How to Start a Fintech Company in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is one of the most fintech-friendly countries within Europe. Its rules and regulations are well suited for financial service providers. This makes the Netherlands an attractive place to start a fintech company. In this guide, we will explain what you need to do to set up a fintech or financial service provider in the Netherlands. We will also discuss the government’s support for Dutch fintech businesses and how the Dutch fintech landscape is evolving.
Why is the Netherlands a good place to start a Fintech?
The Netherlands has a strong and transparent regulatory framework that makes it a safe place to do business. The government is also supportive of fintech businesses, and there is a growing fintech scene in the Netherlands. Furthermore, The Netherlands is seen as a springboard to the rest of Europe. And it is ideal for that, for example given its geographical location and the fact that almost everyone speaks English fluently. Read many more reasons why the Netherlands is a good destination for your business.
What are the steps to starting a fintech company in the Netherlands?
To start a fintech company in the Netherlands, you need to:
First of all, register a company with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK). In most cases this should be a BV company.
Second, make sure to register with the tax authorities and open a bank account.
Third, you should obtain a business license from either the AFM (financial markets authority) or DNB (Dutch central bank). Which license you need depends on the financial services you want to provide. Multiple licenses may apply to your services.
Fourth, make sure to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. Your duties are explained in the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme, Wwft).
In short, you should report unusual transactions and conduct thorough client due diligence.
Which business licence(s) should my fintech have?
The type of business licence(s) you should obtain depend on the type of financial services you offer. A few examples below:
- Crypto service providers should register for a licence at DNB.
- Banks and credit institution should register for a banking licence at DNB
- Trading platforms should register at the AFM
- Insurence companies should apply for a licence at the DNB (there is a wide selection of licences to choose from).
PSD2 license for online payment services
The Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) is a European Union directive that regulates payment services. It was introduced in January 2018 and replaces the Payment Services Directive 1 (PSD1). To obtain a PSD2 license, you need to meet certain requirements. These include having adequate security measures in place and complying with anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. You can apply for a PSD2 licence at De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) through their Digital Supervision Portal.
If you are a financial service or product provider who is innovative, you can go to the InnovationHub. This is a place where regulators (DNB and the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets) can answer any questions you have about regulations. The InnovationHub is also a place where businesses can discuss regulatory issues with regulators. This includes businesses who are not innovative and incumbent market participants.
Complying with the GDPR privacy laws for Fintechs
Financial service providers and fintech companies in the Netherlands have to comply with the GDPR, but it can be hard to know where to start. The GDPR is a complex law that covers a lot of ground. It can be hard to figure out what you need to do to comply with it.
As a financial service provider or fintech you probably deal with very personal and sensitive data. Therefore it is highly likely that you need to comply with the GDPR. In practice this means that you will need to have a few documents and processes in place in your company.
We can help you with that. Our team of experts has extensive experience in complying with the GDPR. We can help you get your company up to speed quickly and efficiently.
GDPR & Privacy
Where in the Netherlands should I base my Fintech business?
The best city for fintech businesses in the Netherlands is Amsterdam. The city has a thriving fintech scene, with a large number of fintech startups and investors. Amsterdam is also home to the Holland Fintech Hub, which offers mentorship and support to fintech businesses and other supporting organizations such as Techleapnl.
Several research projects show that Amsterdam is in the top tier of fintech centers of Europe. This position is not only based on the availability of financial and technological resources, but also on its good access to talent, market potential, and regulatory climate. Not only is Amsterdam a preferred city for financial firms. It is also at the very top of the Global Green Finance Index. This index charts the progress of the world’s financial centres towards a financial system that delivers sustainable development, and values people and the planet as much as profit.
Finally, finding an office in Amsterdam for your fintech company can be relatively cheap compared to other major European cities.
Notable Dutch Fintech companies
Some of the main fintech businesses in the Netherlands include Adyen, Bunq, Moneybird, Tikkie and Ohpen. These companies are leading the way in fintech innovation and are shaping the future of finance.
Adyen is a payments processing company that enables businesses to accept payments online, in-store, and via mobile devices.
Bunq is a mobile banking app that offers features such as zero-fee foreign currency exchange and instant payment alerts.
Moneybird is an invoicing and accounting software company that offers its services to small businesses.
Ohpen is a cloud-based core banking platform that offers services such as loans and deposits to banks and other financial institutions.
Tikkie is a payment app from the Dutch bank ABN AMRO. It allows users to make payments to friends and family with just a few taps. Tikkie is quick, easy, and convenient to use.
What’s next for fintech in the Netherlands?
The Dutch finance landscape is constantly evolving. New companies are being founded every day, and existing companies are expanding their offerings. The future of fintech in the Netherlands is looking very bright.
If you’re thinking about starting a fintech company in the Netherlands, now is the time to do it. There has never been a better time to be a fintech entrepreneur in the Netherlands. The government is supportive, and the ecosystem is thriving.
So what are you waiting for? Get started today!