Starting a Company in the Netherlands as an International Business Owner

Starting a Company in the Netherlands as an International Business Owner

Entering the Dutch market as an international entrepreneur can be a rewarding venture, thanks to the country’s favorable business environment, prime European location, and robust infrastructure. While the process of setting up a business in a foreign nation can be daunting, here’s a comprehensive guide to ease your journey, with expert assistance from Intercompany Solutions.

Choosing the right business form

One of the initial steps in establishing your business in the Netherlands is selecting the appropriate legal form. A popular choice among international entrepreneurs is the Besloten Vennootschap (BV), similar to a limited liability company (LLC) in other countries. A BV offers the advantage of limited liability, safeguarding your personal assets from business-related risks.

Registering with the chamber of commerce

Once you’ve decided on the legal structure, the next step is to register your company with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK). This can be accomplished online or by making an appointment at a KvK office. You’ll need to present valid identification and proof of address. Following registration, your business will receive a VAT number from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration, facilitating efficient tax management.

Establishing administrative and financial processes

Creating a strong administrative foundation is essential for smooth business operations. This includes setting up an effective bookkeeping system. Hiring a local accountant or bookkeeper can be immensely beneficial, as they are knowledgeable about Dutch tax laws and accounting standards, ensuring compliance and accuracy in your financial records.

Opening a Dutch business bank account is another critical step. The process may take some time since banks typically require additional documentation for foreign businesses. A local bank account simplifies transactions and helps maintain clear financial records.

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Complying with local regulations

Depending on your business activities, you may need specific permits or licenses. It’s important to check with the local municipality to understand the requirements applicable to your business. Adhering to local regulations is crucial to avoid fines or operational delays.

Finding a business location

Securing an appropriate location for your business is vital. Whether you need office space, a retail store, or a manufacturing facility, having a lease or purchase agreement in place is necessary before you can proceed with additional registrations.

Creating legal documents

Drafting detailed general terms and conditions that comply with Dutch law is essential. These documents outline your business operations and set clear expectations with customers and suppliers. Obtaining professional legal advice can ensure that your terms are both compliant and robust.

Managing insurance and risk

Protecting your business with the right insurance policies is crucial. Consider liability insurance and legal assistance insurance to safeguard against potential risks.

Securing residence and work permits

If you or your employees are non-EU citizens, obtaining residence and work permits is a vital step. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) handles these permits. Ensuring that all necessary paperwork is in order and submitted on time can help prevent delays.

Getting professional support

Starting a business in a foreign country can be complex, but professional assistance can significantly simplify the process. Intercompany Solutions specializes in helping international businesses establish themselves in the Netherlands. Their expertise covers everything from initial registration to ongoing compliance and administrative support.


Establishing a business in the Netherlands as an international entrepreneur involves navigating various regulatory, administrative, and logistical challenges. However, with careful preparation and the right support, you can lay a solid foundation for your business. For personalized advice and comprehensive assistance, contact Intercompany Solutions to ensure a smooth and successful setup of your business in the Netherlands.