Process & Timeline

Incorporating a Dutch BV at the public notary

  • Step 1: Introduction. After an introductory e-mail or call we will send you a personalised quote, based on the information provided to us.
  • Step 2: Invoice + shared Google Drive folder. After we have established your needs and you have agreed to the price quote, an invoice will be sent to you for the first installment of the final price. This is already included in the price sent to you earlier and is usually 50% of the total sum. Once we have confirmation of the payment you will be invited to your shared Google Drive folder where we will collect all your documents.
  • Step 3: Collecting the Documents. A comprehensive Guide will be placed in your Google Drive folder. This Guide will state which documents you will need to collect for the company incorporation
    • Step 3 a: The shareholder(s) need to determine whether or not they want to have a shareholder's agreement.
  • Step 4: The Notary. After all the required documents have been collected and uploaded to your Google Drive folder, we will send these to our notary partner. After confirming that all documents are in order, the drafting of the deed of incorporation can start. This will take 1 week. An appointment will be made for the signing of the deed of incorporation.
  • Step 5: Signing of the Deed of Incorporation. Afterwards you will receive a few documents from the notary: the Deed of Incorporation, Articles of Association (English translation) and a Chamber of Commerce Extract.

Incorporate in person or remotely

In person: You will come to the notary’s office to sign the deed.

  • Advantages: The fastest way to incorporate the company. The company will be registered into the Chamber of Commerce within 24 hours of signing the deed.
  • Disadvantages: An interpreter has to be present at the meeting if you do not speak Dutch.

Remotely (through Power of Attorney): The notary will sign the deed on your behalf, using the POA

  • Advantages: You will not have to travel to the Netherlands to get your company incorporated. This will save on time and travel expenses. There is no need to hire an interpreter since you will not be present at the signing.
  • Disadvantages: You will have to get your documents legalised which will add some time to the process.

Registration at the Chamber of Commerce

Within 24 hours after the incorporation your company will be automatically registered at the Chamber of Commerce. You do not have to do anything for this. You will be able to find you Chamber of Commerce number (kvk-nummer) in the KvK-database.

Registering for a VAT number

Your company will most likely need a VAT registration number. After the registration at the Chamber of Commerce, your company details will automatically be forwarded to the Dutch Tax Authorities (Belastingdienst). The Belastingdienst will first assess if you are an entrepreneur for VAT purposes. Afterwards they will send you your VAT number within 5 working days. In some cases the Belastingdienst will need some additional information from you before they hand out the VAT number. This information request is usually processed by mail and is sent to your new company's address.

Opening a bank account

Around 24 hours after the incorporation, your company will be registered at the chamber of commerce. With this registration number (kvk-nummer) you can visit a bank to open a bank account. Some banks offer an online intake procedure. However, it is recommended to visit the bank in person.

To give you an idea on how long it will take to have an account number: If the company is completely Dutch (that means without a foreign entity being the sole shareholder) ING Bank usually gives you an account number that same day. They do not guarantee that they will give you the account number immediately. However, in our experience it is usually the case.

If ING cannot give you the account number right away (for example in case of a foreign corporate shareholder), it can take about two business weeks before you have an account number, because of the KYC process due diligence.

Please note: due to strict and constantly changing KYC-regulations, many banks require a company with real activity in the Netherlands and local presence, often in the form of a resident director.

Traditional banks

The main banks are ING, ABN Amro and Rabobank. Rabobank is well-known for their local presence and local market knowledge. ABN AMRO is a traditional bank that has embraced modern technology is the last few years. Our preferred partner among the traditional bank is ING Bank. Contact us if you would like to set up an appointment at the bank.

Online banks

These are banks that have taken your banking experience to the next level. They have the same banking license as the traditional banks. We recommend Bunq Bank as one of the best online banks in the Netherlands. Do expect a great online experience with excellent customer support. Do not expect more advanced services such as loans. You can find more about their offer on their website. An alternative online bank is KNAB.

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Choosing the Right Legal Entity and Structure

Legal entity

When starting a new company, founders should first select the preferred legal business structure: 1. sole proprietorship/partnership or a 2. private limited (BV) company). Most foreign entrepreneurs choose a BV. Besides these entities exists the NV, comparable to a public liability company (or US Corporation). This is a very rare legal form in the Netherlands.

Requirements to incorporation of a BV company:

Incorporating a BV is a fairly straight-forward process. Basically everyone can open their own Dutch private limited. Take the following requirements into account:

  • The BV needs to hold a valid and unique business name.
  • 0,01 euro (so only 1 eurocent) minimum share capital.
  • The Articles of Association and a Deed of Incorporation (in Dutch) must be drafted before a public notary.
  • The notary needs to be sure you understand what you are signing. Therefore, if you do not master the Dutch language, a translation or translator is required.
  • A registered address in the Netherlands. This can be a residential, office or other type of address. We do recommend you to make sure that the business’ address reflects the nature and scale of the business. 

Requirements to trading with a BV company

To incorporate the company at the notary, meeting the criteria mentioned above is sufficient. However, your new company will need to meet some requirements to effectively run it: to obtain a VAT-number and open a bank account. Those requirements are called the substance requirements. These regulations are not strict laws, but they are increasingly important. These requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • At least half of the directors of the company should be resident of the Netherlands.
  • The bookkeeping of the company must take place in the Netherlands.
  • The company must comply with all its tax obligations in the Netherlands and is not treated as a tax resident of another country.
  • The business address of the company is in the Netherlands.
  • The Dutch resident directors should have the professional knowledge and skills to properly perform their duties. These duties at least include the decision making process regarding the company's transactions and follow-up.
  • The company will have adequate support to run its business.
  • The (most important) board decisions of the company are made in the Netherlands.
  • The main bank accounts of the company are maintained from the Netherlands.
  • The bookkeeping of the company must take place in the Netherlands.
  • The company runs a real risk with respect to its financing, licensing or leasing activities. The company has an equity at risk that corresponds to the functions performed.

Structure

A Dutch private limited (BV) company can be structured in roughly two ways:

  • A BV with a natural person or company as the shareholder.
  • A BV holding structure consisting of a holding company that owns (part) of the shares in another bv, the operating BV.

BV Holding Structure

The Dutch BV holding structure can save you money and provide a safer way to do business. A holding structure consists of at least two companies: the operating company where the business activity takes place and a personal holding company that holds shares in the operating company. From a legal perspective there is only one type of BV. ‘Holding BV’ and ‘Operating BV’ are no legal terms.

How does the setup of a simple holding structure work?

Holding bv

Two Dutch BV Companies are incorporated at the notary. The Operating BV company is used for the company’s operations. The other BV company is a personal holding company with, in most cases, very little activity. The business owner owns the shares of the Holding BV. The Holding BV owns the shares of the Operating BV. In case not one but two equal shareholders (A & B) starting up one ‘active’ company, the most common scenario is as follows: One operating BV with real business activity is incorporated at the notary. Above the operating company, two Holding BV’s are incorporated. Both holdings own 50% of the Working BV. Holding BV 1 is owned 100% by shareholder A, Holding BV 2 is owned 100% by shareholder B.

Why a Dutch BV holding structure?

There are two main reasons why entrepreneurs choose to structure their business as a Dutch holding structure: less tax and less risk. First, there can be tax advantages to a holding structure. The most important one is the participation exemption (in Dutch: deelnemingsvrijstelling). For example, profits made from the sale of the company that are transferred to your holding BV will not be subjected to profit tax. Secondly, you have less risk when you operate from a Dutch holding company structure. The holding company functions as an extra layer between you, personally, and the business’ activity. Your BV’s can be structured in such a way that it will protect the company’s equity. Your can build up pension provisions or profits that will be shielded from your business’ risks.

When is a Dutch BV holding structure suited for my company?

Most Dutch tax advisors will tell you that “one BV is no BV”. In most cases the setting up of a holding structure is more advantageous than a simple bv with the business owner as the personal shareholder. There are certain situations in which we would always recommend a holding structure. For example if you are operating in a more risky industry. A holding bv puts up an extra shield between you personally and the business’ activity. Another good reason to consider a holding structure is when there is a good chance that you will sell your company in the future. The profit you will make from selling your business can be transferred to your holding company tax free. This is called the ‘deelnemingsvrijstelling’ (see below).

Practical advantages of a Dutch holding structure

  • You sell (a part of) your shares in the operating bv. The profit you make in this sale will be transferred to your holding bv. A holding bv is exempt from tax on a realized profit on the sale of shares in the operating company. You could use these resources in the holding bv to reinvest in a business or to provide a pension for your old age. If you have not set up a holding structure but you are personally holding shares in the operating company, you will have to pay corporate income tax on the profit.
  • If your holding BV has a stake in multiple BV companies you do not have to pay out a salary from each of the stakes. This will save you in your income tax and administrative burden and fees.
  • In case the holding bv has at least 95% of the shares of the operating bv, these bv companies can apply at the tax authorities to be considered a fiscal unit. This ensures that you can easily settle costs between both companies and thus gain an advantage in your tax return. The holding BV (parent company) and operating company (subsidiary) are then treated as a single taxpayer. So you will only have to do one tax filing for two bv companies.
  • By placing profit reserves and shares (and for example: real estate, a company car or pensions savings) in a separate Holding BV, you protect losing your accumulated gains in case of bankruptcy of the operating company.

Deelnemingsvrijstelling (participation exemption)

Both the operating bv and the holding bv have to pay taxes on their income. However, no tax will be charged twice on the same profit. This is due to a measure called the participation exemption: dividends/profits from the operating company can be paid to the holding company without a dividend tax and corporate income tax charge. The most important condition for making use of this measure is that the holding company holds at least 5% of the shares in the operating company.

Choosing a sole proprietorship or partnership

For some small businesses a self propriertorship (in Dutch: Eenmanszaak) or a general partnership (in Dutch: VOF) can be considered. The setup is simple and affordable, but depending on the business the tax and liability is often less attractive. Below you will find a comparison of the three legal entities: sole proprietorship (eenmanszaak), general partnership (venootschap onder firma or vof) and private limited (BV).

Advantages of a sole proprietorship or partnership

  • Low-threshold. Registration at the Chamber of Commerce is cheap (€ 50, -) and no starting capital is required. You do not need an office, but you need at least an address. This may be residential.
  • Flexible. Easy to start a business with several partners by drawing up a form-free company contract.
  • Tax advantages for small businesses. Although income tax that you will have to pay as a partner is higher than the corporate income tax rate of 16.5-25%, if the profit is relatively low it is still better to have a partnership (liability is another issue). This is mostly due to a couple of tax benefits. In case you have a 50/50 percent partnership, each partner will have to add 50% of the profits to his personal income tax. Some of the tax benefits are the following: You can qualify for 'Zelfstandigenaftrek' of over 7030 euros. As a starter you will qualify for 'Startersaftrek', an additional discount of 2123 during the first three years of the partnership or sole proprietorship. MKB-winstvrijstelling takes 14% of your taxable profit (after you have deducted the 'Zelfstandigenaftrek' and the 'Startersaftrek'.

Disadvantages of a sole proprietorship or partnership

  • Liability. As the owner of a sole proprietorship you are personally liable for all matters of the company. In a partnership each partner is liable with his / her private assets for all debts of the VOF, regardless of whether the debts have been caused by this partner.
  • Higher taxes. In many cases a sole proprietorship or a general partnership pays more taxes than a Dutch private limited (BV) company.
  • A BSN (national social security number) is required to set up a one-man company or general partnership.

Required Documents

To start up the incorporation process, you will only need to provide the following documents:

  • Passport copy of all directors/shareholders of the Dutch company
  • Proof of residence of shareholders and directors. For example a bank/utility/phone bill (no older than 2 months).
  • Rental agreement of the office address the company will be registered at. (Not necessary if the company will be registered at residential address of (one of) the shareholders).
  • If the shareholder is a company, additionally required is a document that shows the name, address and registration number of the incorporating company.

Below an overview of all required documents per incorporation scenario:

 In person in AmsterdamPower of attorneyCorporate Shareholder
(remote)
Legalised passport
Apostille
Power of Attorney
Proof of residence
UBO Declaration
Legal opinion

Checklist: What you should arrange to set up and manage your BV company

 Single BV:
Shareholder is a Person/Company
Holding structure:
holding bv + operating bv
Incorporation
Deed of incorporation✔ Required✔ Required
Translation of documents✔ Required✔ Required
Shareholders agreement★ Recommended (if multiple shareholders involved)★ Recommended (if multiple shareholders involved)
Registration
Chamber of commerce registration (KvK)✔ Required✔ Required
VAT registration✔ Required✔ Required
EORI registrationOptionalOptional
Contracts
Rekening-courantOptional★ Recommended
Management agreementOptional★ Recommended
Labour contract main shareholder (DGA)OptionalOptional
Tax & Accounting
Quarterly VAT return filing✔ Required✔ Required
Annual financial report✔ Required✔ Required
Bookkeeping✔ Required✔ Required
Address & Office
Registered address✔ Required✔ Required
Physical office spaceOptionalOptional
Mail forwarding serviceOptionalOptional
Dutch phone number★ Recommended★ Recommended
Banking & Insurance
Bank account✔ Required✔ Required
Business Insurance★ RecommendedOptional

*Note: above are the services we recommend you to arrange in order to incorporate and run your business as smoothly as possible. We are legally restricted in offering all of these services.

Taxes and the BV

When doing business in the Netherlands your BV company and you will be subjected to several taxes, most prominently:

  • Corporate income tax (in Dutch: Vennootschapsbelasting, Vpb)
  • VAT (BTW)
  • Personal Income Tax (Inkomstenbelasting, or IB)

Tax rates in 2020

Personal Income Tax Rates

Personal Income Tax (IB)Taxable incomeTax percentage
Bracket 1Up to €68.50837,35 %
Bracket 2From €68.50849,5 %

Corporate income tax rates in the Netherlands per year

The Netherlands applies one of the lowest tax rates to corporate profits in Europe. This rate applies for BV and NV companies. 

Profit201920202021
Up to €200.00019%16,5%15%
From €200.00025%25%21,7%

VAT

VAT is called ‘BTW’ in Dutch. The standard rate for most goods and services is 21%. This is a below-average rate within Europe. Many goods have a lower VAT of 6% or even 0%. For example: books and shoe repair have a 6% VAT. Most businesses pay a quarterly VAT return. You usually submit and pay the VAT tax one month after the end of every quarter. We offer bookkeeping and tax services so you can use your time on building your business instead of spending hours on administration and tax filings.

Tax deductions

One of the main advantages of running a BV or sole proprietorship/partnership is that there is a vast amount of deductable goods and services. In the table below you can find the various goods/services of which you can deduct. Deductibles are the tax-deductible expenses subtracted from adjusted gross income. Deductibles reduce taxable income and thereby reduce the tax liability.

CostsWhich part is deductible?Notes
Home workspace0% (some exceptions apply)
Food, drink, stimulantsA threshold of € 4,600 applies.

Instead of this threshold, entrepreneurs working as sole proprietor or in a partnership are allowed to deduct 80% of these costs and entrepreneurs for corporation tax (bv) 73.5%.
The item 'food' includes business lunches and dinners (including tips).

Think of 'drink' to coffee, tea, milk and soft drinks.

With 'stimulants' you should think of, among other things, cigarettes and cigars.
Representation, congresses, seminars, study trips
(including travel and accommodation costs)
Instead of this threshold, entrepreneurs working as sole proprietor or in a partnership are allowed to deduct 80% of these costs and entrepreneurs for corporation tax (bv) 73.5%.'Representation' includes the costs of receptions. Promotional gifts also generally fall under 'representation'

You may deduct a maximum of € 1,500 for the travel and accommodation costs. Was it necessary for your work to attend a conference and the like? Then this maximum does not apply.
Telephone subscription at home0%
Business phone calls at home100%
General literature
0%
Professional literature
100%
Workwear100%Work clothing is clothing that you can wear (almost) exclusively within the framework of your company. This must be evident from the appearance of the clothing, for example: a uniform or overall. Is the clothing also suitable for wearing outside of your company? The clothing must then be provided with a logo with a surface area of at least 70 cm2. The logo must refer to your company.
Clothing (no work clothes)0%
Personal care0%
Briefcases and similar100%
Equipment and instruments that do not
belong to the business assets
0%
MovingLimited
Double housingLimited
Fines0%
Company carLimited
Business costs of private carA fixed amount of € 0.19 per kilometer.
Business travel costs public transport, taxi and plane100% of the costs actually incurred
You must be able to prove that you actually incurred these costs. For example, save your train ticket. Are you traveling with an OV chip card? Then make a print out of your journeys.
Vessels for representative purposes
0%

Tax advantages

Deelnemingsvrijstelling

One of the most used tax advantages is the so-called deelnemingsvrijstelling. In short, this is a Dutch tax regulation that exempts an entity that has a stake of at least 5% in another entity to pay tax over the profit paid out to the receiving entity. This tax-regulation is often applied with mother and daughter companies.

Example Deelnemingsvrijstelling:

Mother BV has a 100% stake in Daughter BV. Daughter BV makes €100 profit and pays €16,5 in corporate income tax (16,5%). Daughter BV pays out the €83,50 as dividend to the 100% shareholder, Mother BV. The €83,50 that Mother BV receives is exempt from corporate income tax. So the total taxation for this structure is 16,5%. If this 'deelnemingsvrijstelling' was not in place, the total taxation would amount to another €13,2 (16,5% of the €80 dividend) which would make the total tax rate 29,7% and the taxes to be paid €29,7.

This is advantageous for the mother company in case of a profit-turnout. Additionally it could save a lot of money when the mother company decides to sell the daughter company. The entire profit from the sale of the daughter company will flow tax-free to the mother company. The daughter company has already paid corporate income tax over the value increase of the company (the profit) in the years prior to the sale. Taxing the profit again when the daughter company is being sold would mean double taxation of the profits.

Deelnemingsvrijstelling international

The deelnemingsvrijstelling gives internationally operating companies an extra advantage if the daughter company is located in a country with lower corporate income tax than the rate in the Netherlands. This means that the profit of the daughter company will be taxed at the low rate of the foreign country. Afterwards the post-tax profit can be channeled to the Dutch mother company. The amount that flows to the mother company will then NOT be taxed in the Netherlands.

Startup-advantage

In 2017 a new advantage for startups took effect. Since then the director / major shareholder (DGA) of an R&D-focused private limited liability company (BV) is allowed to only earn (pay himself) the legal minimum wage (€1551 gross per month) in the first 3 years after the start of the company. Let’s say a company makes a healthy profit and the director/shareholder decides to pay himself an extremely low salary or no salary at all and live off the dividend. He will then only have to pay the, very low, corporate income tax. To make sure everyone pays their fair share and to avoid tax avoidance, director/major-shareholders are supposed to pay out a salary to themselves of +/- €46.000. The amount paid out to the director/shareholder is taxed with the higher income tax. This is the general rule and there are many exceptions to it. You can argue at the Tax Authorities (Belastingdienst) that you do not have the means to pay out such a salary. This startup scheme can be used without first consulting the tax authority. The idea is that the company will have more money available aimed at growth. For a private company, the minimum wage is generally €46.000 gross per year (exceptions exist). The DGA can use this scheme without first consulting the tax authority. As a result, the company has more money available for business growth. The measure is aimed at a director-major shareholder (DGA) of a BV doing research and development and is part of the effort to reduce taxation on R&D.

Innovation Box: 7% tax

All the profit your BV makes with the development of innovative activities are taxed in the so-called Innovation Box. The corporate income tax tariff on those profits for 2017 is only 7%.

30%-ruling

Officially the 30% facility for incoming employees. This tax benefit gives employers the possibility to give an incoming employee from abroad to the Netherlands a tax free refund of the expenses the employee has made in making the transfer. Also, and more importantly, as an employer you can give your employee 30% of the wage including the reimbursement, completely tax free. Furthermore, for the latter you do not have to prove that you have actually made those costs. Both employer and employee have to submit an application to qualify for this facility.

Administration and tax

Administration and tax returns

A BV company has a few administrative and taxation obligations:

  • Administration. You are required to set up and maintain an organized administration and keep your books for 7 years.
  • Tax filings and returns:
    • Corporate income tax (Vpb). You are required to submit a corporate income tax filing.
    • You are required to submit a VAT return after every quarter.
    • Personal income tax. As a director-shareholder you usually have to file for income tax. Dividend tax. In some cases you will have to pay dividend dax.
  • Annual financial statements filing. Your BV has to draft and file its annual reports and accounts with the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel, KVK). The size of your company determines exactly which information you'll need to file. Legalee and its partners can arrange all administration and tax obligations for you or help you to minimize your administration effort. Please contact us for more information.

Permits and licenses

Depending on the type of business you will run, certain permits, licenses or other documentation may be required.

EORI

For trading companies that conduct import and/or export activities a EORI-number is often required. With the EORI number Customs identifies economic operators in the same way in all Member States. This yields efficiency benefits for those economic operators and customs alike. (EORI-number = Economic Operators Registration and Identification number.) You can apply for an EORI-number at the website of the Dutch Tax and Customs Authorities (Belastingdienst).

Registration for employers

If you are employing personnel for the first time, you must register as an employer with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. You will then receive the necessary forms to meet your payroll tax obligations.

Arrange contracts and other legal work

Contracts for the BV

Management-agreement

The director of a BV is also called a manager. This manager can be both a natural person, but is very often another BV company. The manager does not have a labor contract, but uses a Management Agreement. This agreement contains agreements about the duration, the reimbursement and the work to be performed. A manager does not receive a salary, but a management fee. He sends a monthly invoice to the company for this. The company does not have to withhold wage taxes from the management fee.

Current-account agreement

Even if you borrow money from your own company, or if your operating company borrows money from your holding, it is important to record this well. For example when the company needs a bridge loan and you provide this from your personal account.  But also when you have a personal bill paid by the BV. You do this with a current account agreement. The Tax Authorities only accept this if the agreements remain 'business-like', meaning that your company could also give this loan to someone else on these terms.

DGA labour contract

With an employment contract for a director (major shareholder) you determine the agreements between a director (who is also a shareholder) and the director's company. For example, the salary, the number of vacation days and much more. You can also prepare a management agreement for the director, however this is only possible if the director has a so-called holding company.

Other agreements

General terms & conditions

The Terms & Conditions (in Dutch: algemene voorwaarden) describe your company's general legal terms such as delivery and payment terms.

GDPR agreements

If your company shares personal data (and almost every company does) you will need to have your GDPR documents in order. We can help you getting this done.

Other business-specific agreements

Based on your specific type of business or industry, there may be other agreements that you should consider arranging. Find a few examples below:

  • E-commerce terms and conditions (B2B/B2C). Make sure you comply with Dutch law when operating a webshop in the Netherlands.
  • Freelance agreement (in Dutch: Opdrachtovereenkomst). If you are a contractor you will need to establish your relationship with the principal in an agreement.

Other services to consider

Financing and funding in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has one of the most developed financing infastructures in Europe. Banks are generally willing to lend out money and there are many investors and investor networks looking for investment opportunities. 

The traditional banks still play a large role in ‘fuelling’ small and medium-sized enterprise in the Netherlands. Since interest rates are  low it is a relatively cheap and accessible way to gain access to capital. Although some bank do finance on a business plan alone, it is always much easier to obtain a loan when you can guarantee for it. For example a property, house, cash or other personal assets. Your professional experience and level of education also weigh in on the decision whether or not to hand a loan to you. The main Dutch banks provide loans to businesses: ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank, Triodos.

Over the last few years we also notice a growing popularity in new ways of raising money. Crowdsourcing has increasingly become a reliable source of funding for many startups and even established businesses. Crowdfunding comes in many forms and sizes. The main types are a loan, a convertible loan, pre-sale and donation. All types have different tax implications. Find an overview of the most-used crowdfunding platforms in the Netherlands here. You can always contact our tax advisors to make sure that you pick the type of crowdfunding that suits you and your business’ needs best.

Another possibility is to get a direct investment. The Netherlands has a fairly well developed Venture Capital market with plenty of access to capital. Contact us for more information.

Business insurance in the Netherlands

You are not required to have a business insurance when operating a Dutch BV company, a selfproprietorship or any other type of company form. The BV is a limited liability company. This means that your risk is limited to what is invested in the company. However, in many cases it is still advisable to insure yourself against possible risks. Especially if you company is active in a more high-risk industry or environment. In the Netherlands you can arrange these insurance matters with a private insurer.

A few examples of private insurances:

  • company liability insurance
  • loss-of-income insurance
  • consequential loss insurance
  • professional indemnity insurance
  • export credit insurance
  • goods-in-transit insurance
  • machinery and equipment insurance
  • credit insurance
  • buildings insurance
  • legal assistance insurance
  • sick leave insurance
  • company car insurance

We have helped many international clients with their insurance needs. Please contact us if you need any assistance.

Phone number / landline

Having a Dutch phone number is not a requirement but having it will make you and your business come across as more trustworthy. Most customers prefer calling a Dutch landline number instead of a mobile phone number. Legalee partners with a VOIP provider specialized in setting up a landline phone number and redirecting it to your mobile phone number.

Visa

You do not need to be a Dutch resident or citizen to start a business here. In most cases you would like to live in the Netherlands. EU/EEA-citizens can live, work and do business in the Netherlands without any hassle. If you are from another part of the world, other rules could apply. To avoid issues, please visit the Dutch Immigration website or check out the Visa page on this website.

Website & marketing

At Legalee we have many years of experience in helping foreign entrepreneurs setting up their businesses in the Netherlands. Working with a wide array of clients from all over the world, we have acquired thorough knowledge of their wants and needs. One of the main challenges when starting up your Dutch enterprise is to get noticed online. We can help you with your online presence in the Dutch and European market. Contact us for more information.

*Compliance with Wtt. Legalee can assist in finding a solution for tax and office for their client through third parties. However, Legalee does not provide this service themselves and therefore is not part of the service of incorporation of a company in the Netherlands. These services are optional services carried out by a third party provider. Providing such services in-house would require a license according to the Wtt (Wet toezicht trustkantoren). Legalee does not possess such license since company formation is the core service of Legalee.

Why the Netherlands?

The Netherlands has a very business-friendly climate.

The World Economic Forum ranks the Netherlands as the 4th most competitive and innovative economy in the world. There are two other European countries, Switzerland and Germany, in the list. So why not choose them? The simple reasons are that Switzerland is not a member of the EU, does not use the euro currency and is one of the most expensive nations in the world. Germany generally has a very solid economy, but is less business-friendly than the Netherlands. For example: Germany has a corporate income tax rate that is over 10% higher than the Netherlands.

Beneficial tax regulations for international companies and expats

The Netherlands have one of the lowest corporate income tax rates in Europe. Let us compare some of the corporate tax rates across Europe:

CountryCorporate Income Tax Rate
Netherlands16.5 - 25%
Germany30 - 33%
United Kingdom19 - 20%
France33.33%
Belgium34%
Norway22%
Sweden21.4%
Denmark22%

Furthermore, expats are treated very friendly with tax incentives such as the 30%-ruling. Then there is the holding company-regime that makes for a flexible way to handle your profits or the sale of your business.

The Netherlands is a part of the EU

The Netherlands has always been a trading nation. Because of this our country has built up a very good relationship with most countries abroad. The Netherlands was one of the founding members of the European Union. As an international operating your business in the Netherlands you will find the many advantages of being part of this ‘family of countries’. Probably the main advantage is the so-called European Single Market. This guarantees free movement of goods, capital, services and labour within the EU countries. As a business this means that you can, for example, easily and freely import and export throughout the EU and employ nationals from other countries in the Union.

The Netherlands is a logistical hub

The ‘mainports’ of Schiphol and the international sea harbour of Rotterdam are two of the most important corridors in goods flowing through Europe. If you are an international trading company the proximity to Rotterdam can truly be an advantage. Schiphol is in the top 3 of biggest airports in the world. The airport is located only 10 minutes from Amsterdam’s city centre and offers direct flights to all continents.

Population & Workforce

The Netherlands has a well-educated population. Most Dutch citizens speak English very well. Labor laws have become increasingly flexible, which benefits potential employers.

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