Setting up a business in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a country with a well developed economy. Favourable conditions of the business environment attract foreign investors. In addition, it offers numerous tax incentives, particularly for starting a business.

Not complicated rules for obtaining permit for start-up and removing special requirements for self-employed persons in craft professions are also features of the Dutch market.  For these reasons, the Netherlands is one of the most competitive countries in the European Union to pursue an economic activity.

Entrepreneurs from Poland in the same way as other foreign investors can benefit in the Netherlands from the full freedom to conduct business

Types of firms in the Netherlands:

  • sole tradership
  • registered partnership
  • limited liability company
  • joint-stock company
  • limited partnership
  • registered partnership

Less common are:

  • European company
  • European Economic Interest Grouping  
  • European Cooperative Company

Other types include:  association, foundation,  a subsidiary or a branch.

In the Dutch legislation it is not required from EU citizens to obtain business licenses for running economic activity and restrictions with regard to its type, if any, concern both foreigners and Dutch.  The undertaking must be notified to the commercial register maintained by the regional Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel kvk) within seven days prior to the date of starting activities. Exempted from this obligation are liberal professionals, salesmen, entrepreneurs operating in the agriculture and fisheries sectors and entrepreneurs operating in the public utility sector. After registration the entrepreneur receives a registration number (handelsregisternummer) which is needed to identify the company and represents the equivalent of Polish REGON (company registration numer).  In the case of certain activities, the recognition of qualifications is required which can be checked in the Dutch Centre for Credential Evaluation.  The final step is the registration for the purposes of social insurance in the UWV (equivalent of Polish ZUS) and obtaining a number of the contribution payer.  In addition, it needs to be checked whether the company's activities are not subject to mandatory additional authorisations e.g. to build.  In the case of limited liability companies it is required to prepare a notarial deed of incorporation  that contains  an agreement and the Articles of Association.  However, in the case of other companies it is enough to draw up a civil contract.  All companies in the Netherlands are obliged to set up the company's bank account.

As an entrepreneur from Poland you can temporarily provide services in the Netherland without having to set up an economic activity. More information on temporary, cross-border provision of services in EU countries  can be found here.

Useful links

Further information can be found at the following addresses:

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