How to set up a Business in Holland

Holland is a preferred European business destination. Its high living standards, business ecosystem, access to international talent from the continent and connectivity attract investors planning to open new businesses. The process for incorporating a company in Holland is straightforward and involves few procedures, no matter what the preferred field of business is.

The procedure can be summarized in several key steps that are briefly presented below.

  1. Choosing a suitable legal entity

After you prepare a business plan, you need to pick a legal entity that suits your activities. This decision is important, as the selected legal form determines the liability of the founders and requires a certain amount of share capital.

The available legal forms for businesses in Holland include general or limited partnership, private limited company (BV) and public limited company (NV). The different business structures have specific characteristics and can be used for small or large companies. Irrespective of the type of business, every new company in Holland needs an available and suitable official name.

  1. Opening an account at a local bank and depositing the minimum capital

The next compulsory step is to open an account for your company at a local bank and deposit the minimum required share capital.

  1. Preparation of the articles of association (AoA)

In Holland the business’ AoA must be signed in front of a notary public. This key document should be prepared in Dutch. It includes information on the company founders, the objectives and purpose of the business, and the internal regulations.

  1. Company registration

In Holland all companies are listed in the Trade Registry. The registration procedure requires business owners to provide the details of the founder and the managing director, a statement of authorized capital and the constitutive documentation of the company.

  1. Application for necessary business permits

Some company types may need particular industry-specific licenses and permits, e.g. businesses in the sectors of accommodation and import/export, restaurants and cafes. You can also apply for the necessary permits after you register your business.

  1. Setting up an office and hiring employees

It is essential to find a suitable work space. This is a decisive step for location-dependent businesses, e.g. restaurants. All companies in the Netherlands need to have a local registered office.

With respect to hiring employees, Holland attracts many expats, so hiring investors enjoy an accessible pool of international talent. Companies hiring foreign employees can benefit from special incentives.

  1. Compliance with the requirements on accounting, reporting and tax

For taxable profits of up to EUR 200 000 companies pay 20 percent corporate tax. Any amounts exceeding this threshold are taxed at a 25 percent rate. Private and public limited Dutch companies need to submit annual returns including balance sheets and profit/loss accounts. All financial reports are prepared and submitted in accordance with the Dutch GAAP.

The present short guide is intended to simply present the main considerations when opening a Dutch business. We advise you to contact a local company or incorporation agency that provides complete service and assistance.