How to start a business in the Netherlands


Are you thinking about starting a business in the Netherlands? If so, you’re not alone. The Netherlands is an attractive destination for entrepreneurs, thanks to its favorable business environment, highly skilled workforce, and good infrastructure.

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However, starting a business in the Netherlands can also be challenging. Difficulties in finding the right employees and red tape and bureaucracy are just some of the hurdles you may face.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the process of starting a business in the Netherlands, as well as the benefits and challenges involved. By the end, you should have a better idea of whether starting a business in the Netherlands is right for you.

The process of starting a business in the Netherlands.

Company formation

The first step in starting a business in the Netherlands is to form a company. The most common type of company is the BV, or Besloten Vennootschap (private limited liability company). To form a BV, you must have at least one shareholder and one director, and you must draft articles of incorporation and submit them to the Dutch Trade Register.

Once your company is registered, you will need to obtain a business permit from the municipality where your business is located. You can do this by submitting an application, which must be accompanied by certain documents such as your articles of incorporation and proof of payment of the registration fee.Obtaining the necessary permits and licenses

Depending on the type of business you want to start, you may need to obtain additional permits and licenses from the Dutch government. For example, if you want to open a restaurant, you will need to obtain a food safety license from the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA). If you plan to import or export goods, you will need to register with the Chamber of Commerce and get an export license from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.Registering with the Chamber of Commerce

All businesses in the Netherlands are required to register with the Chamber of Commerce (KvK). This can be done online through the KvK website. You will need to provide some basic information about your company, such as your company name, address, and contact details. You will also be required to pay a registration fee. Once you have registered with the KvK, you will be given a Chamber of Commerce number (KvK number), which must be stated on all official correspondence from your company.Finding the right business location

One of the most important decisions you will make when starting a business in the Netherlands is finding the right location for your business. There are many factors to consider when choosing a location, such as whether there is sufficient customer footfall, whether there is adequate parking or public transport access, and whether the rent is affordable. It is advisable to visit potential locations in person before making a decision.Hiring employees

If you plan to hire employees for your new business in the Netherlands, there are some things you need to know about Dutch employment law. For example, all employees must have a written contract of employment that states their salary, working hours, and holiday entitlement; and employers are required by law to provide certain benefits such as health insurance and pension contributions.

To find employees, you can use online job boards such as Indeed or Monster, or you can use recruitment agencies. You can also contact Dutch universities and ask if they have any students who are interested in doing an internship at your company.

The benefits of starting a business in the Netherlands.

Favorable business environment

The Netherlands is consistently ranked as one of the best countries in the world to do business. The World Bank’s “Doing Business” report ranks the Netherlands 4th out of 190 economies for ease of starting a business. According to the OECD, the Netherlands is also one of the most innovation-friendly countries in the world, with a well-developed infrastructure and a favourable tax regime for businesses.Highly skilled workforce

One of the main advantages of doing business in the Netherlands is access to a highly skilled and educated workforce. Over 40% of the Dutch population has completed tertiary education, making it one of the most educated countries in the world. Moreover, the majority of Dutch citizens are fluent in English, which makes it easier for international businesses to communicate with their employees and customers.Good infrastructure

The Netherlands has an excellent infrastructure, with a dense network of roads, railways and waterways connecting all parts of the country. The port of Rotterdam is one of the busiest ports in Europe and Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport is a major hub for air traffic, with direct flights to destinations all over the world.

The challenges of starting a business in the Netherlands.

Difficulties in finding the right employees

The Dutch labor market is relatively small and tight, making it difficult to find the right employees. The unemployment rate is low, and there are few immigrants coming to the Netherlands to work. This means that businesses have to compete with each other for a limited pool of workers.Red tape and bureaucracy

Starting a business in the Netherlands can be a bureaucratic nightmare. There are many rules and regulations that need to be followed, and the process can be very time-consuming. You will need to deal with a lot of paperwork, and it can be difficult to get everything done on time.


If you’re thinking of starting a business in the Netherlands, there are a few things you need to know. The process of setting up a company is relatively straightforward, but there are some important steps you need to take. Once you’ve got your business up and running, you can take advantage of the many benefits the Netherlands has to offer businesses. But be aware that there are also some challenges you may face.

Overall, the Netherlands is a great place to do business. The favorable business environment, skilled workforce and good infrastructure make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs. However, finding the right employees can be difficult and bureaucracy can be a challenge.

If you’re considering starting a business in the Netherlands, keep these points in mind. With careful planning and execution, your Dutch business can be a success.

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