Required documents & Legalization

Required Documents for BV setup

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.

There are different ways to proceed with the incorporation of a Dutch BV; this can be
done in person at the office of the notary or remotely, either from abroad or while being
in the Netherlands. In many cases it is more cost effective to do the incorporation
remotely.

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

Example: required documents for corporate shareholder

Legalisation and apostille

The holder of a document with an apostille stamp no longer needs to legalize this document by an embassy or consulate. This applies only to countries that have signed the Apostille Convention.

The apostille is stamped on the document itself or on an extension. The size of the apostille is at least 9 centimeters in the square and the inscription ‘Apostille (Convention de La Haye du 5 octobre 1961)’ must be in French. The rest of the data may be in the official language of the authority that places the apostle stamp.

If a notary declares that the person in question has indeed put his signature under a particular document, it is called single legalization. If a notary declares that a copy of a particular document indeed corresponds to the original document, it is called a certified copy.
Some agencies want to make sure that the signature of the notary under that declaration is indeed the notary’s signature and that the notary is authorized to issue the statement. Usually, the authorities abroad require this.

The statement about the notary’s competence is called apostille. The apostille is actually the legalization of the notary’s signature. In the Netherlands, these are issued by the court.
An apostille is valid only for countries that are part of the “Apostille Convention” (Convention for the abolition of the requirement of legalization of foreign public acts)

Below you will find a list of countries that have not signed the Convention. Please note that this list might not be up-to date and that there are disputes in the recognition of apostilles between some countries that have signed the convention.

To incorporate the company remotely, the documents will need to be legalised and provided with an apostille. Please refer to this Dutch government website with information on how to do this in your country.

Online legalisation / identification

Alternatively to legalisation through notaries and government institutions, it is usually also possible to perform the legalisation / identification online, for example using a video call.

BV incorporation

The BV is a limited liability company and preferred legal form for foreign entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. That is because the BV is flexible, easy and affordable to set up. On top of that, the overall tax pressure on a BV in the Netherlands is one of the lowest in Europe. Finally, your BV will shield you from personal liability of your company’s actions, debt and bankruptcy.

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