Setting Up an Association in the Netherlands: Procedure, Costs & Taxes

In this thorough guide, we'll lead you through the necessary steps for setting up an association in the Netherlands. Additionally, we will cover the documents, costs, and tax implications associated with forming an association in the Netherlands.


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    setting up an association in the netherlands


    Embarking on the journey of setting up an association in the Netherlands is a strategic move that requires careful consideration and thorough planning. This thriving hub of Europe is a desirable location for entrepreneurs seeking to form organizations since it provides a good business climate. 

    In this thorough article, we’ll lead you through the necessary steps for setting up an association in the Netherlands. Additionally, we will cover the documents, costs, and tax implications associated with forming an association in the Netherlands. Whether you’re a local or an international entrepreneur, comprehending the complexities of the procedure is essential to a smooth establishment.

    What is an Association?

    An association, known as “vereniging” in Dutch, is a legal entity formed by individuals with a common goal, interest, or purpose. This can range from cultural, educational, or social objectives. Unlike a company, associations are typically non-profit entities and their primary focus is on achieving their mission rather than generating profits for their members.

    How to Set Up an Association in the Netherlands?

    Setting up an association in the Netherlands involves several steps.

    Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through the process:

    1. Define the Purpose and Structure:

    Clearly state the goal and organizational structure of your association before starting the formalities. This includes outlining the goals, activities, and internal governance structure.

    2. Choose a Name:

    Choose a distinctive and appropriate name for your organization. Make sure it complies with Dutch naming guidelines and isn’t already being used by another organization. Once the name has been selected, you must register the chosen name with the relevant authorities.

    3. Prepare the Articles of Association:

    The Articles of Association outline the rules and regulations governing your association. This document must cover details such as the association’s name, purpose, membership criteria, decision-making processes, and more.

    4. Hold a Founding Meeting:

    Conduct a founding meeting with your members to officially adopt the Articles of Association, appoint board members, and discuss other crucial matters.

    5. Register with the Chamber of Commerce:

    To gain legal recognition, register your association with the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel). This step involves submitting the Articles of Association and other required documents.

    6. Obtain an RSIN Number:

    Request a Rechtspersonen en Samenwerkingsverbanden Identificatie Nummer (RSIN) – a unique identification number for legal entities in the Netherlands.

    7. Set up a Bank Account:

    Set up a bank account in the Netherlands in the name of the association. Most banks in the Netherlands require the presence of board members and certain documents during this process.

    8. Fulfill Tax Obligations:

    Enroll with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) to fulfill your tax obligations, including Value Added Tax (VAT) if applicable.

    Documents Required to Set Up an Association in the Netherlands

    To initiate the establishment of your association, you’ll need the following documents:

    • Articles of Association: A comprehensive document outlining the rules, objectives, and structure of your association.
    • Valid Identification: Proof of identity for all board members, including passports or ID cards.
    • Founding Minutes: Minutes from the founding meeting that highlight key decisions made during the establishment of the association.
    • Chamber of Commerce Registration Form: The completed registration form for the Chamber of Commerce.
    • Proof of RSIN Number Application: Evidence of the application for the RSIN number.
    • Bank Account Opening Documentation: Documents required by the chosen bank for opening the association’s bank account.

    Costs of Forming an Association in the Netherlands

    The costs associated with setting up an association in the Netherlands may vary.

    Here’s a breakdown of possible costs:

    Notary Fees: 

    Engaging a notary to formalize and register the Articles of Association involves associated fees. Notary fees can range from €500 to €1,000.

    Chamber of Commerce Registration Fee:

    Registering your association with the Chamber of Commerce incurs a one-time fee, typically around €50 to €100.

    RSIN Number Application:

    While obtaining an RSIN number is free, some administrative costs may be associated with the application process.

    Bank Account Opening Fees:

    Various banks have different fee structures for opening and maintaining a business bank account.

    Additional Costs:

    Depending on your association’s activities, there might be additional costs, such as insurance or specific permits.

    Taxes Applicable to Associations in the Netherlands

    Associations in the Netherlands may have certain tax obligations.

    Key considerations include:

    Corporate Income Tax (CIT):

    While associations are generally exempt from CIT, certain activities may trigger tax liabilities.

    VAT Registration:

    Depending on your association’s activities, you might need to register for Value Added Tax in the Netherlands. This is particularly relevant if your association engages in economic activities.

    Payroll Taxes:

    If your association employs staff, you must adhere to Dutch payroll tax regulations.


    Setting up an association in the Netherlands can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with carefully considered legal processes, documentation, and financial implications. It might be difficult to navigate through the complexities of Dutch legislation, but with the appropriate guidance, the path becomes clearer.

    Our team of professionals at OnDemand International is prepared to help you at every stage of the procedure. From gathering the necessary documents to registering with the relevant authorities and providing online bank account opening assistance, we offer a comprehensive solution for your business needs in the Netherlands. Let us be your dependable partner in realizing your association’s goals in this dynamic European environment.


    Yes, foreigners can set up an association in the Netherlands. However, it is advisable to seek legal advice to navigate through the specific requirements for non-resident associations.

    While not mandatory, engaging a notary is highly recommended. A notary ensures that your Articles of Association comply with Dutch law and facilitates the registration process.

    Dutch law stipulates that an association must have at least two members. These members can be individuals or legal entities.

    Yes, associations are required to file annual reports with the Chamber of Commerce, providing details on their activities, financial status, and board composition.