Steps for Setting Up a Company in the Netherlands

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For many people, the idea of setting up a new company in your own country is daunting, let alone in a foreign country. In actual fact, establishing a business in the Netherlands is not a challenging one and can often be completed in just a few weeks.

For those who are really concerned, here are the steps that should be followed:

Pre-incorporation

The company structure in the Netherlands

  1. Defining your business: You need to have a clear understanding of what your business will be and if there are any obligations for a license. Once your company name has been decided, you should check to see if it’s available. You will also need to be aware of any share capital requirements.
  2. Corporate structure: There should be a list of the directors (even if it’s just yourself) with a description of their backgrounds. Details of the memorandum and articles of incorporation will be required, a will any amendments to the legally established corporate template. It must be clear at this stage the ownership distribution between shareholders.
  3. Reserving your name: To reserve a company name you will need to carry out a name search with the local city Chamber of Commerce. An application must be submitted because without the name reservation, you won’t be able to continue with the incorporation process in the Netherlands.

Incorporation steps

  1. The necessary documentation: You will need a company deed of incorporation and director and shareholder consent forms. All of your necessary documents will have to be signed in front of a notary, public in person or via a power of attorney if you aren’t planning to be in the Netherlands in person.
  2. Company setup application: You should by name have all of the necessary documents, so its time to add the completed Form 8. The set of documents to formally incorporate your company is submitted to the Chamber of Commerce. From here it will take an average of 5 working days with a government fee of at least 120.29€.

Tax and employer registration

  1. Tax and VAT: A trip to the local tax authority will allow you to submit your tax and VAT application. This is possibly the most time-consuming part of the process and could take anywhere from 4 to 6 business weeks.
  2. Employer registration: If you intend to employ people you will need to apply for employer registration. It requires another trip to the local tax authority, or it can be done at the same time as the tax registration.

Post-incorporation

  1. Opening a corporate bank account: It is worth choosing a well-established, reputable Dutch bank. Today, it is essential to make sure you have online banking set up too. Once the account is opened, you will be able to transfer the necessary share capital.

Applying for work permits and licenses

  1. Work permit: In some situations, you will need to apply for a work permit for your employees. The application must be submitted to the Immigration and naturalization office and can take at least 8 weeks to process.
  2. Business licenses: Certain business activities will require a license. In this case, you will need to have a quality feasibility study prepared and a complete license application needs to be filed with the corresponding licensing authority in the Netherlands.