How to Start a Catering Business in the Netherlands?

This article will guide you through the essential steps to start a catering business in the Netherlands from home. It will further cover the requirements, and advantages of launching a catering business right from the comfort of your home.


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    start a catering business in the netherlands

    Are you a passionate chef or an aspiring entrepreneur looking to delve into the world of catering in the Netherlands? You’ve come to the right place! The Netherlands, with its vibrant culinary scene and thriving economy, provides a fertile ground for catering businesses to flourish.

    In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to launch your catering business in the Netherlands, covering requirements, procedures, benefits, and taxes.

    Requirements for Starting a Catering Business in the Netherlands

    Before diving into the exciting world of catering, it’s crucial to understand the prerequisites for establishing your catering business in the Netherlands.

    Business Registration and Permits:

    The initial step involves registering your catering business with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel or KvK). This is a mandatory process, and you’ll receive a unique Chamber of Commerce number upon completion. Additionally, you could require particular approvals from local authorities based on the nature of your catering operations. For instance, if you plan to serve alcohol, you need to get an alcohol license.

    Food Safety Regulations:

    It is crucial to abide by food safety rules. Ensure that your catering business adheres to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) guidelines. This involves implementing proper hygiene practices, maintaining a hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) plan, and conducting regular inspections.

    Commercial Kitchen Space:

    You need a commercial kitchen that complies with Dutch sanitary regulations in order to operate a catering business. A cooking facility can be rented or built up yourself, but you must adhere to strict standards for food safety and hygiene.

    Procedure for Starting a Catering Business in the Netherlands

    Now that you are aware of the prerequisites, let’s delve into the step-by-step procedure for launching your catering business in the Netherlands.

    Market Research:

    In order to start a catering business in the Netherlands, you need to begin by carrying out in-depth market research to determine the level of demand in your targeted niche for catering services. Determine your target market, research your competition, and identify the USPs that make your catering company stand out.

    Create a Business Plan:

    Craft a thorough business plan explaining your catering concept, target market, marketing tactics, and financial predictions. A well-considered plan is essential when looking for finance or collaborations, in addition to acting as a guide for your company.

    Register Your Business:

    Head to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce to officially register your catering business. Select an appropriate legal framework, such as a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company (BV).

    Acquire Necessary Permits:

    To find out what permits are needed for your particular catering activity, check with the local authorities. This may include permits for serving alcohol, performing live music, and holding events in public areas.

    Secure a Commercial Kitchen:

    Set up or rent a commercial kitchen that complies with Dutch hygiene standards. Ensure that your kitchen space is equipped with the necessary appliances and facilities to meet the demands of your catering services.

    Benefits of Starting a Catering Business in the Netherlands

    Embarking on a catering business in the Netherlands comes with a plethora of benefits that make it an attractive venture for entrepreneurs and investors.

    • Vibrant Culinary Scene: The Netherlands is a great place to launch a catering business because of its diverse and vibrant culinary scene. There’s no shortage of opportunities to satisfy a wide range of palates in a cuisine culture that values creativity and excellence.
    • Strong Economy and Consumer Spending: The Dutch economy is strong, and people are prepared to spend money on high-quality catering services. There is a consistent need for catering, whether it be for private parties, corporate gatherings, or weddings. This creates a continuous market for your company.
    • Global Business Hub: The Netherlands provides a gateway to worldwide markets due to its advantageous location in Europe. If your catering business has an efficient transportation system, it can easily expand internationally.
    • Friendly Business Environment: The Dutch government encourages small enterprises by providing them with a range of incentives and support services. Having access to financial assistance, mentorship, and business networks can all be very beneficial to the expansion of your catering company.

    Taxes Applicable to Catering Businesses in the Netherlands

    Comprehending the tax consequences associated with your catering enterprise is essential for both compliance and financial planning. Here are the key taxes applicable to catering businesses in the Netherlands.

    Value Added Tax (VAT):

    It is typically necessary for catering businesses to charge VAT for their services. The standard VAT rate in the Netherlands is 21%, but a reduced rate of 9% applies to certain food and beverage items. Keep meticulous records of your transactions for accurate VAT reporting.

    Corporate Income Tax:

    If you operate your catering business in the Netherlands through a legal entity, such as a BV, you are subject to corporate income tax. The standard rate is 25% on profits up to €200,000 and 21.7% on profits exceeding this threshold.

    Employee Taxes:

    If you hire employees for your catering business, you’ll need to account for payroll taxes and social security contributions. Ensure that you understand the obligations as an employer, including filing periodic tax returns.

    Local Taxes:

    Depending on where your firm is located, local taxes might apply to you. These can include property taxes and environmental taxes. Familiarize yourself with the unique tax laws that apply to your community.


    Starting a catering business in the Netherlands offers businesses a stimulating chance to reach a vibrant clientele that enjoys a wide variety of culinary delights. You can set up your catering business for success by figuring out the prerequisites, completing the process, and comprehending the associated taxes and perks.

    Whether you aim to cater to corporate events, weddings, or private functions, the Netherlands provides a conducive environment for growth and innovation. Leverage the support of the government, embrace the culinary diversity, and embark on a rewarding journey in the world of catering. Speak with our business consultants to register your business in the Netherlands today.