How to Establish Your Business in the Netherlands – What You NEED to Know

It is an exciting time when you are establishing a business. Whatever industry your business is in, and whether you are expanding into a new country to reach a wider marketplace or looking to establish a business for the first time in the Netherlands, it is a country that is an attractive proposition for many reasons.

Before we get into the ins and outs of establishing a business in the Netherlands, ensure that you understand the need for a DPO to offer impartial expertise and guidance relating to all data protection matters. This is a fundamental part of running a successful modern business, placing importance on transparency, simplicity, and explainability for any processing of data that happens under your watch.

Support from a Dutch speaking DPO

Hire a DPO to be that expertise in a country that you have not previously worked in. The laws and regulations are always slightly different in every country. When it comes to the collection, processing, and storage of personal data in the modern age, there are plenty of regulations that businesses must adhere to. A Dutch speaking DPO should be your first search when setting up a company, ensuring that you are on the right side of the law, meeting the expectations of EU GDPR whether your business is originally from an EU country or not. To search for an outsourced Dutch speaking DPO, look for ‘externe functionaris gegevensbescherming‘.

What are the business structures for a company in the Netherlands?

There is a flexible and liberal legal framework within the Netherlands for businesses to choose a structure within, when compared with other countries in the EU. This flexibility for non-resident companies or individuals is one of the reasons why the Netherlands is seen as an attractive option for foreign investment as well as a country where businesses can expand and establish a presence.

For foreign-owned companies there are no special restrictions on starting a business in the country, and there are, in fact, several options for business structures that can be chosen from. What is important to understand though is that a business must have a physical presence and representation in the Netherlands, with registration at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK, and an address in the Netherlands to reap the benefits of access to the free movement of goods and services within the European Union.

The options to establish a business in the Netherlands include:

·  Opening a headquarters in the Netherlands, which includes deregistration in your home country and setting up as a Dutch company (this could be as a private limited partnership or a public limited company).

·  Set up a subsidiary of your existing company, with full legal status as an independent entity. This allows your company to reproduce its services within the EU market even if the head office remains in the UK.

·  Look to the distributor you may already be working with in the Netherlands and upgrade the role, with the distributor becoming the director of the Dutch branch of your organisation.

There are different approaches to take depending on the country your business originates from, the industry you work in, and the type of work that will occur in the Netherlands. Always seek professional guidance and assistance at every stage of the process, as we mentioned earlier with the outsourcing of a DPO to ensure that data protection laws are adhered to.

Steps to establish a business in the Netherlands

Choosing the structure is the start of the process, but beyond that you’ll need a strong and viable business plan that looks at all aspects of your operations within the Netherlands and how the business will translate to the new marketplace. You need to register your business in the Netherlands, seek the correct licences and permits for your business and industry, whilst also seeking help to ensure the correct tax structures and payments are implemented for your business.

One of the best things about the Netherlands as a place of business for expanding companies is that it has a great business culture and infrastructure. There is plenty of choice when it comes to the location of your business in the country, from the vibrant tourist city of Amsterdam to the artistic and hardworking port of Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Eindhoven.

Following the steps to establish your business in the Netherlands is the precise process that you must follow to be successful. This includes following all regulations and laws that are applicable to businesses that are based in the Netherlands. Part of this process should always be ensuring that you are compliant with EU GDPR, looking after the privacy and security of data that is collected and processed by your company. Failing to do so can cause a massive impact on your brand image and reputation, lead to fines, and make your business an unattractive proposition for potential investors in the Netherlands and beyond. You have a great chance to enhance your business operations by establishing in the Netherlands. Make sure that you take every step seriously and hire the right people in key positions.

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.