Table of Contents
1. The business type
The first step to consider when starting a business in the Netherlands is the type of company you want to open. There are several Dutch business types: limited partnership, partnership under common firm, private limited company, public limited company, foundation, association, sole trader. Each has its own particularities and the experts at our Dutch law firm can help you pick the right one.
2. Company name
The name of the new business need to be unique in the business sector where your company will activate. The trade name application is submitted to the Chamber of Commerce and once the name is approved you can start the other steps. You can also register your own trademark.
3. Registering a business
The new company needs to be registered with the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce. Sole traders who have independent professions must also register here. Once the business is registered with the Trade Register it is also automatically registered with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.
VAT registration in the Netherlands is also a mandatory step for companies that engage in business activities that are subject to this indirect tax, as is the provision of most type of goods and services. The registration can take place immediately after the company’s inclusion in the Trade Register. Our team can give you more details upon request.
4. Special permits and licenses
Depending on the business field in which you will activate, the company will need special permits and licenses to perform various business activities. Some of the sectors that require such permits are childcare, media, retail trade and wholesale trade, the construction industry, transport, agriculture or private education.
5. Business headquarters
The company incorporated in the Netherlands will need to have a registered office in a Dutch city. Depending on your business need you can choose to purchase a property in the Netherlands or rent a suitable office space.
6. Hiring employees
The Employment law governs the relationship between the Dutch employer and employee. An employment contract is mandatory and a foreign employee will require a work permit in order to be able to work in the country.
7. Paying taxes
The Netherlands levies a progressive corporate income tax rate: 20% up to 200,000 EUR and 25% on profits above this amount. There is no withholding tax for royalties or interest but dividends can be subject to a 15% tax. The personal income tax is also progressive. VAT registration in Netherlands is also an important business regulation. Investors should be informed on whether or not their business should be registered.
Health care insurance is mandatory in the Netherlands according to the Healthcare Insurance Act. Employers must deduct the premium from the insurance from their employees’ wages.
9. Import and export activities
International businesses in the Netherlands that engage in import and export activities must observe the legislation for importing products from abroad. EU products are permitted in the Netherlands but the Dutch Customs imposes a legislation for safety and health for non-EU products.
10. Closing a business
When a business is no longer profitable, the owner must take the necessary steps to close down the business. Staff dismissal, insolvency, debt restructuring and filing for bankruptcy are necessary steps.
For more detailed information about business regulations and how to open and run a Dutch company please contact our law firm in the Netherlands.