll be happy to help.