Launching your business in the Netherlands as a foreign entrepreneur

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The Netherlands is a fantastic place to start a business, offering a vibrant economic environment, a strategic location in Europe, and exceptional infrastructure. However, establishing a business in The Netherlands comes with its own set of challenges.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you successfully launch your business in the Netherlands, with professional guidance from Intercompany Solutions.

Selecting the legal structure

Choosing the right legal structure is a critical first step. Many international entrepreneurs opt for a Besloten Vennootschap (BV), similar to a limited liability company (LLC) in other countries.

This structure provides limited liability, which means your personal assets are protected from business liabilities.

Registering your company

Once you’ve decided on the business structure, you need to register your company with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK). This can be done online or by making an appointment at a KvK office. You will need to provide identification and proof of address.

Upon registration, your business will automatically receive a VAT number from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration, which is essential for managing your taxes.

Setting up financial and administrative systems

A strong administrative foundation is essential for smooth operations. This includes establishing a reliable bookkeeping system. Hiring a local accountant can be extremely beneficial, as they are familiar with Dutch tax laws and accounting standards, ensuring compliance and accuracy in your financial records.

Additionally, opening a Dutch business bank account is crucial. This process can take some time since banks often require extensive documentation for foreign businesses. A local bank account will simplify your transactions and help maintain clear financial records.

Understanding regulatory requirements

Depending on your business activities, you may need specific permits or licenses. It’s important to consult the local municipality to understand what is required for your business. Complying with local regulations is crucial to avoid fines or operational interruptions.

Finding your business location

Securing the right location for your business is vital. Whether you need office space, a retail store, or a manufacturing facility, having a lease or purchase agreement is necessary before you can proceed with other steps. The location can significantly impact your business operations and customer accessibility.

Drafting necessary legal documents

Creating comprehensive general terms and conditions that comply with Dutch law is another important step. These documents outline your business operations and set clear expectations with customers and suppliers.

Obtaining professional legal advice can ensure that your documents are thorough and compliant with local laws.

Ensuring proper insurance coverage

Obtaining the right insurance policies is essential to protect your business. Consider policies such as liability insurance and legal assistance insurance to safeguard against potential risks. This step is crucial to mitigate any unforeseen circumstances that could impact your business.

Applying for residence and work permits

For non-EU citizens, obtaining residence and work permits is essential. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) manages these permits. Ensuring that all necessary paperwork is complete and submitted on time can help prevent delays and ensure you can legally operate your business.

Utilizing expert assistance

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


Launching a business in the Netherlands as a foreign entrepreneur involves navigating various regulatory, administrative, and logistical challenges. However, with careful planning and the right support, you can build a strong foundation for your venture.

For personalized advice and comprehensive assistance, reach out to Intercompany Solutions to ensure a smooth and successful business setup in the Netherlands.

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