If you are an entrepreneur, planning to expand your business in Europe, then the Netherlands ought to be the number one choice. This is true for companies of any size, and active in most industries. So why set up a business in the Netherlands? Read on.
Even if you are a relatively small company (startup), and you don’t expect a lot of activity in the Netherlands for the first 12-24 months, you can easily start a company (low budget, and within 24 hours!) and have little bureaucratic affairs to worry about.
The main reasons you should set up a business in the Netherlands are:
- Strategic location (ideal gateway to Europe)
- Competitive fiscal climate
- International business environment and unrivalled professional infrastructure
- An attractive quality of life
- Tax Incentives for finance activities
Start a company in the Netherlands
All government agencies and most businesses in the Netherlands speak English, and we have a liberal attitude towards non-residents. In fact, the Dutch are not just ‘liberal’. We welcome overseas businesses and ex-pats with special tax incentives and easy access to funding programs. The Netherlands provides Entrepreneurs Visa for established entrepreneurs and Startup Visa for promising and innovative startups.
Bolder Launch is a well established corporate service provider that can assist you with your whole process, as we have informed and assisted over 5,000 entrepreneurs and incorporated more than 1,000 legal entities since 2007.
In case your company is expecting to increase its activities in the Netherlands as soon as possible, it’s important to know that the Netherlands has high-level ports, strategically located airports, and a modern network of roads and highways.
In fact, more than 170 million consumers are located within 24 hours of Amsterdam, making the Netherlands the perfect springboard into the European market.
If you’re trying to find out the answer to the question ‘why should I start a business in the Netherlands?’ … consider Holland’s competitive corporate tax structure (reducing its corporate tax rates even more!), highly educated and multilingual workforce, well-developed supply chain. It’s clear why multinationals like Coca-Cola, Nike, Adidas, IBM, Huawei, and Google choose the Netherlands.
WHICH CITY IS BEST FOR DUTCH COMPANY FORMATION
The most popular cities for company formation in The Netherlands are Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Amsterdam is very well known, and many types of businesses feel that it makes the most sense to start a company in the Netherlands capital; as it attracts the most tourists and business travellers. If you would like to know more about, contact our company formation officers.
Rotterdam is more popular for company formation by industrialists and traders, who prefer to open a company close to one of the biggest ports in Europe (and of the world!).
Both Rotterdam and Amsterdam have great startup ecosystems, due to their large expat communities. But smaller cities like Breda and Utrecht are definitely catching up and provide other advantages.
If you are a high tech company, you will be attracted to cities like Delft, Eindhoven and Eschede, where renowned technical universities have an attractive effect on high-tech companies.
How to select the best country for your business
How do you easily determine if the Netherlands is the best country to start your business? You can call our Launch team members to discuss your plans in Europe and your current corporate structure, then we can provide you with a free consultation on how you can set up a business in the Netherlands and how your company would look like in the country.
Here is an overview of all the important features of the European country, which can be relevant to your decision to start a business in the Netherlands.1. Location
- On the continent, close to Europe’s 500 million consumers
- Smack bang in the middle of the world; a global hub, which makes it the perfect place for global companies to reach millions of European customers and beyond
- The strategic location provides the perfect springboard into the European market
- Access to 95% of Europe’s most lucrative consumer markets within 24 hours of Amsterdam or Rotterdam
- Ranked No. 2 in the world for overall logistics performance
- Home to world-class seaports and airports
- An extensive network of railways and highways
- Second highest quality broadband network in Europe
- An investment-friendly corporate income tax system
- Cooperative tax authority
- Highly attractive innovation and R&D incentives
- Competitive corporate income tax rate of 16 or 22.25% in 2020.
- The Netherlands is among Europe’s most attractive countries for international companies
- A highly educated workforce sets the pace for European productivity in a wide range of capabilities
- 90% of Dutch are fluent in English – the lingua franca of international business, science, and technology
- Ranked No. 4 on the Global Innovation Index, the Netherlands is home to an attractive test market, adaptive consumers and an open culture
- As one of the world’s most multicultural hubs for creative talent, the Netherlands is, simply put, a great place to bring ideas to life
- The international and competitive business climate
- Home to more than 8,000 foreign companies
- 50% of Dutch GDP is derived internationally
- Ranked as the 5th happiest place on earth by the World Happiness Report
- Has a high standard of living with a lower cost of living than most major European countries
Important facts about our company formation services in the Netherlands
- Netherlands has a corporate tax rate of only 15% (up tto 395.000 EUR profit), which is more than 10% lower than Belgium, Germany and France
- The most popular legal entity is the Private Limited Company (BV) and it requires only € 1 share capital
- The Netherlands offers a Tax-Free Investment Holding for passive investment activities
- Setting up a public ‘Investment Fund’ can be done in 6-8 weeks, at the most competitive prices in the world! When dealing with professional investors, no license is required.
- Formation in the Netherlands can be done on the SAME DAY, including the instant opening of a bank account
- Bolder Launch has set up more than 1000 companies and you can ask us for references in over 52 countries
Ready to set up a business in the Netherlands? Let’s launch it together. We answer the most asked questions about starting a business in the Netherlands here. Or you can talk to our experts for personalised advice.
Let's guide you further
Step One: Determine the best corporate structure
When you incorporate a Netherlands company, there are a few matters to consider, such as:
- Do you like to protect your company assets optimally?
- How many shareholders/investors will be involved?
- Should each shareholder be able to freely sell its shares to third parties (or require permission?)
- What are the tax consequences of dividend payments to the shareholder?
- Will profits be reinvested in the Netherlands?
- Do you require a Dutch bank account?
- And so on...
As you can notice, these matters vary from legal matters to practical matters, like opening a Dutch bank account. The reality is that it's becoming more and more difficult to open corporate bank accounts for international corporate structures. Therefore, a ‘standalone’ company with an individual shareholder is more likely to get a bank account quickly.[...] Continue reading
Step Two: Government support for businesses in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is an ideal country to establish your business. However, the Netherlands does not attract businesses by offering generic subsidy programs to enter the Dutch market. Having said that, there are several subsidies available for Dutch businesses, particularly in the following fields:
- Research & Development/ Innovation
- Horizon 2020
In case you want to check an overview of all available subsidy options in the Netherlands, you can check this government site.[...] Continue reading
Step Three: The formation of the Dutch Company
As with everywhere else in the world, the process of setting up a company in the Netherlands can vary based on the type of activity that the company is going to operate. In this guide, we have tried to give a non-legal and simplified overview of forming a company in the Netherlands. There are many industry-specific requirements and regulations that we have not covered and we encourage you to look at the many industry-specific articles that we have published in our Launch Guides to start your company in the Netherlands.
The most commonly used company form in the Netherlands is the B.V. (Besloten Vennootschap) The B.V. is a so-called private Limited Company, which can be compared to the German GMBH, Belgium BVBA, UK LTD and French Sarl. In order to start a Dutch business, it’s important to decide what your corporate structure will look like, and which legal entity suits your needs.[...] Continue reading
Step Four: The housing of the company
Before the incorporation of the company, you need to consider the following matters:
- Your company will require a registered agent and a registered office address in the Netherlands, where company documents will be legally served.
- The registered office must contain a shareholders’ register, listing the names and addresses of all shareholders, the number of shares they hold, and the amount paid-up on each share
- A registered agent and a registered office are included as part of our Standard Incorporation Package
Step Five: Opening a bank account
For a BV, no minimum capital requirement applies anymore, and hence, the BV does from a legal perspective no longer require a (Dutch) bank account.
During the last couple of years, banks have become more stringent with regard to the procedure for opening a bank account. It is required that the directors attend to the bank in person, identify themselves and fill out the necessary forms.[...] Continue reading
Step Six: The application of the relevant tax numbers
The final step of starting a business in the Netherlands is the application of the relevant tax numbers. Bolder Launch can guide you through this process, and assist you to apply for tax numbers in the Netherlands.
The newly-incorporated business needs to be registered for its Corporate Income Taxes (CIT), as well as the Value Added Tax (VAT).
On average, it takes about 2-3 weeks to obtain a VAT number, sometimes it just takes one week (in combination with the CIT number).[...] Continue reading