Shielding your business address. What are the options?
- 10 May 2023
- 2 min
The Business Register provides legal certainty so that, as an entrepreneur, organisation, or citizen, you can see who you are dealing with. Therefore, certain data in the register are public for everyone. KVK is the administrator of the Business Register and considers this public access important. After all, it provides added value in contact with (new) customers, suppliers, organisations, and (government) agencies.
Unfortunately, private addresses are increasingly in danger of threats and other breaches of privacy. The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK wants to ensure that anyone who is or feels threatened can ask to shield their visiting address. Especially since many entrepreneurs have a home visiting address.
It has become easier for people with an eenmanszaak (sole proprietorship) to shield their visiting address. The Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy submitted a policy proposal for this to the House of Representatives, in a letter titled the Data Vision for the Business Register (in Dutch). A key condition is that the entrepreneurs must register a postal address that is different from their private address and visiting address. The postal address is and remains public. This ensures the business can always be contacted
When can you shield your visiting address?
The visiting address of a business can be shielded in the following situations:
- You have an eenmanszaak (sole proprietorship). In anticipation of new legislation, KVK is already offering you the option to shield your visiting address. To do this, you need to register a postal address different from your home and visiting address. Read more about the situation for sole proprietorships.
- You do not have a sole proprietorship
- Probable threat
There is a probable threat if there is a foreseeable risk that something may happen. Perhaps due to your profession. Everybody who is authorised to act on behalf of the business can request that the visiting address is shielded if it is identical to the private address. This protection is available to all legal forms of businesses, apart from a private or public limited company (bv or nv). European legislation makes it impossible to shield the visiting address of these two legal forms.
- A threat that necessitates shielding
There is specific information that something may happen, or is about to happen, which makes it necessary to shield one or more persons. Everyone authorised to act on behalf of the business or legal entity can request shielding of the visiting address. Even if the visiting address and the private address are not the same.
- Probable threat
Once a visiting address has been shielded, it is no longer public. Only civil servants, lawyers, notaries, and court bailiffs can view the data, provided they are authorised to do so.
What are the disadvantages of shielding?
If your visiting address is shielded, this address is not shown on a KVK extract. Not even if you request the extract yourself. KVK does not provide your visiting address to any parties who check the Business Register – for example, banks or insurance companies. Only organisations authorised to do so as part of their (social) duties can see your visiting address. Due to the shielding, it may not be possible to arrange some business matters, such as opening a bank account or taking out an insurance policy. KVK cannot help with this. You must contact these parties and provide other evidence, such as a rental contract. The only alternative with KVK is to stop shielding your visiting address. Your visiting address will again become public.
Other important factors
Be aware that shielding information in the Business Register is not always enough to conceal your address from others. Take other measures as well, such as:
- Shield your address in the Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen, BRP). You can do this at your municipality.
- Make sure your telephone number is not public. More information on how to shield your phone number is available on the ACM website (in Dutch).
- Make sure your details cannot be found on your own website, third-party websites, (online) phone directories, and social media.
- Check if your details can be found through other public registers, such as your sector organisations or the Land Registry Office (Kadaster).
Stop shielding your visiting address
If you want to stop shielding your visiting address for your sole proprietorship, please update your registration details. For other legal structures please use this form. Your visiting address will become public again.