Start a Logistics Business in the Netherlands: Complete Procedure

This article is about how to start a logistics business in the Netherlands. Read the complete guide to know more in depth about procedure and advantages.

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Start a logistics Business in the netherlands

Do you have a strong interest in the logistics sector and are you an aspiring entrepreneur? If you’re looking to set up a logistics business in the Netherlands, you’re on the right track. The Netherlands is a prime location for logistics because of its advantageous location, strong infrastructure, and business-friendly environment. This article will walk you through the entire process of launching a logistics company in the Netherlands, including the necessary conditions and rewards for taking on this venture.

Why Start a Logistics Business in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands, often called the “Gateway to Europe,” is renowned for its logistical prowess. It boasts world-class ports, efficient rail and road networks, and proximity to key European markets. This advantageous geographic location and infrastructure make it a top location for logistics firms. 

You should think about launching your logistics company in the Netherlands for the following convincing reasons:

Strategic Location

The Netherlands is located in the center of the continent of Europe. It acts as a central hub for transportation and trade, making it a pivotal connection point for businesses looking to reach European markets. From here, you have easy access to Belgium, France, Germany, and other European nations.

Well-Established Infrastructure

The Netherlands is known for its state-of-the-art infrastructure. The country boasts advanced seaports, and modern airports, with a vast network of roads and trains. These immaculate facilities guarantee the seamless and effective operation of your logistics company.

Business-Friendly Environment

The Dutch government is known for its support of businesses and entrepreneurship. It offers various incentives and tax breaks to encourage foreign investments. These incentives can significantly reduce the initial setup and operational costs of your logistics business.

Skilled Workforce

The Netherlands has a bilingual and well-skilled workforce, making it easier for you to recruit talented professionals to help your business thrive. Effective communication is key in the logistics industry, and the Netherlands has you covered in this regard.

Access to Innovation

The Netherlands is home to numerous innovative solutions in the logistics sector. It has a thriving ecosystem for tech startups and established companies that focus on logistics and supply chain management. This setting can provide your company with cutting-edge resources and solutions to help it remain competitive.

Requirements to Start a Logistics Business in the Netherlands

Before you dive into the logistics industry in the Netherlands, you must fulfill specific prerequisites and complete specific steps.

Here’s a breakdown of the essentials:

  • Legal Structure: The first step is to decide on the legal framework of your company. In the Netherlands, you can choose between various options, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, private limited company (BV), or public limited company (NV). Your decision will be influenced by things like long-term objectives, taxes, and liabilities.
  • Business Registration: You have to register your business with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel or KvK). This is a necessary action to guarantee that your logistics business operates legally in the country. The KvK will provide you with a unique registration number, which is essential for your business transactions.
  • Permits and Licenses: The logistics industry in the Netherlands is heavily regulated. You could require particular licenses and permits based on the type of business you operate. For example, you will need extra licenses if you intend to carry dangerous materials. Make sure you are aware of and abide by all applicable laws.
  • Business Plan: An extensive business plan is an essential part of your logistics business setup. It includes your financial estimates, strategy, and goals. A well-structured business plan is not only useful for your guidance but also for attracting potential investors and partners.
  • Financial Resources: Starting a logistics business requires a significant financial investment. You’ll need capital to purchase or lease vehicles, hire staff, secure warehouse space, and cover operating expenses. A well-defined financial strategy is necessary to ensure funding from banks or investors.

Steps to Start Your Logistics Business in the Netherlands

Once you have fulfilled the initial requirements, it’s time to move forward with the practical steps to start your logistics business in the Netherlands:

Market Research

Perform in-depth market research to comprehend the demand for logistics services in the Netherlands.

Identify your target market, competitors, and potential niches within the industry.

Business Plan

Make a thorough business plan that details your company’s strategy, goals, financial projections, and growth strategies. Define your unique selling proposition (USP) and pricing structure.

Location and Facilities

Choose a suitable location for your logistics operation, considering factors like proximity to major ports, highways, and transport hubs. Set up your warehousing and office facilities as needed.

Legal Structure and Registration

Select a business entity for your enterprise, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or Dutch BV (Besloten Vennootschap). Register your business with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel or KvK).

Permits and Licenses

Check with local authorities and relevant agencies to ascertain whether your shipping company needs any particular licenses or permits.

Documents requirements to Start a logistics business in the Netherlands

  • Legal Structure Documents: Depending on your chosen legal structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, private limited company or BV, public limited company, or NV), you’ll need the relevant incorporation documents. These may include articles of association and shareholder agreements for BV or NV structures.
  • Business Registration: Registration with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel or KvK) is mandatory. You’ll receive a unique registration number, which is essential for business transactions.
  • Permits and Licenses: Depending on your logistics company’s operations, you might require particular licenses and permits, such as transport permits or permits for handling hazardous goods. These permits demonstrate your compliance with Dutch regulations.
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN): You’ll need a Dutch tax identification number, known as a BSN (Burgerservicenummer), for both yourself and any employees. This number is crucial for taxation reasons and identification.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) Registration: If your logistics business exceeds specific turnover thresholds, you’ll need to register for VAT with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst). VAT is a crucial component of doing business in the Netherlands.
  • Financial Records: Maintain accurate financial records, including income statements, balance sheets, and transaction records. Tax reporting and financial management depend on accurate bookkeeping.
  • Lease or Rental Agreements: If you rent warehouse space or office facilities, maintain lease or rental agreements. These documents should specify terms, rent, and any responsibilities related to the property.
  • Bank Account: To handle your money and transactions, establish a Dutch business bank account. Most business operations, including receiving payments and paying expenses, will require a business bank account.
  • Employment Records: Make sure that all of your workers’ records, particularly their agreements, payroll information, and private data, are accurate and updated. This information is crucial for tax and labor law compliance.


Starting a logistics business in the Netherlands offers a multitude of benefits, including its strategic location, well-established infrastructure, and business-friendly environment. While the requirements and steps may seem daunting, partnering with OnDemand International can streamline the process and help you establish your business with confidence. With the right strategy and support, you can make your mark in the thriving logistics industry of the Netherlands.


No, Dutch citizenship is not required. The Netherlands is open to foreign entrepreneurs, and you can start your logistics business as a non-resident.

There is no fixed minimum capital requirement for logistics businesses in the Netherlands. Your unique business plan and financial projections will determine the amount of financing you require.

The business registration process typically takes a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on your specific circumstances and the completeness of your application.

Yes, the Dutch government offers various tax incentives and deductions for businesses, including logistics companies. These can significantly reduce your tax burden.