Dutch BV vs Dutch CV: Comparison

Here, we will be discussing about Dutch BV vs Dutch CV and cover the features, advantages as well as drawbacks of setting up a Dutch BV vs Dutch CV.


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    dutch bv vs dutch cv


    The Netherlands is a vibrant centre for global business. With its advantageous location, steady economy, and business-friendly atmosphere, it’s understandable why so many international investors and entrepreneurs want to make a name for themselves in this vibrant country. But, picking the best legal structure for your firm is an important step to take before you set up a business in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, there are numerous types of businesses that can be established such as Dutch BV (Besloten Vennootschap) and Dutch CV (Commanditaire Vennootschap). 

    In this article, we will be covering the key differences between Dutch BV vs Dutch CV and will further cover their advantages, features and drawbacks.

    What is a Dutch BV (Besloten Vennootschap)?

    A Besloten Vennootschap, the Dutch equivalent of a private limited company, is the most popular legal form for businesses in the Netherlands. It’s a separate legal entity from its owners (shareholders) and offers several key features and characteristics:

    • Limited Liability: Shareholders’ personal assets are protected, meaning they are only liable for their investment in the company. This shields them from personal responsibility for the company’s debts.
    • Share Capital: The capital of the business is split up into shares, each of which can be owned by a person or a company.
    • Management Structure: A board of directors chosen by the shareholders oversees BVs. Generally speaking, shareholders have the ability to vote and participate in significant decision-making processes.
    • Minimum Capital Requirement: A minimum capital requirement of €1 is required to form a BV in the Netherlands.

    Advantages of Forming a Dutch BV

    • Limited Liability: This is an important benefit, particularly for companies that can face financial problems.
    • Flexibility: The BV structure allows for flexible ownership and management structures, catering to various business models.
    • Credibility: BVs are viewed as reputable and professional business entities, fostering trust and confidence among stakeholders.
    • Tax Efficiency: BVs benefit from the Netherlands’ corporate tax regime, which offers competitive rates and tax treaties with several countries.

    Potential Drawbacks of a BV

    • Administrative Burden: BVs are subject to stricter administrative and regulatory requirements compared to CVs. This covers following corporate governance guidelines, filing yearly reports, and conducting audits (for bigger organizations).
    • Double Taxation: Profits distributed to shareholders as dividends are subject to both corporate income tax and personal income tax (dividend tax) for shareholders, leading to potential double taxation.

    What is a Dutch CV (Commanditaire Vennootschap)?

    A Commanditaire Vennootschap, or limited partnership, is another common legal structure in the Netherlands.

    It involves two types of partners:

    General Partner(s) 

    These individuals bear limitless personal accountability for the debts and liabilities of the corporation, along with complete management and control responsibilities.

    Limited Partner(s)

    They risk just their investment in the CV and provide capital, but they are not involved in management and have limited liability.

    Key Features and Characteristics of a CV

    • Partnership Agreement: A formal agreement specifies the rights, duties, as well as profit-sharing plans between partners.
    • Management and Control: General partners manage the CV and hold full legal responsibility.
    • No Minimum Capital: There’s no minimum capital requirement to form a CV.

    Advantages of Forming a CV

    • Flexibility: When it comes to profit-sharing and partnership arrangements, CVs provide more flexibility.
    • Limited Liability: Limited partners are not directly responsible for the debts of the CV.
    • Tax Transparency: Depending on a person’s unique tax situation, the “fiscally transparent” aspect of CVs may be helpful in some cases.

    Potential Drawbacks of a CV

    • Flexibility: When it comes to profit-sharing and partnership arrangements, CVs provide more flexibility.
    • Limited Liability: Limited partners are not subject to personal liability for the debts incurred by the CV.
    • Tax Transparency: Depending on a person’s unique tax situation, the “fiscally transparent” aspect of CVs may be helpful in some cases.

    Comparison of Dutch BV vs Dutch CV

    FeatureDutch BV (Besloten Vennootschap)Dutch CV (Commanditaire Vennootschap)
    LiabilityLimited liability for shareholdersLimited liability for limited partners, unlimited liability for general partners
    Management & ControlOverseen by board of directorsManaged by general partners
    TaxationCorporate income tax on company profits, dividend tax on distributions to shareholdersNo corporate income tax, partners report their share of profits


    As foreign entrepreneurs and investors explore opportunities in the Netherlands, understanding the distinctions between Dutch BV and Dutch CV is crucial for setting up a successful business venture. Whether you opt for the limited liability protection of a Dutch BV or the tax efficiency of a Dutch CV, navigating the Dutch business landscape requires expertise and guidance. OnDemand International offers comprehensive support for company formation and business registration services in the Netherlands, ensuring a seamless and efficient process. Contact our experts today to set up and grow your business in the Netherlands.


    Yes, foreign nationals can own and operate both Dutch BVs and Dutch CVs. There are no restrictions on ownership based on nationality.

    Both Dutch BVs and Dutch CVs need to be registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK). Additionally, Dutch BVs require a notarial deed of incorporation.

    Generally, Dutch BVs and Dutch CVs can engage in various business activities, subject to compliance with Dutch laws and regulations.

    Dutch BVs and Dutch CVs must comply with annual reporting, tax filing, and other regulatory obligations as mandated by Dutch law.