- For the entrepreneur as an individual and as an investor, incorporating a company as a foreigner in the Netherlands offers several benefits, and the procedure is rather straightforward. All you need to undertake this is to have an actual business location in the Netherlands and a business address. One of the business-friendliest nations in Europe is the Netherlands. Due to a taxation system that benefits those who choose to relocate to the Netherlands and become residents, as well as a competitive and efficient business environment, starting a business, there can be a good option for both people with small ideas and those who have plans for large operations, as well as foreign enterprises looking to expand their operations.
- The Netherlands government highly values foreign direct investments and has provided foreign investors with a business-friendly environment in the Netherlands. The nation lays out numerous attractive benefits to facilitate and ease the integration of international business owners into the country’s economy. Prior to starting a business in the Netherlands, while it is necessary to register company in the Netherlands first, you should also develop a deeper understanding of if foreigners can form a company in the Netherlands.
- Hence, you should be aware that you will have the same rights as any other local investor if you want to incorporate a company in the Netherlands as a foreigner. Yet, there is one more step you must do if you wish to live there which is to secure relevant permits/business visas. In this article, our team of business setup experts has outlined the step-by-step guide on Netherlands company incorporation along with insights on relevant options available for business visas/permits for foreign entrepreneurs looking to start a company in the Netherlands.
A step-by-step guide to Netherlands company incorporation for foreign entrepreneurs
Step 1: Choosing a Legal Entity When Setting up a Dutch Company as a Foreigner
- When starting a business in the Netherlands as a foreigner, choosing the correct business structure is critical. The private limited liability company, often known as the Dutch BV, is a great option for any size or type of operation and is used by both local and foreign investors.
- The criteria for forming such a legal business are quite flexible, allowing you to remain the sole shareholder and director while benefiting from an attractive taxation system, particularly if you want to work for the government and take advantage of the available tax exemptions.
- Even though there are no restrictions and residency requirements for the directors of a Dutch BV however it is preferable to have a resident director positioned in the Netherlands entity in order to comply with the substance requirements and take advantage of the tax exemptions scheme (available based on the business activity). Tetra Consultants team can assist with the provision of nominee director services who will not be actively involved in the decision-making of your business and will have established contacts within the government authorities such as the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration in case the representation of your entity is required during the tax registration.
Step 2: Obtain a residence permit
- You do not need to travel to the Netherlands to properly incorporate your company. Tetra Consultants recommends using a power of attorney so the entire procedure may be completed remotely.
- In case foreign entrepreneurs decide to move to the Netherlands for conducting business operations they have a variety of residency possibilities. While EU and EEA citizens can travel and settle in the Netherlands without being requested to apply for a residence permit, non-EU and non-EEA citizens must apply for work and residence permits. Hence, if you want to start a company in the Netherlands as a foreigner you have the following advantageous options:
- Self-employed entrepreneur permit: This scheme enables a third-country national to receive a temporary residence visa in order to establish an “innovative business.” To acquire admittance into the Netherlands, the third-country citizen must comply with qualifying regulatory requirements with respect to personal experience, business strategy, and contribution to the national economy.
- Startup visa: The Dutch startup visa system allows ambitious entrepreneurs from countries other than the EU, EEA, or Switzerland to apply for a short residence permit in the Netherlands. It allows entrepreneurs one year to start their new company.
- Regardless of the option you choose, our Dutch business formation experts can assist you in establishing residency in the Netherlands and take advantage of the government’s benefits.
Step 3: Choose a business name
- In order to proceed with the company registration in the Netherlands, you need to have a company name registered with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK). You need to ensure that the company name opted should be unique and distinctive and most importantly it should signify the business activity of your entity.
- Tetra Consultants team will assist with the preliminary check for the availability and reservation of the company name with the Dutch regulatory authorities.
Step 4: Fulfilling minimum requirements and preparation of incorporation documents
- To register your company in the Dutch Commercial Register, you need to have a local agent and a Dutch legal registered address. Tetra Consultants can provide you with a local registered office address and require or help arrange for the draft of the lease agreement for suitable office space per the company’s requirements.
- A typical Dutch BV does not have a minimum capital requirement however it is suggested to invest a minimal amount of €0.01 to demonstrate the true intention of doing business in the nation.
- Once the above things are in place, you can proceed with the preparation of incorporation documents including Articles of incorporation, business plan, and other relevant policies/ documents specific to the business operation.
- The documents prepared are required to be additionally notarized by the local public notary. Tetra Consultants can take due care of the preparation and notarization of incorporation documents. We additionally assist with the translation of documents in case they are required to be drafted in the local language.
Step 5: Company registration
- Once the aforementioned steps are completed, you can proceed to register a company with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KvK – Kamer van Koophandel), which will enter it in the Dutch Trade Register. The process to register a company in the Netherlands can be an overwhelming process especially if you are doing it by yourself. Hence it is always advised to enlist the help of a professional. The documents required to register the company online through KvK can be as followed:
- A completed and duly signed company application form
- Valid Identification documents (Notarized copy of passport, residence permit, or Dutch driving license) of all the shareholders and directors of the entity
- Corporate documents (Certificate of incorporation or memorandum and articles of incorporation) in case the shareholder is a legal entity
- Information concerning the business address and contact details (including the lease agreement)
- Once you register you will be given a unique business number, known as the KvK number, which you will need to use on all invoices and outgoing posts for your new business.
Step 7: Corporate bank account opening
- The next step is to determine the financial administration of your business. It is always a good notion to maintain a separate business account for your newly registered entity.
- Tetra Consultants is proficient with providing corporate bank account opening services. You can leverage our vast banking network with local or internationally reputable banks.
- Tetra Consultants will complete the incorporation process within a period of 3 weeks upon engagement. Within a period of 4 weeks, after the company registration is completed, we will open a corporate bank account with a reputable bank. All in all, the process should be completed within a period of 7 weeks.
- The total engagement fee depends on the services you require from Tetra Consultants. This fee includes the incorporation costs of your business, which depend on multiple factors including the choice of business entity, your business activity, and more.
- Navigating the country of the Netherlands’ complex business climate as an entrepreneur planning to register a company in the nation might be a challenging process – a hassle to say the least. As such, Tetra Consultants hopes that this article has provided you with a much better understanding of the business culture of the Netherlands so that you can truly decide whether you should do so yourself. So, what are you waiting for?
- Contact us to find out more about the Netherlands company incorporation, and our dedicated and experienced team will respond within the next 24 hours.
- Tetra Consultants will not only empower you by helping to navigate the different regulations of the Netherlands but also aid in facilitating the registration of your company there while providing invaluable, nuanced insights into any potential challenges.