Checklist For Starting A Business In The Netherlands In 2024

Ready to start your business in the Netherlands? Here, we will be covering the checklist for starting a business in the Netherlands. Reach out to our expert team for seamless company formation today.


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    checklist for starting a business in the netherlands


    Are you a driven businessperson interested in the exciting prospects in the Netherlands? Establishing a company in this vibrant centre of Europe can be profitable, but it also involves careful preparation and compliance with regulations. There is no shortage of chances in the Netherlands for foreign investors and entrepreneurs. This progressive nation is the perfect starting point for European expansion since it has a highly qualified workforce, a stable political environment, and a prime location in the centre of Europe.

    This checklist will walk you through all the necessary stages to successfully launch your business in the Netherlands.

    Why Choose the Netherlands for Your Business?

    Before diving into the checklist, let’s explore why the Netherlands is an ideal destination for your entrepreneurial aspirations.

    Strategic Location:

    The Netherlands has unparalleled access to major markets both inside and outside of the EU because of its strategic location at the intersection of Europe. Due to its favourable location, it serves as a gateway for global investment and trade.

    Business-Friendly Climate: 

    The Netherlands has a climate that is conducive to business, due to its strong infrastructure, open legal system, and encouraging government policies. Its ease of doing business frequently earns it strong rankings in global business indices.

    Innovation and Talent:

    The Netherlands encourages innovation and entrepreneurship since it is home to a wide range of highly qualified people and prestigious research institutes. The nation fosters a robust company growth ecosystem that includes everything from tech companies to creative sectors.

    Checklist for Starting a Business in the Netherlands

    1. Business Plan

    Business Idea & Market Research

    Every venture begins with a spark of inspiration. Thoroughly research your business idea, ensuring it caters to a viable market gap in the Netherlands. Analyze competitor strategies and identify potential niches.

    Write a Business Plan

    A well-written business strategy is your road map to success in the expanding Dutch market. Your objectives, target audience, marketing plan, financial forecasts, and operating schedule should all be included in your business plan.

    2.  Selecting the Corporate Structure

    Choose a Trade Name: 

    Select a catchy and memorable trade name that accurately reflects your brand identity.  Ensure it adheres to Dutch naming conventions and check availability at the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel, KVK).

    Select a Legal Business Structure:  

    There are several business structures available in the Netherlands, each with pros and cons of their own.

    • Eenmanszaak (Sole Proprietorship): The simplest structure, suitable for low-risk businesses. The owner bears full personal liability.
    • Vennootschap Onder Firma (VOF) – General Partnership: Similar to an Eenmanszaak, but with multiple owners who share profits and losses.
    • Besloten Vennootschap (BV) – Private Limited Company: The most common structure for foreign investors is to set up a Dutch Besloten Vennootschap. It offers limited liability for its shareholders.
    • Naamloze Vennootschap (NV) – Public Limited Company: More complex than a BV, with stricter regulations. Suitable for large companies seeking public listing.

    3. Business Registration and Tax Registration

    Register with the Dutch Business Register (Handelsregister): 

    Registration with the Chamber of Commerce grants you a KvK number, essential for operating legally. It also facilitates tax registration and establishing a business bank account.

    Registering for VAT (Value Added Tax): 

    Businesses exceeding a specific annual turnover threshold must register for VAT. The KVK will forward your information to the Dutch Tax Administration (Belastingdienst) for VAT registration.

    Keep Business Records: 

    Maintain meticulous financial records as per Dutch regulations. This covers financial statements, payroll data, invoices, as well as receipts.

    4. Permits & Licenses:

    Examine Legal Requirements

    The licenses or permits you need to operate may vary depending on your sector. Look into the relevant governmental agencies that are in charge of granting these licenses.

    Checklist for Starting a Business in Specific Industries:

    • Food & Beverage: Comply with hygiene regulations set by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).
    • Financial Services: Obtain a license from the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM).
    • Healthcare: Register with the BIG register, managed by the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa).

    5.  Additional Considerations:

    • Opening a Business Bank Account: Having a specific business bank account in the Netherlands is necessary for handling the funds of your firm.
    • Business Insurance: Consider appropriate insurance coverage to mitigate potential risks.
    • Finding Office Space: While a physical office is not mandatory, a well-located space can enhance your professional image.


    Launching your own company in the Netherlands is an exciting and potentially lucrative endeavour. You may confidently and clearly manage the complexities of launching a business by adhering to this exhaustive checklist. Recall that a strategic approach, careful planning, and compliance with the law are essential for success.

    If you’re ready to move forward and establish your business in the Netherlands, OnDemand International is prepared to assist you at every stage. We offer complete, need-specific solutions, ranging from company formation to extra business registration services like obtaining bank accounts and virtual office space. Get in touch with OnDemand International today and open the doors to successful entrepreneurship in the Netherlands.


    Citizens from EU/EEA countries do not require a residence permit. However, non-EU/EEA citizens may need a work permit or a startup visa.

    The business tax rate in the Netherlands is 25% on profits exceeding €200,000. A lower rate of 15% applies to profits under €200,000.

    While having a physical presence is not mandatory, it may be beneficial for certain business activities. Nevertheless, if a physical office location is not required, there are virtual office alternatives that can offer a business address.