The Netherlands is a top investment destination in Europe and one of the most performant economies of the European Union which is why it attracts many foreign enterprisers who feel at home there. They benefit from incentives in emerging industries like research and development, renewable energy, financial technology and blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
No matter the field one wants to activate in, there are a few steps to be completed, from both a legal and non-legal point of view. These steps are related to the registration of the business form.
Among the non-legal procedures which are not mandatory, but optional and recommended, is choosing the type of structure. Among the types of companies preferred by foreigners is the limited liability company, shortly known as the BV in the Netherlands.
What does a foreigner need to start a BV in the Netherlands?
Foreigners have the same rights as local investors when choosing to open a company in the Netherlands. Actually, it would be fair to say that there are some tax advantages for foreign citizens moving to this country, so the state makes no difference between a local and a foreigner who wants to open a Dutch BV.
We’ve mentioned earlier some optional steps for foreign investors who decide to start any type of business in the Netherlands. These would be a market research and a viable business plan which will help them once they start. Then, the legal procedure will follow.
The legal steps to register a Dutch limited liability company
There is nothing to fear when it comes to the actual registration of the company with the competent authorities, which in the Netherlands are the Trade Register and the tax authorities. One will first need to prepare some documents and find a location to serve as a registered address or company seat. Also, a manager for the company must be appointed before registering the company.
The business owner will also want to have some company names prepared in order to submit them with the Trade Register. Out of the two or three names, one will be approved as the company’s trade name.
The first stop will be at a public notary’s office where the incorporation documents of the company will be drafted and notarized. These must be drafted in Dutch.
The business name reservation, together with the incorporation documents and passport copies will be filed with the Companies Register for approval. Once they are approved, the company will be issued a certificate of incorporate and a unique number called a registration number.
Additional requirements after registering the company
The business registration process does not stop once the company has its registration number, as there are a few more steps to complete. We mentioned the tax authorities earlier, so the next stop should be there in order to obtain the tax and VAT registration numbers. Based on these, the company will be ready to engage into commercial activities.
An important aspect which should be considered when starting a business in the Netherlands is the license to operate. The procedure here will differ from one activity to another. There are various requirements and specific documents which must be filed for approval with the authority in charge of the respective field. Luckily, most of these procedures are completed online.
Setting up a Dutch BV is not complicated thanks to the government which has streamlined the procedures and documents as much as possible. The authorities here also do a very good job, as most of the process is completed online, so a foreigner can have this type of company registered in almost a week.